Believe it or not, but school systems have a lot of inventory to manage. Managing all the computers, projectors, textbooks, desks, cleaning equipment, and other materials in just one school can be overwhelming. And it can be very exhausting for the inventory managers to keep tabs on all of these materials. This is why some schools today invest in an inventory system to help them manage all their assets.
Using an inventory system for schools can make a difference
It’s important for schools to keep track of the school system equipment, especially now that many schools face shrinking budgets – while the prices for school equipment keep going upward. But that’s not something you should worry about because school inventory systems today use QR codes to assist schools in managing their inventory.
This is a very convenient inventory system that makes checking the inventory in and out, and keeping track of it super easy for asset managers.
Now, the question is, can your school afford it? Is it worth your investment? The answer is yes, and here’s why.
Asset management can reduce losses to school districts. According to a 2010 audit of schools in Los Angeles revealed that the system lost more than $10 million in unneeded textbook purchases and stolen textbooks. It also revealed that $500,000 worth of textbooks were stored in a district warehouse.
In 2013, another audit showed that Shelby County schools located in Tennessee were missing $48 million equipment, which includes cars from the driver’s education program and computers.
Now, if you think about it, these losses could have been avoided had there been an inventory system in place. An electronic, easy-to-use school asset management system could have at least helped prevent these situations, to make tracking school inventory accurate and more convenient.
How do old inventory systems work?
Old inventory management techniques involve checking materials in and out using paper records. These are inefficient, unmanageable, and can be inaccurate, especially in large school districts. What schools need today are faster, easier, and inventory systems that will give asset managers a better ability to find out where the assets are, and how they can be better deployed.
How can an inventory system help manage your school’s assets?
Currently, inventory managers face the following challenges:
keeping track of possibly thousands of textbooks that are issued to students is basically a nightmare. But an inventory system that will check the books in and out at the beginning and at the end of the school year or semester can make a difference. It will help you keep a better track of how many textbooks you have now and how many you’ll need.
School system equipment may be stolen by students or employees, and this can happen a lot. Having a school inventory management software can help your school systems more quickly in identifying potential theft problems.
Tracking data manually
While we’re already in the 21st century, many schools still rely on paper records to track their school inventory. The problem with these records is that they are subject to quite a bit of human error. They can be easily lost or sorted incorrectly. What makes things worse is that this information is hard to collate and analyze. It will safe so much time if you use an electronic asset management system. It will give you a more convenient, accurate, and easy-to-read results.
Obsolescence and lifecycle management
Computers and other school equipment can be replaced by newer models. However, the current models may still be useable in administrative or office settings. And while school admins shelf obsolete electronics in warehouses and never dispose of them properly, you can correct this using an inventory system. You can keep a better track of all obsolete equipment, so your school can better direct resources and use obsolete (but still functional) equipment.
Cross school and district transfers
Schools usually transfer their equipment from one department to another. And when that happens, it may get lost in the move, or get packed away and never used. To prevent this problem an inventory management software in place will help you know the whereabouts of the equipment.
How To Choose An Errorfree Inventory System
Given that schools don’t have the resources needed to invest in inventory systems, here are some tips to help you choose one for your school:
Consider your requirements
Before you decide to buy an inventory management system, you should know what your requirements are. What are the challenges you’re facing at the moment?
Consider the cost
The cost of the software depends on how complex your requirements are. To help you, you can try to figure out the market price of the software, and then decide whether it’s worth it or too expensive. But before you invest in inventory software, you should check your budget and ask yourself if it’s the right time to invest in this technology.
Cloud-based software solutions shouldn’t be that expensive since they’re the most suitable option for startups or companies with low budgets.
Consider its usability.
Most schools overlook this point but the usability is what determines how effective the implementation is in your school. If it takes hours for your staff to learn the ins and outs of the system, then it’s best to look for another one. Take note, you’re looking for a solution that is easy-to-use, not the complicated one.
Identify the flexibility of the system.
When choosing an inventory system, you need to know if it’s suitable for mobile devices. You also need to know how many users can implement the software, and whether it’s an on-site system or a web-based system. Flexibility is an important factor, especially for schools with multiple districts.
Check the support
|Once you’ve chosen an inventory system, you wouldn’t want to be left alone, trying to figure out how to use it. Make sure that your provider offers training to help you and your staff understand how to operate the system.