Workplace equipment management is essential to businesses because it improves employee accountability and decreases losses. When companies neglect to track their office equipment, they risk losing vital and sensitive tools that streamline their business operations. Also, they won’t be able to determine who must be accountable for any loss or damage, which can affect business productivity.
Since office equipment helps your business improve its processes and deliver customers’ needs, you should protect them. If you have an effective office equipment tracking system, you can conduct a real-time evaluation of who signed out specific office devices and when these should be returned. In turn, employees will become extra careful in handling the equipment because it may result in disciplinary action, or they may be asked to replace the damaged device, especially where there’s gross negligence.
Here are six strategies for tracking office equipment you can apply in your business.
1) Make A Detailed List Of Equipment
The first thing you need to do is conduct a detailed inventory of the company’s office equipment. With that, you must record the equipment used by every department as well as devices issued to individual employees on an inventory log sheet. Alternatively, you may bring a tablet to speed up the data entry process if you prefer to use a spreadsheet.
The equipment inventory should include vital information, such as equipment user, make or model, serial number, and warranty information. In addition, you should indicate the purchase date and life cycle end date to determine when it’s time for a replacement.
Afterwards, you need to update this inventory by scheduling a periodic review, which could be monthly or quarterly. Any new devices should be added, while any retired equipment should be removed from the list.
2) Tag And Track Your Equipment
Office equipment is a crucial company resource because it helps employees become more productive by improving processes prone to errors. However, if the equipment is not monitored or tracked, it would be easy to miss routine repair and maintenance checks, which are necessary to keep them in excellent working condition. Furthermore, the company may not be aware that the equipment has been damaged, lost, or stolen.
You can address these concerns by tagging and tracking equipment using electronic tags. These tags or labels may include barcodes, quick response (QR) codes, or radio-frequency identification (RFID). With an equipment tracking system, you’ll know the current location, designated user, repair or maintenance schedule, and actual condition of each office machine. Thus, equipment tracking can help businesses prevent loss or theft as well as extend their office machines’ life cycle.
3) Formulate An Equipment Inventory Policy
After creating a detailed inventory of office equipment, you need to create a set of regulations for your workforce to follow. This equipment inventory policy should include best practices on equipment tracking and management as well as employees’ roles and responsibilities. For instance, employees should be required to report theft or loss of a company-issued electronic device within 24 hours as it may contain confidential company data.
The policy should also indicate the procedure for logging and tagging all new office equipment into your tracking system. There may be additional safety precautions for devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets to guard against cybersecurity threats. It’s likewise essential to establish rules for proper care and handling of office equipment.
Furthermore, the policy must establish accountability in case of equipment loss or damage. It may provide for disciplinary action or restitution if the employee deliberately destroyed company property or was grossly negligent.
4) Monitor Equipment Usage
While regularly tracking equipment damage and loss is essential, monitoring daily equipment usage may uncover events you might have missed. Multiple users may share the same device to streamline their tasks in day-to-day business operations.
Actively monitoring equipment usage enables you to investigate possible performance issues, such as if an employee rarely returns office equipment on time. It also allows you to look into unusual equipment damage, apart from typical wear and tear, that may have been caused by one of your employees.
5) Create Equipment Maintenance Schedules
Since most office equipment costs a fortune, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. That said, you should manage multiple schedules for different office equipment. Some may require annual equipment maintenance, while others may need quarterly maintenance inspection. If you discover that semiannual routine checkups work well for your equipment, you must stick to that schedule. You may need to outsource office equipment repair and maintenance to a reputable service provider.
As you conduct scheduled maintenance inspections, you can assess the condition of your office equipment and undertake the necessary repairs to optimize its performance. Once you find out that a piece of equipment has reached end of life (EOL), you have the option to sell, donate, or recycle it instead of physically destroying it.
6) Keep Equipment In A Central Area
An easy way to track your office equipment is by storing it in a single area. This applies to equipment or devices that employees sign out for and return after a specified period. If you don’t have a central location, you may use storage lockers in a secure room.
After designating a particular area for equipment storage, you can organize your existing equipment by frequency of usage. To do so, you must evaluate which items are likely to be used daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. After that, you should label containers, shelves, or compartments to make it convenient to locate the needed equipment or devices.
If these devices have tracking tags, you may use barcode scanners as you issue them to employees. If you prefer to use RFID tags, you can place sensors in the storage locker and throughout the workplace to track the location of your equipment in real-time. Scanning RFID tags is more convenient as it allows multiple tags to be scanned all at once.
As a business owner, you want to keep your assets easily identifiable and traceable to prevent theft, loss, or damage. You may apply the above mentioned strategies to track and manage your office equipment. With a sound equipment tracking and management system in place, you improve employee accountability and productivity, extend the life cycle of your equipment, and avoid unnecessary expenses.