Track More Than Just Technology With Your District’s Asset Management System

4 min. read

At the onset of COVID-19, many districts scrambled to move to a 1:1 device distribution model. A huge stepping-stone to being able to hand out technology tools for remote learning, such as laptops and tablets was having them all inventoried in the first place.

If a school were to hand out technology assets with no way to know which made their way safely back into the building — whenever that time came — how could a technology department confidently say that it was safeguarding district resources?

Naturally, asset and inventory management became a major stressor for leaders in K-12 technology.

In those early days of the crisis, when most school employees and students were in their homes, disconnected from one another and their normal teaching and learning routines, many technology teams were in their school buildings: all-hands-on-deck, sorting, counting, tagging, and listing. In some districts, teachers and support staff were ultimately called in to help with the transition.

Solving the inventory issue – the hard way

Through time, effort, and pain-staking diligence, so many technology teams across the country successfully got remote learning tools into the hands of students, who, in many instances, held the responsibility of taking care of a laptop that wasn’t truly theirs for the first time. Seniors in high school all the way down to the wee ones in elementary school (and their parents and guardians) gained a technology tool in their home.

The effort to get there wasn’t an easy one, though. Many technology teams tackled the challenge by creating spreadsheets in which every detail had to be manually entered and updated. In turn, this data-entry and manual updating process became a full-time heavy lift for certain employees.

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Solving the inventory issue – the easy way!

Remote learning was an instigator for districts across the country to get more organized about their technology asset management, and that meant investing in solutions that helped them automate the inventory process to:

  • Increase efficiency of managing tech assets
  • Increase the reliability of data — and thereby the team’s confidence in reporting
  • Gain real-time visibility into inventory at any moment, from anywhere
  • Reduce time spent conducting audits and producing reports

While tracking and maintaining technology assets has become second nature for most school districts, many can do more to take advantage of the full spectrum of their asset management capabilities.
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Tracking More Than Just Technology

Asset management systems can be used to track so much more than just technology assets, ensuring that items that are not tracked in an ERP system are still accounted for. School is a joyful place, and when students and staff collaborate to create something — well, things get moved.

Maybe the theatre club needed an easel for their stage set. There’s always one in the art room! Maybe tables needed to be set up in the auditorium for a showcase, and they came from all over the building. Maybe a quintet from the orchestra played welcoming music to start the day — and an instrument got left behind.

Schools feel like homes to so many of the people who work and learn in them, but, of course, the assets of a school really belong to the district. A solution that helps you track and inventory all those assets and foster community keeps you stay in control — and that control should go beyond technology assets.

Items that are prime opportunities for automated inventory management are those used by kitchen, maintenance, and custodial staff, such as furniture, appliances, and larger equipment used for grounds work.

With an asset management system tracking more than just technology, district leaders:

  • Gain visibility into where each item is located in the district — at all times, from anywhere
  • Track funding sources to have a clear, at-the-ready report of the funding source that paid for each asset
  • Budget for the future with more knowledge about how things are used, how long they last, and where the best investments have been
  • Increase confidence and accountability for audits

Use our checklist to ensure your district is making the most of your asset management system.

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Megan Wilburn

Megan is a writer and member of the award-winning content team at Frontline Education. Megan is passionate about impacting the lives of students by supporting teachers and staff.

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