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Working from Home and Asset Management

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Asset management and tracking can be challenging even for small businesses. But maintaining knowledge of business assets, what they are, where they are and what condition they are in is essential. Many people are now working from home using laptops and other physical IT assets, making the asset tracking challenge faced by IT departments and businesses even more demanding.

Working from Home is the New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways in which people work and interact. Many more people are now working from home, using video conferencing tools to interact with colleagues and team mates. The expectation is that these changes are likely to remain in place with some people perhaps returning to part-time office working but continuing to work from home as much as they can.

These changes present some significant IT challenges. For example, the installation of unauthorised applications or unlicensed software which can potentially put business networks at risk. While this is unlikely to have happened in a well managed office environment the risk from home office environments is far greater.

Physical Asset Tracking

Physical assets are the capital or fixed assets used to carry out everyday business. In the past manual, pen and paper techniques were used to keep track of movable, physical assets. Staff would be required to sign a piece of equipment out if they needed to take it away and would then sign it back in again when they returned it. Pen and paper logging of physical asset movements gave way to computer based systems which basically did the same thing.

These old, inefficient and ineffective systems have, for many businesses, been replaced by technology based asset tracking systems. These include barcodes, RFID (radio frequency identification) tags and GPS tags.

Many businesses, especially smaller businesses without dedicated IT teams, continue to use old-school spreadsheet based manual asset tracking techniques. But when managing many hundreds or even thousands of physical assets these old, ineffective asset management systems can result in poor asset utilisation and inefficiency.

Key Benefits of Effective Asset Tracking

Effective physical asset tracking provides businesses, large and small, with some significant advantages.

Asset tracking and management can reduce the cost of assets needed to support required business activity. Assets are allocated where they are needed and aren’t under-utilised resulting in a reduction in the need for new assets and therefore a cost saving.

Physical asset tracking will naturally deter theft. Valuable assets that are being monitored and tracked are far less likely to be stolen as the visible tracking labels make it clear that someone is always watching.

Asset management ensures that the condition of physical assets is closely monitored so the need for repair or upgrade is recognised in a timely manner. Ensuring that all physical assets are able to do what a business requires of them is an important aspect of asset management. Faulty or out of date assets will have a negative impact on business processes.

Asset Labeling and Security

Applying asset tracking labels to physical assets deters theft and enables items to be identified and possibly returned if they are stolen. UK police forces recommend that valuable assets are security marked - and this is especially important for portable physical business assets such as laptops.

asset marking and security labels
Asset Marking and Security Labels

 

If you or your people are now working from home using business laptops are these valuable assets managed effectively? Are all of your businesses portable physical assets labeled and security marked? Do you know the whereabouts and condition of all of your business assets?

If you would like to learn more about asset labeling and security marking please give us a call on 01273 475500. We are always happy to help.

This message was added on Friday 18th September 2020

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