Many software systems built for asset management provide counting mechanisms, product threshold floors, item descriptions, item statuses, and locations. But those same software systems don’t provide much else. The data sits there, and is not used in any meaningful way. When it comes to agency procurement, reports are inevitable. They are needed for many purposes, mainly meetings between administration, with council, even in public hearings. And from that standpoint, if you can keep accurate reports on the stuff your agency buys, it leads to the suggestion that you must not keep accurate reports on anything outside your department. A lack of data interpretation can be a real problem for any agency.
Types of Reports
Asset management software should provide, at minimum, the following types of reports:
- Inventory Listing – a standardized report that list each type of product held by the agency, with quantity, amount stored, amount assigned, and amount damaged/in repair.
- Personnel Inventory Report – a report that lists personnel with all items assigned to them, with item cost, time assigned, replacement dates, and additional costs for each item (repairs, service, etc.).
- General Finance Report – a report that shows FY costs, dating back five years, with the ability to archive older reports. These reports should have breakdowns by item, service, parts, warranty claims, rebates, and additional categories related to costs that can implemented on demand.
- Transaction Histories – a report that shows the movement of items. This is a report that shouldn’t be printed, but has filter selections, so that items that have lots of transactions can be focused on, so that additional inspection criteria can be enacted and targeted.
- Maintenance Costs – a report that summarizes the total cost of maintenance (to include your agency’s labor), showing parts, fees, shipping costs, and any other costs generated from equipment breaking down.
- Surplus Items – a report that shows items that have been disposed of as surplus for the year, along with items that will qualify as such over the next 12 months, with their original costs, additional costs over their lifetime, and anticipated value in surplus/auction sales.
- Cost Accounting – a report that shows the total costs in each product category, charting increases or decreases (hey, it could happen!) of pricing, as well as indexing of increased maintenance costs to each product category.
- Maintenance/Repair/Warranty Report – a report that shows the overall picture of maintenance needed to keep items in service, including repair costs, broken down to labor, parts, and other costs, and warranty information for listed items, including any recall data.
- Activity Log – A report that shows all activity by each person who has access to the asset management system, whether they are a user, administrator, or anywhere in between
Each of these reports solves problems that your agency is facing on daily basis. Accountability is the paramount expectation when it comes to your agency’s use of tax-funded resources. If your asset management software is not treating your mission as accountability focused, then it doesn’t have your best interests in mind. And it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens that causes mistrust in the ranks, at the council offices, or in public.
Asset management software must treat your equipment in the same regard as your evidence management software, that it’s accounted for every step of the way, and the documentation backs up the story.
Be safe out there!