Asset management software: the one tool every MAT should have

Schools have an enormous number of things to keep track of – not least the huge number of assets they have.

Martin Holyoak

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As schools are publicly funded and have limited resources, it’s so important to keep track of these assets – however difficult this may be. Whether it’s your school premises, tools or education resources, everything that your school or trust owns needs to be logged and tracked, or it’s impossible to make informed financial decisions.

This includes your intangible assets, which can be difficult to manage by hand.

Tangible vs intangible – what’s the difference?

Every organisation – including schools – have intangible assets. These are all the assets that are left over once you take the physical assets, such as furniture, out of the equation.

For example, your supplier contracts are an important intangible asset. You need to know the value of these and the agreements you have committed to. It’s also just as important to monitor the end date of these contracts so you can renew them in time.

Asset management software can do this for you – but it’s not the only thing it can do!

What does asset management software do?

Simply put, asset management software can act as a very knowledgeable and efficient team of staff across multiple locations (at a much cheaper cost!) It can automate and simplify all the little asset management jobs that you wish you could fob off onto a dedicated member of staff. Obviously, schools have precious little administrative staff, so this level of automation can prove invaluable.

Compliance, maintenance and repairs

Effective asset management solutions can be set up to check assets for statutory compliance.

For example, your school boiler system and air conditioning need to be checked on a regular basis to meet HVAC regulation. As these dates get closer, your asset management system can automatically contact key stakeholders and maintenance staff to ensure that these checks are performed on time.

Just as important is checking essential assets for routine maintenance and repair. With an automated system, this is as easy as inputting a maintenance date and stakeholder.

Depreciation and asset lifecycles

Over time, your once valuable scientific equipment is going to lose its value to depreciation, whether through wear and tear or because of new advances making it obsolete. But at what point do you replace it?

That’s why it’s important to track asset depreciation over time. It enables you to make an informed financial decision when budget time rolls around, and helps you answer the all-important question: what do I replace, and why?

This means you can plan your budgets with financial insight, both now and for the future. However, if you don’t know what you have, it’s difficult to plan ahead!

Why can’t I just do it manually?

If you wanted to perform the function of asset management software yourself, you’d find it an impossible task. Aside from the endless paperwork and filing you’d have to complete, you’d also need a team member across every location constantly monitoring your assets and updating your records.

This makes asset management software an essential tool for a modern multi-academy trust. Cloud-based solutions trivialise the issue of multi-site asset management, as your asset data is instantly updated across all locations and users. This also enables powerful cross-site analysis and reporting.

How do I find the best software?

There are a few solutions available, but most don’t offer good value for money. There are a host of processes that asset management software can take over for you.

Firstly, you should shy away from any software that doesn’t include a cloud-based, device-agnostic portal, as this can make it difficult to use.

Next, look for solutions that are built around simple, easy-to-manage processes. For example, with IRIS Assets, you can tag assets with stickers and scan them in with your phone, instantly adding them to your asset database.

Finally, you should look for flexible solutions with plenty of value-added features. Examples include PS Asset’s powerful reporting functionality and integrated helpdesk, which helps staff to solve their own issues at their root cause. You can also upload and associate any data with your assets, including videos and PDFs. If, for example, you wanted to include user documentation, contracts and guides with your assets, this makes it easy.

If you’d like to see a powerful asset management system in use, you can always contact the IRIS Assets team for a free demonstration.

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