Computer Asset Tracking

Our customers have learned that there are many financial and operational returns when they make computer asset tracking a top priority.

Some customers start off by not knowing where their computer assets are physically located. In many cases, years may have lapsed since the last inventory of their computer assets. Some may have invested in computer asset management software or computer asset tracking software, but their business processes have not been tightened and therefore accuracy has slipped when computers are moved from one place to another.

When managers or executives do their analysis of fixed asset tracking and see that it has many financial and operational returns, they make tracking a priority. Software licenses are purchased in optimal quantities. Property taxes are minimized. Maintenance on computers is much more efficient. Retiring assets or returning them to the lease vendor is smoother. You may want to look at the Return on Investment (ROI) information for additional thoughts.

Our customers usually have a physical barcode on the computer they are going to track. (Some refer to this as barcode asset tracking.) The physical barcode can be a unique barcode value with a number assigned by the customer (most common) or it may be the serial number of the asset. Most computers from vendors have barcoded serial numbers included both on the shipping box and on the asset itself. Some customers find it convenient for their processes to use the serial number as a unique identifier for their asset. It is definitely easy to use when receiving the asset on the dock. If you are thinking about this, you may suggest to your supplier that they have the serial number both on the asset and on the outside of the shipping box

Keep in mind that sometimes the serial number barcode coming from the vendor is placed in a physical location on the asset that makes it difficult to see or scan. Some vendors can help you with this or you can focus on using your company-unique barcode as the primary means of doing your computer asset tracking. You usually have more flexibility and control over where this barcode is placed than you do with the serial number barcode. Some vendors will take a supply of customer barcodes and apply them to the computer before it arrives at the customer site. Depending on the vendor, there may be a fee for this. Another thing to think about with a large database is that occasionally customers will find duplicate serial numbers on two different assets.

We find that of those customers tracking computer equipment and IT assets, some only want to track computers. Things such as monitors and printers are maintained in the asset database but they are not inventoried as regularly as the computers are. Some customers make the computer the parent asset and then make a monitor a child asset to the computer. This may help with scanning less barcodes to track your computer assets. Potential drawbacks of doing this is that it might be more work to maintain the parent child relationships than it would be to simply scan the barcodes of these other peripheral assets when they are there inventorying or working on the computer. The best practices information contains many other similar tips.