Guest post by Lisa Michaels
Is your company bleeding money? Are you experiencing losses due to waste or insufficient product to meet demand? These are common issues with many companies, regardless of size.
Fortunately, the solutions to problems with liquidity, inventory management, and cash flow can be solved through analysis and putting a few simple asset management measures into place.
Why Tracking Your Assets Is Important
For a modern business to remain competitive and viable, it’s important that it tracks and protects its assets.
Streamlining your company’s core operations and implementing current technologies will lower administrative costs, improve operational efficiency, and reduce the cost of doing business.
The more nimble and efficient your company is, the more scalable you are.
You’ll also improve customer service and deliverability. That’s the reason you got into business in the first place, right?
In addition to helping your business operate with greater efficiency, you’ll ensure that your business has stock on hand during peak sales seasons and reduce waste or redundancy.
Let’s not neglect security and accountability.
Through intelligent asset tracking/management, you’ll be able to identify and mitigate issues before they become major problems. You’ll also save a lot of time, money, and hassle while ensuring compliance.
Asset tracking and management for your business isn’t that much different from knowing the state of your personal finances. It’s just a little more complicated.
By following asset tracking and control best practices—in addition to deploying the right technology—you’ll always know exactly what you have, what it’s worth, and how best to use your assets.
Know What You Have and What It’s Worth
No business can function for long without knowing what assets it has and what they’re worth. Some of the biggest asset tracking mistakes include too many types of storage or a lack of centralization, lack of oversight, lack of training, and simple human error.
Two of your biggest assets are data and the people who control it. Is your information stored in hundreds of files, dozens of devices, and accessible to everyone?
Cloud-based storage allows you to store all of the data you need to power your business and serve your customers. It makes information accessible to those who need it while preventing data breaches or leaks that can bankrupt your company and ruin your reputation.
Keeping all of your systems up-to-date will also prevent losses and limit unnecessary downtime.
Inventory management systems will let you and all essential staff know what you have on hand and where it’s located. This will prevent theft, mitigate risk, and make sure you have adequate inventory on hand when you need it most.
The most current take care of stock rotation and automate restocking so your staff can focus on their jobs.
Minimize Depreciating Assets
Favorable business valuation goes beyond just making you look good on paper. It can make or break your company when it comes to mergers, acquisitions, and financing.
You want to grow your business and provide solid financial information to investors and the public.
Limit the number of depreciable assets like hardware, equipment, and vehicles. Purchase items that don’t depreciate as quickly and consider leasing assets that lose value.
Having too much stock on hand is another way companies lose value. Old stock is harder to sell, and having a warehouse bursting with products that sit and collect dust does nothing for your bank balance and cash flow.
Too little stock on hand limits your ability to serve customers.
The idea is to minimize cost and maximize profits.
To that end, you want to eliminate anything that hasn’t moved within a few months.
Reduce the amount of inventory you have on hand, know when to buy and when to lease, and keep your technology current.
Leave the Heavy Lifting to Technology
Even a small business has a lot of moving parts. You may think that you have a handle on everything when you launch, but tools and equipment have a way of getting lost in the shuffle, and lack of solid accounting can lead to chaos.
This is an area where technology provides the most benefits. Modern software and applications are powered by AI, which makes automation almost effortless.
Most inventory and production control systems are operable from a user-friendly dashboard and provide real-time information about inventory, sales, production issues, and logistics.
The systems can be tailored to allow access to those who need it while keeping end-points and assets secure.
Speaking of security, the same technologies will let you keep an eye on your warehouses, offices, construction sites, or manufacturing plants when you can’t be there and keep employees accountable.
The most common asset protection and management technologies include:
- CCTV and security monitoring
- VPNs and private servers
- Inventory control software
- Access control systems
- Radio frequency (RF) and infrared (IR) technology
In other words, using a dedicated software solution makes life easier for business owners and other decision-makers.
Know When to Buy and When to Lease
In your eagerness to have your office or production facility outfitted with the best and latest equipment, don’t make the mistake of rendering your company cash-poor by going on a buying spree.
There are some advantages to buying equipment, but you’re also taking on liability and running the risk of losing value.
Consider leasing equipment that you don’t use regularly and systems that are most likely to quickly become obsolete.
These include heavy equipment, telecommunications, and hardware.
Leasing also allows you to always have the latest technology, and many rental contracts include servicing and maintenance for a low fee. This is definitely preferable to paying out of pocket if your printer or assembly line shuts down.
Make sure that you can back up the promise of your marketing campaign by making sure that your assets and inventory are protected and available when you need them.
Following the above best practices won’t guarantee liquidity or perfection. But, taking them into account will improve efficiency and improve cash flow.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.