What is a Fixed Asset?

fixed asset is an item used by an organization to create income. It always remains its installed position. Fixed assets may be more familiar to you under the name of capital assets They are also referred to as PP&E, or “property, plant, and equipment.” 

Examples of fixed assets include air conditioning systems, buildings, natural resources, conveyor belt equipment, and land. These are not projected to undergo consumption or sale within the following year. 

Some fixed assets are also intangible and can include intellectual property, as well as such growth-oriented investments as mutual funds and stocks. Physical assets, except perhaps for land, suffer from depreciation, but usually not as quickly as movable assets. 

A movable asset, on the other hand, generally has a shorter life cycle. Examples include objects like office furniture, nails for construction, day spa equipment, and books. Both movable and fixed assets can be tagged and evaluated.

Why Facilities Inventory Asset Management Matters

Within any organization, furniture inventory asset management represents a large investment and must be managed with efficiency. The typical corporate environment outfitted with office furnishings like chairs, desks, filing cabinets, credenzas and conference tables and equipped with a facilities management team. Factories, hotels, hospitals, medical offices, government offices, schools, and universities also spend countless dollars to furnish their premises.

Every year, these institutions lose thousands to millions of dollars per establishment simply because they are not accurately tracking and measuring their assets, such as supplies, computers, and high-value lab equipment.

Well-run organizations have a pool of equipment that can be used by multiple departments or divisions. Further, they want to leverage high-value capital equipment across organizations, even though they might reside in a specific area. Equipment managers, with their myriad of responsibilities, face challenges tracking the lending out of equipment. 

Some organizations store their excess furniture inventory in spare offices or conference rooms, which isn’t a terribly efficient or professional way to utilize office space. While facilities managers might fear losing track of items placed in a storage facility or warehouse, a furniture inventory asset management system assigns a unique barcode to each piece of furniture. At any time of day, facilities managers have access to all of the information they need about the whereabouts and condition of these items.

More Issues from Improper Asset Tracking

In addition to financial concerns, a plethora of other issues arise when laboratories, and universities don’t maintain solid records of their assets. The following issues could easily be rectified with a robust asset tracking system in place at these institutions:

a) Without software to track and manage assets, schools, colleges, and universities are only left with the option of manually recording and handling inventory using spreadsheets or even regular text documents. Unfortunately, manual asset tracking results in a decrease in both productivity and efficiency across the entire establishment. For example, manually entering and tracking assets uses up lots of time, as does doing audits by hand instead of automating them with asset software. Such time could be saved and put to better use in advancing the laboratory institution’s goals and needs if employees were freed up from manual asset management.

b)As previously mentioned, not tracking assets with a flexible management system often results in items going missing, or being lost entirely. Even with a good emergency or backup fund in place, many educational institutions don’t have enough money to cover replacements for all their missing assets (especially when those numbers reach as high as $350,000 per laboratory).

c) Both decreased productivity and cost increases can combine to create the additional issue of operational setbacks. For example, any error in manual tracking can lead to confusion about who last touched or used a particular asset, which can then lead to the asset going missing entirely. Labs must then figure out how to make do without that asset until it’s replaced (if it ever is).

d) One of the biggest issues which arises for schools without reliable asset management technology is a lack of accountability. Without asset tracking software that can easily be updated and accessed across the entire institution’s leadership and staff, how are any of them to know who was last in charge of or touched each asset?

Access all the information you need using SmartX Fixed Asset Tracking Software

SmartX HUb Check-in/Check-out system for test and measurement equipment offers a simple, automated system to address these challenges. The system quickly and accurately accounts for checked out equipment by not only reading all the tagged equipment placed on the checkout counter, but also allowing for additional details to be provided at the time of checking out. Additional details could include project and experiment related information. Check-in process is similarly automated.

Organizations need to keep organized, real-time records of their furniture inventory for several reasons, including:

  • Simply knowing what you have and where it’s located allows you to make more informed decisions about your needs. This includes not just inventory in your office, but also the furniture you may be storing in an off-site warehouse. With this knowledge in hand, you can utilize your existing inventory instead of purchasing new items when they’re not needed.
  • Acquiring total control over the depreciation and maintenance events of assets offers strategic planning of asset utilization.
  • You can create work orders for items that require repairs and track their status.
  • A furniture inventory asset management platform enables facilities managers to generate and share reports for planning and budgeting purposes.
  • These systems make asset check-in and check-out easy and can be set up to require an electronic signature for additional accountability.
  • Real-time asset management reduces theft and loss.
  • Increased asset visibility is gained with the ability to easily access critical information including asset location, usage history, depreciation value, custodian, etc.
  • You can track all pertinent details associated with any furniture asset – for example, its warranty – so you don’t have to spend time hunting down this information, or where you purchased a particular item in the event you have a question for the seller.
  • Due dates, maintenance schedules, and owners. Use RFID or barcode scanning to instantly view all the information about specific leased equipment. Assign assets to specific customers for easier tracking and monitoring.
  • Better furniture inventory asset management allows you to maximize your investments and extend their useful lives.

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