Lauren writes about inventory for Sortly. Her favorite thing to organize? Her comically large collection of stuffed animals.Lauren
Whether your business is a large law firm or a small interior design studio, chances are your company has tons of assets it needs to track. In this article, we’ll dive into the top ten reasons why modern, intuitive asset management software can help your business keep track of all the equipment, inventory, and investments it owns.
Before we begin, let’s talk a little bit about the definition of assets. Long story short, an asset is an item your business uses or owns. An asset could be a printer, a desk, a nice piece of art—even that old water cooler or that swanky Nespresso machine counts.
While typical inventory—think t-shirts, bottles of beer, or windshield wiper fluid—are sellable or consumable, most businesses use assets over and over again…or hang onto them for a long time. That makes tracking them extra important. After all, if your business has invested in something, people are going to want to know where it is, how much it’s worth, and who’s got their hands on it right now.
Now, without further ado, let’s talk about those ten reasons your company should start tracking assets with inventory software today.
The first reason to upgrade to physical asset management software is simple: it’s going to make your life that much easier. So many people find that when they switch from pen-and-paper or a spreadsheet inventory system to one that’s fully digital, they start saving tons of time—and money.
There are many reasons for this, but one key factor is that modern inventory apps are full of powerful automation features. For example, your whole inventory is searchable. Search by a word, a tag, a category, a location—whatever information you do have. Instantly, you’ll see any, and all relevant results pop up.
You can also search by barcode and QR code—another great way to save time. On the flip side, if you encounter an item, you can always scan the code to find out more details—and where the rest of the same inventory is located at the moment.
Plus, inventory apps like Sortly allow you to customize how your inventory is organized using folders and tags. You can organize by storage unit, by what’s in Singapore vs. what’s in Seattle, or whatever makes the most sense to you.
Related: How do you manage assets?
Another great reason to upgrade to simple asset management software: it makes keeping records simple. Everything you do—or that any team member does—is stored to an ultra-secure, cloud-based server. That means that if your IT department ships a laptop and two monitors to your new hire in Atlanta, you’ll know who sent it, when, and how much the bundle was worth.
Then, if that employee doesn’t work out—hey, it happens—you’ll know when the equipment arrived back at headquarters and what condition it was in when it arrived. When team members are logged into their accounts and make use of the barcode/QR code scanning features, this item history records automatically.
That creates a nice chain of custody, should inventory loss ever happen. (Which it always does, unfortunately.)
A third reason worth celebrating: the right inventory app makes generating gorgeous, data-rich reports a breeze. That means that you can always have meeting-ready, visual reports ready to show to anyone who’s asking at a moment’s notice.
Corporate wants to know how much money is tied up in equipment and that soon-to-shutter Pittsburgh branch? You can show them in a minute exactly what’s in Pennsylvania and what the estimated value of everything stored there is.
Does accounting want to know how many depreciating assets are sitting in that storage facility outside Las Vegas? You can show them all that and more, stress-free.
With an inventory app like Sortly, you can hand-pick what information makes it onto a report and what doesn’t. That way, everyone can find out what they need to know, as soon as they need to know it. These reports are available as spreadsheets (CSVs) and as PDFs.
The days of rummaging through piles of paperwork, searching for information on that copy machine’s warranty are over. Instead, with the right inventory app, building an intuitive (and even beautiful) inventory list is possible.
For example, with Sortly, users can upload tons of high-resolution images to each item, so they can have a complete understanding of what an item looks like. They can also include attachments, like warranties, user guides, manuals, purchase orders, and more.
Plus, creating the actual item details is easy, too. By using preset and unlimited custom fields, categories, and tags, you can create a unique inventory management system that lets you track all the little things that are important to you. From color to manufacturer to warranty end date, it’s all trackable.
Best of all, you can turn some of this crucial information into bacon-saving alerts. For example, if your company’s (very expensive) laser copier is approaching warranty end, Sortly will warn you on the dates you’ve selected. You control who gets notified, and when, and how. You can also set these alerts for low stock, expiration, and rental period ends.
Next up, the best asset management software tools allow everyone to work together. For example, inventory apps like Sortly will enable you to make accounts for every team member, creating both efficiencies and accountability.
Best of all, you decide how much access a user has. From complete, administrative control to read-only and restricted access, inventory software like Sortly makes it easy for teams to work together—without letting anyone in on what they don’t need to know.
Best of all, by creating multiple accounts for all the users on your team, you create a user history that fosters responsibility (and maybe a sense of ownership) at your business.
Another key benefit of asset tracking software: it reduces dreaded human error. When tired eyes get to work on an asset tracking spreadsheet, they tend to jumble cells, numbers, item names, just about everything… After all, those little cells are pretty tall, and all those lines look alike…
By upgrading from an error-prone inventory spreadsheet to a robust, time-saving inventory app, you can prevent errors that, at best, lead to wasted time, and at worst, can cause a ton of severe problems.
This is another reason why barcodes and QR codes are so helpful, too. For example, when you scan an item to update quantities, you eliminate the chance for human error right off the bat. All you need to do is update the correct item details—like quantity, condition, or location. The rest takes care of itself.
Related: What is an asset management system?
Manual asset tracking happens on a sheet of paper—or maybe a Word document or Google Doc. Spreadsheet inventory takes place on Excel or Google Sheets. But you can use the best inventory apps on any number of devices, including your computer, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
Plus, you’ll never need to buy a clunky (and very breakable) barcode or QR code scanner again. Instead, your phone or tablet’s camera can do all of that, right in an app like Sortly.
What does all this mean? Mostly, that the equipment your business owns is more than enough to track assets effectively, efficiently, and inexpensively. All you need to do is find the inventory app or asset tracking software that’s right for you and get started.
When it comes to traditional inventory—you know, t-shirts and taco shells—many businesses like to practice extremely tight inventory control. Inventory control is both the art and science of stocking just enough to ensure your business runs smoothly without spending a single extra cent on overhead you don’t need.
There are tons of tools to help you improve your inventory control, too: from calculating lead time and safety stock to figuring out your reorder point.
But for businesses that offer services—not goods—there’s usually very little inventory to track. Instead, these businesses are tracking assets. And they might not be ready to track them all. But there are still some essential inventory control practices these companies can use to help them save time and money.
One of them is ABC Analysis.
The point of ABC Analysis is to help your business focus on the most profitable, most essential assets it stocks. This is great for all businesses, especially companies just starting to get the hang of managing inventory. Here’s how to do it:
Category A: Figure out what items account for 70% of your revenue, and make it a point to never run out of these items. This is about 20% of your assets.
Category B: Identity what assets account for 25% of your revenue and about 30% of your overall stock. While you still want to keep an eye on these assets, they are not as crucial as category A items.
Category C: Finally, the other half of your assets are category C items. They account for just 5% of your company’s revenue. While you should pay attention to these items, they aren’t nearly as important as A items or even B items.
Now, your business may not have any revenue at all from these assets. However, some asset-tracking businesses, like event rental companies do have revenue. So if the revenue portion of ABC analysis doesn’t make sense, you can substitute value or importance instead. Remember, since you’re tracking assets instead of inventory, it’s more of a guide than anything else.
Many businesses count and audit inventory and assets from time to time. If your business is one of them, you’ve probably been looking for ways to speed up this (really time-consuming and no-fun-at-all) process.
Using an asset tracking app like Sortly can really help. You’ll be more organized from the get-go, and you’ll have tons of automation features (including the powerful barcode/QR code scanner) to help you breeze through even the most tedious touchpoints of counting inventory.
Plus, if you’re using an inventory app, you likely already practice perpetual inventory. That means your inventory is always up to date because you’re keeping it accurate as every item comes and goes. If you’re doing that, you’ll find that simply updating your inventory app with a few key details from time to time is way easier.
Related: How to perform an inventory cycle count.
One reason companies don’t think about upgrading to asset management software: they assume it’s out of their price range. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. These days, there are excellent, affordable inventory solutions available for free or for a low monthly cost.
Gone are the days of unaffordable, clunky software that don’t offer users flexibility, customization, or any other features that actually help them turn software into a bespoke solution. That’s where Sortly comes in.
Sortly is a top-rated, modern inventory app built for businesses of every shape and size. So whether you sell coffee beans, style supermodels, or settle lawsuits, Sortly is a robust, infinitely customizable app that helps you organize whatever you’ve got, wherever it is.
With critical features like barcode/QR code scanning, low stock alerts, customizable item details, folders and tags, customizable user permissions, and instant reports—Sortly offers all the powerful things that pricy inventory software does, at a fraction of the price—and even for free.
Best of all, the inventory app works on the equipment you already have and is a cinch to learn. Most businesses have Sortly up and running in minutes. But if you need help, there’s plenty of support to get your business organized, too. Curious about how your company can start managing assets without the stress? Why not give Sortly a try. You can unlock every premium feature in a two-week free trial or check out the free version instead. So get started today—and get organized for good.