Six Practical Tips For Small Businesses Looking For Asset Management Solutions
Your six practical tips below before you decide on your next asset management software
(In theory an SME business is any business that employs less than 250 people, but in practice small businesses in the UK employ about 20 people and turnover anywhere between £1 to £5 million)
1. Consider if you need asset audits as a service from your asset management software supplier
2. Get an asset management system that takes care of fixed and IT assets (it should include some form of tracking – RFID, barcode or GPS)
3. Involve all users including management right from the start to ensure you get a good adoption of the asset management software
4. An out-of-the-box configurable software is more suitable unless you are in a niche industry which requires software customisation
5. Choose a supplier who will value your business
6. Get clear idea on implementation before you commit.
#1. Consider if you need asset audits as a service from your asset management software supplier
Even if your business does not have a regulatory need to audit assets, most businesses benefit from a thorough asset audit once every six to twelve months. Auditing assets is even more important for a small business because finding asset auditing experience can be hard. So consider this option up front.
#2. Get an asset management system that takes care of Fixed and IT Assets (it should include some form of tracking – RFID, Barcode or GPS)
In the asset management solutions market you will find that some suppliers focus on fixed asset management and some on IT asset management. For a small business a more profitable approach is to choose an asset management system that allows you to manage fixed and IT assets, along with basic asset tracking capabilities. This will enable you to get more return from your investment but also ensure that you have more visibility and control over most of your assets.
#3. Involve all users including management right from the start to ensure you get a good adoption of the asset management software
A software that looks good may not be the one that gets used. It is critically important to involve all of your asset management software users right from the start. Most asset management systems have a good user interface – but your users are the best judge. Watch video on how to shortlist and compare asset management software.
Don’t cut corners here, as a full user adoption is very important to the successful management of your assets. Try to involve users during the search, shortlist and demo stages of your software selection.
#4. An out-of-the-box configurable software is more suitable unless you are in a niche industry which requires software customisation
Asset management systems come with various configurable and customisable options.
Configuration means changing field names and making minor tweaks like getting the right reports in place.
Customisation is deeper; it may involve adding small software features to incorporate your workflows in the asset management system. Where possible try to stick to standard software with almost no customisation, as for a small business this is most cost effective. Jumping from spreadsheets to a heavily customised solution can be a huge and time-consuming undertaking!
There are cases where customisation will save you significant overheads and in some cases even give you competitive advantage. Customisation comes at a higher cost and should only be considered if the return and the rewards are clear and tested.
#5. Choose an asset management system supplier who will value your business
From a supplier relationship perspective, choose an asset management software supplier who will value your business. Most companies have good account management protocols, however protocol is one thing and genuine care is another. Push hard for the small business references from your potential asset software suppliers to see if the supplier really cares.
#6. Get a clear idea on implementation before committing to the purchase
Implementation not only means putting data into the software but understanding how your current workflows are going to be adapted in the software. Think about data duplication, user rights, field names, reporting… the list goes on! Before you sign on the dotted line, try to ensure you have a good understanding of the implementation plan. Where possible free trials and evaluation licences should be used to test out the implementation.
Even after training your users will require asset management system support. It is best to get support statistics from the supplier before you sign the deal. Support will make a big difference to your asset management success so get an agreement in advance on support response times.
Ongoing costs such as additional users, cloud storage limits, support limits, training limits, new locations, customisation costs can be hidden. Get clarity on all the possible future costs before you sign the deal.
Every Success for Awesome Asset Management.