From law firms to art galleries to boutiques to autoshops, many businesses track some sort of inventory. While some companies may need to track traditional inventory, other companies only need to manage their inventory assets.
In this article, we’ll define inventory assets. Then, we’ll explain the three different ways businesses might track those assets.
An inventory asset is an item your business uses or owns, like a printer, a desk, or a nice piece of art.
While typical inventory is sellable or consumable, most businesses use inventory assets over and over again. This reality makes tracking them essential. After all, if your company owns something valuable, stakeholders will want to know where it is, what condition it’s in, and who has it.
Related: Why is asset tracking important?
Here are some examples of inventory assets:
Now that you know about inventory assets let’s talk about how you can track them! In general, there are three ways to track inventory assets: using a sheet of paper, using a spreadsheet, or using inventory software.
Naturally, each asset management system has its own set of pros and cons. Here’s a little bit more about the three methods of tracking inventory and assets:
If you use a sheet of paper or a Word document to track your assets, your company practices the most basic version of asset management. While this method is cheap and straightforward, it’s outdated and quite time-consuming. Tracking inventory manually tends to work only for the smallest businesses that own only a few dozen or so assets.
Next, many companies use inventory spreadsheets to track their assets. Inventory spreadsheets are an inexpensive way to manage assets, but they do have some significant shortcomings. Namely, spreadsheets are highly error-prone. It’s so, so easy to jumble numbers and names during data entry.
Another problem with spreadsheets: it’s hard to differentiate products that sound alike or are similar in other ways. Since spreadsheets don’t display images, barcodes, or QR codes correctly, distinguishing between two similar assets can be quite hard.
Spreadsheets that aren’t synced to the cloud are also quickly outdated, inaccurate, or corrupted.
Finally, more and more businesses are using inventory management software to track their assets. Modern inventory software and inventory apps are usually easy to use, inexpensive, and built to be customized.
When looking for inventory software to track assets, insist on a product that:
Ready to track your assets? Why not give Sortly a try, absolutely free!