It’s a sign of success when you’ve outgrown the old kitchen-sink approach to managing business assets. If you dump all your asset data into a system of vague spreadsheets, poor file or folder names, messy or duplicated files, or sparse metadata, you might want to look into a new asset management solution.
Well, you’re in luck. In this article, we will define what an asset management system is, introduce you to varying types of systems, as well as recommend some of our favorite software solutions.
What is an Asset Management System?
An asset management system is a system that a company uses to develop, operate, maintain, upgrade, and dispose of its assets most effectively and efficiently. Simply put, it’s the system a business uses to manage its assets. Some aspects of asset management systems could include organizing maintenance schedules, gathering data to make purchase decisions by scanning items, managing inventory, and more.
The assets involved could be either:
- Tangible assets: Objects you can touch, such as buildings, equipment, machinery, computer equipment, furniture, inventory, etc.
- Intangible assets: Objects you cannot touch, such as human capital, goodwill, financial assets, intellectual property, copyrights, etc.
Since there are many moving parts when it comes to managing assets, there should be a system in place that will allow accurate and real-time control of them.
BENEFITS OF AN ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Keeping track of your assets through an asset management system will offer the following benefits:
- Centralized data: Having one system with all the asset information will make it easier to monitor and track them. This ease of use will allow more efficiency in the long run.
- Access from anywhere: If the system is capable of access from mobile devices, you and your team can input and view information from anywhere. This allows for real-time data to be seen by all. Employees will be able to access the same dashboards from different locations. As a result, nothing will get excluded, misplaced, or missed.
- Streamline workflows: When you use an asset management platform, you can schedule maintenance, carry out inventory management, input asset data, read reports, and access real-time information all in one spot. This allows your business to operate more efficiently if you go with a dedicated system you can share with your employees.
- Minimize risk: Using a specialized system will allow you to identify any risks quickly, allowing you to mitigate them and prevent any damages or loss. For instance, adding an expiration date to your inventory will allow you to identify how soon the products need to be sold before they will cause you loss.
- Identify ghost assets: Ghost assets are those assets that show up in the register but are not physically accounted for. During the inventory process, you can identify any of these discrepancies quickly and take them off the asset tracking system. This allows you to have a more accurate representation of what assets you have on hand.
- Plan maintenance: Knowing the useful life of everything you own will easily allow you to track asset performance and schedule any necessary upkeep procedures. This allows you to implement preventative measures that keep these valuable business assets running longer, and allow you to use them longer. Additionally, there will likely be no disruptions of service or asset downtime if it breaks down when you need it most.
- Save money: If the system is not organized, it could mean losing money in the long run. Some assets are sure to fall through the cracks if you are inputting information by hand into your laptop. You will also save on maintenance costs through easy service management planning. Business owners see a faster ROI with dedicated end-to-end software solutions.
- Quick reports: A system will allow you to compile quick and accurate reports and audits. This also takes the burden off the administrative duties of your employees, saving time and avoiding human error.
Types of Asset Management Systems
Every organization will manage its assets differently since every organization has its own unique needs. This means the systems they use will vary. Which one is best for your business? Below is a list of the most common types of asset management systems to help you decide which is closest to your business’s needs.
FIXED ASSET MANAGEMENT
Fixed assets are those items used to generate income. Typically they remain in the place they are installed, such as plumbing, equipment, machinery, etc. They go under property, plant, and equipment (PP&E) on the balance sheet. These items require asset tracking since they require preventative maintenance and produce data for the business.
For these reasons, they should be monitored regularly to ensure they are running optimally. If possible, a fixed asset inventory would be helpful to conduct regularly. Asset management systems can:
- Provide information on who was using each item and when, and any actions taken
- Help schedule preventative maintenance and work orders
- Include information on each item’s useful life, including disposal costs and instructions
- Provide real-time data on items in different locations
- Keep track of the depreciation of each asset
- Provide a record of each items purchase or creation date, and whether it was lost, stolen, recycled, or retired
- Allow you to plan business decisions based on the items you currently have and their expected useful life. For instance, will you need new heavy equipment financing to replace a backhoe or bulldozer that is nearing the end of its useful life? Knowing in advance allows for more informed planning
DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT (DAM)
A digital asset management system organizes, processes, and stores digital media and content. It focuses on the security of the system by heavily maintaining access controls to things like meeting records, intellectual property, and building plans. This ensures this data does not need to be stored in multiple locations.
Some other key features of a DAM system include:
- Centralize and organize your digital assets in a single, easy-to-access library
- Automate file routing, match functionality to user roles, and personalize interfaces
- Support multiple formats
- Integrations of third-party tools like social networks, content management systems, and cloud-based platforms
- File transfer capacity by easily sharing your large files
IT ASSET MANAGEMENT (ITAM)
ITAM systems manage the hardware and software of a business, including things like computers, routers, software subscriptions (SaaS), patents, network infrastructure, software licenses, and any other IT equipment.
A dedicated ITAM system allows you to:
- Provide security to your IT assets, including secure messaging and video meetings
- Store, retrieve, organize, and share information online and on-premises
- Store digital files on hard drives and then back them up in the cloud
- Track and update IT assets
- Find and delete duplicate files
- Eliminate viruses
- Reflects changes made across multiple platforms
ENTERPRISE ASSET MANAGEMENT (EAM)
EAM systems combine software, systems, and services used to maintain and control operational physical assets or infrastructure. A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can be a part of EAM systems.
Some features of an EAM include:
- A CMMS to indicate asset location, needs, when it needs maintenance, and who should perform it
- Ensuring warranty compliance and neutralizing problems before they stop production
- Asset monitoring based on AI aggregated data to produce few and more accurate alerts
- Reliance on historical and real-time data from IoT devices, analytics, and diagnostics to maximize and optimize assets to their highest potential use
- Consolidation of all systems into one system that will manage all assets of an organization
FINANCIAL ASSET MANAGEMENT
Financial asset management is the process of developing an investment strategy, procuring financial assets, controlling budget and costs, and handling cash, real estate holdings, bonds, and stocks. This is the more traditional asset management system that most businesses have come to know.
Typically companies will hire financial asset management companies like BlackRock or Goldman Sachs. However, some will also hire their financial managers. Financial managers look to maximize profits over the long run while avoiding risk. They will track the rates of the market, fulfill tax responsibilities that come with financial assets, and be in charge of liabilities like debt and interest payments.
INFRASTRUCTURE ASSET MANAGEMENT
Lastly, infrastructure asset management is a set of strategies that help maintain, update, and remove public infrastructure like water treatment facilities, utility grids, bridges, sewer lines, roads, and railways. The goal of those organizations involved in these systems is to find the most efficient, safe, economic, and environmentally sound methods of fixing or replacing these items for the civil and national government.
Asset Management Software
Now that you have a good idea of what an asset management system is and the varying types, you can find the right asset management tool to suit your needs. Asset management software is any software system that is used to record and monitor assets throughout their entire life cycles.
Records start with the procurement of new assets and are then used to track assets till their disposal at the end of their useful life. With asset management software, you will be able to find the location of your assets, who has used/is using them, what they are being used for, and any more asset lifecycle management details.
This software is available through one platform that often extends from the web and mobile apps.
BEST ASSET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Here are some of our recommendations for the best asset management software out there. We’ve categorized them based on what type of asset management they are best suited for. While these are our favorites, feel free to explore and find the best solution for you and your business!
Fixed Asset Management
Asset Panda is a fixed asset tracking software that not only tracks your assets but also provides you insights about your assets. The software allows you to create custom asset fields in case you have different users with different levels of access. There is a mobile app available for both iOS and Android users. Asset Panda also has an in-built barcode scanner for easy inventory management, allowing you to track your assets over their entire lifecycle.
UpKeep is another quality fixed asset management system. This software updates you on information involving each asset’s life cycle, history, and any other crucial information. Compatible with both iOS and Android mobile and desktop interfaces, you will be able to access real-time data to make informed decisions for your business. There are also advanced analytics tools, and you will be getting notifications regarding when and how many assets you will need to maintain target inventories.
Digital Asset Management
Bynder has a clean interface allowing cloud-based digital asset management. You can store all your brand and campaign assets in one location, to be accessed by anyone in the world with access permissions. File searching is simplified, and ideal security with two-factor authentication.
IT Asset Management
Ivanti IT Asset Management Suite belongs to a larger network of management applications. It specializes in a wide variety of custom reporting with many helpful features. It is ideal for larger businesses that are operated by a dedicated IT team. Ivanti features both mobile and desktop workspaces, with a user-friendly interface. Ivanti also has some financial asset management features.
Enterprise Asset Management
eMaint CMMS offers various pricing levels including enterprise-level asset management. eMaint is cloud-based software that allows for monitoring, capturing, storing, and sharing historical asset performance data. With this software solution, your business can focus on things like work order management, optimizing workflows, tracking inventory and spare parts, and scheduling and automating preventive and predictive maintenance.
From the Kitchen Sink to a Dedicated, Streamlined Approach
So there you have it. An asset management system is the system a business uses to manage its assets. Using such a system can easily replace the old kitchen sink approach which can lead to lost or misplaced assets. Therefore, keeping an organized, dedicated system that all employees can access will allow for fewer losses, better maintenance planning, simpler reporting, efficiency, and overall more robust asset life cycles.
The system you choose could be for fixed, digital, IT, enterprise, financial, or infrastructure assets. Whichever system you settle on should be the one that works best for organizing your business and fulfilling your organizational goals.If You Like Please Share It: