Asset Management is a method for keeping track of an organization's assets. This includes various types of assets, ranging from IT hardware like phones and computers, to digital assets such as software licenses and promotional materials, to non-technology assets like office chairs. Depending on the chair; some of those newer models are pretty hi-tech.
Regardless, IT asset management tools are essential for tracking the items that your organization has put money into. This ensures that those assets are being used to their fullest potential, maintained as necessary, and that someone will notice if a dozen laptops suddenly disappear. Asset management tools also let you plan for the inevitable obsolescence of technology, and budget accordingly.
The word "asset" should never be abbreviated with only its first three letters, not only because it leads to jokes inappropriate for the workplace, but also because there are too many other words it could stand for. This is why the Assorted Assets Association was disbanded.
It may be tempting for your organization to attach a short metal chain physically tethering all assets to your desk, like banks do with their pens, but most organizations prefer more flexible asset management tools, such as spreadsheets.
An Asset Management spreadsheet provides a central place to keep track of computers, office equipment, and anything else that is owned or maintained by the company. If the company paid money for it, the company should also pay attention to it. This spreadsheet template is essentially an IT asset management tool that tracks and organizes the status of all company assets. (Not including the people, who HR managers often claim are any company's most valuable asset. But have you seen the price of MRI machines?)
Link assets to rows in the Vendors worksheet to track where each asset was purchased from. The Vendors worksheet then allows you to monitor total asset spend and amount written off. Assets can even be linked to employee rows in a different workbook, to track who is using each item.
This asset management template allows you to assign a unique Asset ID to each asset, attaching a Photo for easy identification. Then you simply input the Product type, Price, Purchase Date, and Vendor. By linking each Asset to a row in the Vendors worksheet, you can quickly see how much money you're spending at each vendor, and what you've gotten for it.
Most importantly, each asset also has a selectable Status tag, allowing you to specify whether the asset is currently in use, available for use, out for repair, broken/unfixable, lost/stolen, requested for purchase, or already ordered. Use the top-left drop-down to view assets by status, such as all purchase requests or all retired assets.
The Total Assets listing at the top of the form gives you the total value of all of your assets, while the Subtotal will tally the assets in your current view. Employees who require new/updated assets can use the Purchase Request Form to easily log their requests.
Your company has spent money on these assets, so it behooves you to keep good track of them. Sloppy bookkeeping leads to misplaced, lost, or stolen assets. Misplaced assets lead to unnecessary increased costs for the company. Increased costs lead to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. Maybe if the Jedi had a good IT asset management tool, they wouldn't lose track of those lightsabers.
If your organization has valuable assets, generally that's because your team has a need for those assets. Your goal is for every needed asset to be present, and no unneeded asset to be purchased. But it's hard to accomplish this goal if you don't have a system for tracking all company assets. You may be counting on the availability of some office chairs that broke during last year's jousting tournament. Or you may end up purchasing new laptops when you already have five new laptops in storage that you purchased last month. An accurate overview of your holdings ensures that your team has the assets they need, and that company funds aren't wasted on assets they don't.
We like to think that buying something instead of renting it means that we own it forever, but when it comes to technological assets, there's no such thing as forever. Chairs break, smartphones get lost or screens get cracked, laptops either stop running or simply become obsolete. Technology is always on a clock. (Although ironically, clocks tend to hold up fairly well.) Those assets will need to be replaced, and it probably won't be free. Having advance notice of necessary replacements by tracking the purchase date and lifecycle of all assets will make sure that those costs don't come as an unpleasant surprise, just an unpleasant fact.
Anyone with valuable assets that they don't want to disappear or be double bought.
Software asset management tools are used by companies who need to purchase licenses for professional software.
Digital asset management tools are used by organizations that purchase digital assets that might be reused.
And general asset management tools are used by any companies who purchase valuable assets for their staff to use.