Asset tracking and management provides monitoring for a company’s assets, including those stored in a warehouse as inventory or for other uses.
While assets can certainly be considered products in some cases, in many cases they are simply items stored until ready to ship, or to assemble and ship. As any inventory expert or warehouse manager can tell you, they don’t normally get involved directly with sales and marketing of a product. But they are held totally responsible to see to it that when orders come in they are shipped out promptly with a minimum of fuss and delay.
For that reason alone, asset tracking is a vital component of your warehouse/inventory paradigm. You don’t want to mess it up and you don’t want it to get messed up by faulty software, hardware, or staff.
So what are the five golden rules to asset tracking? You may think you know them, but be on the safe side and check your knowledge against the following:
Meeting high standards.
Asset tracking does come with a set or pre-ordained standards, of course. Fishbowl Inventory is ideal for tracking products and other items by lot and the serial number, along with the date code. This will normally mean AIB certification, which is highly valued in the warehouse world, and often a prerequisite to certain types of storage and shipping.
The great auto pioneer Henry Ford was famous (or perhaps infamous) for telling his factory managers to speed up the assembly line when he was looking for new ways to efficiently build his cars; workers were forced to come up with time-saving ways of doing things in order to keep up with the speeding belt! Once Henry had those time-saving ideas codified and practiced in his plants, he’d slow things down a bit — but only for a while. How good is your asset tracking software when it comes to saving time by streamlining the whole process? If you’re still trying to do it all with Excel or even with pen and paper, just remember that Henry Ford made his first million by the time he was 25 — and he didn’t do it ‘the old-fashioned way’!
Think like a miser — a smart miser.
During World War Two English Prime Minister Winston Churchill was astounded to find out that leather riding crops were required for all commissioned officers in the Army, and that the cost of supplying them was running into thousands of pounds. He immediately put a stop to the tradition, over the protests of many a hide-bound Colonel and General; but the consequent savings were used to help develop both radar and sonar — which eventually saved thousands of lives in the air and on the sea. What are you doing in your warehouse to cut out the riding crops? Any warehouse resource that is obsolete or used inefficiently is eventually going to cost you money, in slow movement and lost time — and then, lost customers. Just play Scrooge McDuck for a day or two in your warehouse and you’ll find procedures that can be streamlined to save time and money. Effective asset management starts with the question: “Why are we doing it this way?”
“Passing the buck never leaves you any spare change” jokes comedian Jerry Seinfeld. But he’s right. Make sure your warehouse staff is clear on lines of authority and who is responsible for what. Using Fishbowl Inventory’s Work Order module, and other available software, enables you to assign tasks to various employees, who are then monitored to guarantee they are doing their jobs in a timely way. When someone gets behind or something runs out, it’s much easier to pinpoint the roadblock and move on to the solution without pointing fingers unnecessarily.
It’s not hide-and-seek; it’s wireless!
Your inventory is much less likely to go missing or be misplaced when your staff each has a mobile hand-held device to track barcodes, etc. A mobile device can have a detailed map of your warehouse space, showing exactly where every item was last placed, and the date it was placed there. The experts at Brandow Consulting can help you set up your warehouse systematically so it no longer looks like a yard sale.