Many institutions and organizations must manage hundreds, if not thousands, of assets daily. Proper asset management is very important not only for the aspects of retention and security but safety and compliance as well. The term “assets” covers all manners of things – freezers and fume hoods in the laboratory realm, forklifts and machinery in industry, or heavy equipment and vehicles in construction. Whatever the institution, having a complete, accurate, and detailed digital inventory of those assets at your fingertips can be invaluable. Further, pairing a comprehensive, easily accessible digital inventory with a software platform that supports other functions (such as inspections) makes for a seamless and highly efficient solution for asset management.
Maintaining an Accurate Digital Asset Inventory
Digitizing your inventory of assets can provide a host of advantages for your institution. A digital asset inventory system maintains a live inventory of all assets, linking them to their exact location and those responsible for their care. Critical descriptive data can be maintained, including manufacturer, model, serial number, recent inspection or certification dates, and any other important specifications of the asset. With your digitized asset inventory, all this data is immediately available at your (and your team’s) fingertips. This accessibility is crucial for both monitoring your asset inventory and tracking related safety and compliance information.
Integration of Digital Asset Inspections
One of the most essential tasks associated with any asset inventory is inspections. These may focus on either the prescribed maintenance and upkeep of the asset or regulatory safety and compliance matters. A helpful feature to look for in a digital asset management system is one with an integrated electronic inspection component. Assets can be inspected on a scheduled, recurring basis within such a system. Corrective actions can be assigned to responsible parties (as needed) and links to all inspection data can be accessed at any time, all from within the asset’s profile.
Of the additional advantages to digitization, two are specifically leveraged when out in the field among the inventoried assets. First, each asset can be labeled with a barcode that matches the asset’s code within the inventory system. In some platforms, such as the one offered by SafetyStratus, an accompanying mobile application can be utilized to scan the code and instantly start a new inspection of that asset. Another physical application to any asset is QR coding. A QR code is a digital label that can be assigned to any object. Scanning a QR code with any smart mobile device that has a working camera and network connection immediately displays a no-login web page for the profile of that asset, detailing such key information as asset specifications, asset roster members, recent inspection dates, relevant documents (e.g., owner’s manual, LOTO procedures, etc.), and more.
Digitizing your asset inventory can be enormously advantageous to any organization, whether it falls under research, industry, or anything in between. Live data is not only instantly observable to management but can be made available (and usable) to anyone working with those assets on-site or in the field. This dynamic functionality provides actionable data to end-users and administrators and (when combined with inspections capabilities) can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your safety and compliance program.
Joe comes to the SafetyStratus team with over 15 years of experience in the biological sciences and laboratory management and safety. At the University of Connecticut, and later at the University of the Sciences, Joe managed multiple high-volume biology teaching laboratories. He also worked as an Aquatic Biologist for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds. Most recently Joe held the position of Laboratory Safety Manager in the University of the Sciences’ Environmental Health & Safety Department, overseeing all aspects of safety inspections and compliance in over 150 campus teaching and research spaces.
Originally from Connecticut, Joe has lived in the Philadelphia suburbs for the last 10 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. In his free time, Joe enjoys working out, taking in a good football game or movie, and traveling with his wife to sunny Caribbean destinations whenever possible.