What Is an Inventory Asset?

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.

Inventory Asset Definition

An inventory asset is an item your business owns and uses on a continual basis, such as equipment, tools, machinery, vehicles, and more. Inventory assets are not sold to customers nor are they consumed by employees; they are the reusable items that your company uses to create its product or services. For example, in a construction company, inventory assets could consist of items like hammers, drills, and saws to trucks, excavators, and forklifts. 

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:

  • Tools
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Company-owned vehicles
  • Electronics, including laptops, phones, and cameras
  • Office furniture 
  • Art and decor


How to track 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:

Experience the simplest inventory management software.

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Pen-and-paper asset tracking

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 While this method is cheap and straightforward, it’s outdated and quite time-consuming.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. 

Spreadsheet asset tracking

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. 

Inventory management software for asset tracking

Sortly is an end-to-end asset tracking solution that lets you organize, track, and manage your inventory from any device, in any location. Our easy-to-use mobile app lets you and your team track inventory on the job, including assets like tools and equipment. Tracking assets accurately with Sortly helps you keep your business efficient, maintain your assets over time, and serve your customers to their highest satisfaction.

With Sortly, you’ll always know who used what asset and when, which is especially important for high-value assets which often change hands and locations. You can use the built-in barcode generator to print and affix labels to physical inventory so your team can check assets in and out just by scanning. Your team can also track asset condition every time they check an item back in thanks to our quick inventory photo capabilities. It’s an easy, mobile solution for tracking the things that keep your business running.

If your company would benefit from improved inventory and asset tracking, try Sortly free for 14 days.