Asset tracking software is a powerful asset for modern businesses, but did you know it can help simplify a company structure? Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here and how companies are applying technology.
What Is An Asset?
What is an asset? Most people will agree that physical locations are assets, but do employees fall into this category? How about blog posts, analytics data, or an employee’s friendship with an overseas supplier?
It’s easy to say that an asset is something valuable that a company owns, but when you start looking in more detail, it can be tough to decide what falls into the category and what doesn’t.
Traditionally, assets are things that appear on a company’s balance sheet, usually itemized and with their specific values listed. These assets appear with their historical cost, not any additional value they may have acquired after purchase.
Realistically, though, a company can have many things of value – that is, things it can draw upon to improve its profits somehow – even if they don’t fall into the traditional definition of an asset.
That’s where comprehensive asset tracking software enters the picture.
What Is Asset Tracking Software?
Asset tracking software is a technology that helps businesses keep track of both physical and non-physical assets. That includes traditional things like bank accounts and inventory, but also less-obvious elements like software licenses allowing a company to prove it has the right to use a certain technology.
This is especially important with the growth of the software as a service principle. While companies still produce some personal code, others may use dozens of external services as needed. These services may all have different terms and licenses, so asset tracking software can help with things like alerting a company when it’s at risk of a license expiring.
In short, asset tracking software can help your company understand what you have, where it is, who has access to it, and how valuable it is. Having a centralized database of assets also makes accounting and tax reporting easier.
Asset Tracking and Company Structure
The company structure isn’t the first thing that most people think of when they’re discussing asset ownership. After all, does buying an asset management system make companies want to restructure their teams or change how managers act?
Many companies have inefficient structures where assets are distributed poorly across different teams. Asset tracking software can help identify cases where this occurs and let companies know when it’s time to consolidate things and simplify their overall structure.
Chaotic structures tend to develop over time at companies as they grow into medium or large businesses. This is particularly true in organizations with corporate cultures where middle managers try to guard their team’s assets to help ensure they remain relevant to the company.
The effects of these behaviours aren’t always clear to a company. However, when you take a step back and look at how things develop over time, fiefdoms within a company can lead to bloated employee rosters, higher costs, and general inefficiency as teams have to spend more time acquiring the assets they need for their particular job.
Ultimately, good asset tracking comes down to a single question: Does everyone have what they need? If the answer is no, somebody needs to find out why and make adjustments. In many cases, and especially so at larger companies, the correct answer is consolidating teams and simplifying the company structure.
A critical part of implementing asset tracking software is creating an asset inventory. A comprehensive inventory assessment includes everything the company has, up to and including software that individual teams have acquired on their own.
Maintaining this inventory is just as important. Once you start using asset tracking software, everyone should know that new assets need to go into the system so you can keep monitoring them. Otherwise, you’ll start to get more inefficiencies, and that’s what proper tracking tries to avoid.
On a less-obvious level, asset tracking software can help companies manage security needs. This includes knowing which software is vital to company operations and which are merely helpful. However, it also includes tracking who has access to critical systems.
Risk management is another way asset tracking software can push companies to simplify things. If too many people have access to sensitive material and there’s no justification for it, modifying the company structure to exclude them can reduce attack vectors.
Regular businesses don’t need to worry too much about this, but if a company owns any valuable assets or intellectual property, having a comprehensive understanding of potential security risks can be the difference between protecting the company or having it fail outright.
Asset Tracking Software Matters
In summary, asset tracking software is an essential part of many modern businesses, and it gets increasingly valuable as companies grow. Between minimizing corporate risks and improving team efficiency, asset tracking software can help streamline company structures and improve your bottom line.