That’s a phrase you never want to hear. Not from billionaire developer, prime-time TV star, and Presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Not from your boss. And certainly not for failing to account properly for your company’s fixed assets.
So how would Donald Trump go about tracking your organization’s fixed assets? Most likely, he’d apply the same principles he applies to his own business.
Politics aside, Trump is a businessman. In 2015, Forbes pegged his net worth at $4 billion. Here, we decided to take a few pages from his book How to Get Rich and apply his advice to a subject near and dear to our hearts, fixed asset tracking.
Be a General
Trump compares running a business to being a general because you’re ultimately responsible for the fate of your employees. Trump had 22,450 employees according to a CNN report in 2015.
How many does your organization have? Whether it’s 20,000 or 200, a faulty asset tracking strategy can have a huge impact on things like:
- effective resource allocation,
- insurance, and
- regulatory compliance.
As general, your fixed asset management decisions not only affect you but the health of your organization as well. Your choices can mean the difference between compliance and noncompliance, and ultimately impact your company’s bottom line.
Pay Attention to the Details
The first step to an effective asset management program is to identify and record all assets. This initial step may be time-consuming, but it has to be done thoroughly to provide an accurate base for ongoing management. Identifying and recording all assets provides a snapshot that gives your organization an accurate view of its assets for a brief period. For asset management to be optimized, you also need to develop an effective process to consistently record changes in asset location, condition, and availability.
Luckily, data collection technologies such as barcode and RFID can help simplify the recording process and help ensure accurately entered information.
Get a Great Assistant
On the topic of assistants, Trump says, “A great one can make your life a whole lot easier.” It’s true. Especially when it comes to fixed asset tracking. Think you can manage and maintain accurate records of thousands, or tens of thousands of asset records on a standalone spreadsheet? Think again.
Effective asset management requires timely, accurate information. Gathering the information must be convenient. Otherwise, operators will tend to skip this step and, consequently, compromise the integrity of your data. Reporting is just as important. You need to be able to get the information you need, quickly and easily.
Like a virtual assistant, fixed asset tracking software can help you dramatically simplify daily processes and speed up tasks compared with paper-based data collection. For example, using barcodes or RFID tags can expedite daily routines with minimal effort and simple setup.
Trump also says, “You don’t have to be beautiful to work for me – just be good at your job.” The same principal holds true for your asset tracking software. Most off-the-shelf asset tracking software products aren’t winning design awards like Pandora or Virgin Atlantic (which both won Webby Awards for their mobile app designs in 2015). But they get the job done. And although a clean user interface is important, what’s important is the application’s ability to help you get stuff done (such as updating assets or taking periodic physical inventories).
Every New Hire is a Gamble
Have you ever hired someone only to realize that doing so was a mistake? Then you know how costly, time-consuming, awkward, and productivity-killing it can be. On the flip side, hiring the right person means you can get more work done, help your team meet its objectives, and catapult your department into unexpected success.
This is as true with employees as it is asset tracking software. Luckily, it’s much easier to find the right asset tracking software.
Why? Software doesn’t come with emotional baggage.
Also, you can try before you buy. Most independent software vendors (ISVs) provide fully functional demo versions you can download and test to make sure they’ll work for you. Even better, most ISVs offer live web-based demonstrations and will walk you through their applications, so you don’t have to deal with the learning curve associated with a new system.
If you want to save even more time, make sure to have these questions answered before talking to an ISV:
- How many assets do you plan to track?
- What kind of assets?
- Where are they located? How many buildings?
- Do you need asset tags?
- Are you interested in RFID?
- How many people will need access to the system?
Learn the Value of Saying No
If the software you’re evaluating meets your needs, ask for a price quote. If it doesn’t, let the sales rep you’re working with know. It doesn’t do anyone any good for you to end up with a solution that you won’t be happy with and doesn’t meet your needs.
It’s also important to understand that taking the time to evaluate a solution that doesn’t meet your needs isn’t a complete waste of time. Understanding what won’t work for you can make it easier to identify a solution that will.
Lastly, if you are evaluating a solution that doesn’t meet your needs, there’s a good chance the person you are working with will know of a different product that will meet your needs. It never hurts to ask.
Be Reasonable and Flexible, Be Patient, Stay Focused, Maintain your Momentum
It may take some time to implement your new asset tracking system, but after a short period, you’ll start to notice the benefits of proper fixed asset management:
- The ability to collect data faster and in greater detail
- Fewer errors
- More accurate records
- Better reporting
- Increased personal responsibility and accountability
You’ll have confirmed that the upfront effort and ongoing process adherence are well worth your time. And with a fixed asset tracking system in place, you’ll have more detailed control over your assets than ever before.
Ready to Track Fixed Assets Like Donald Trump?
We can help! We’ve been assisting businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits streamline their asset tracking processes for over a decade. If you have any questions about asset tracking using barcode or RFID (or how to track fixed assets like Donald Trump), we would be delighted to assist you.