This is the first in a series of articles about setting up and running an IT Asset Management System. This article will focus on a Catalog of Assets. The catalog serves as a framework for other areas of your system as well as a quick reference for all of the assets you need to track.
You can use products such as Excel to create a basic system. For a more inclusive system you may want to use database software such as Access. There are also a host of commercial software packages out there to choose from.
Catalog of Assets
Creating a catalog of your assets is the first step in setting up your system. At a minimum your asset catalog should include:
- Item Description
- Internal Part Number
- Quantity On-Hand
Other elements add usage and versatility to your catalog that can be used in other areas. Some of these include:
- Vendor (Contact information)
- Vendor Part Number
- Minimum On-Hand Quantity
- Customers (who uses this item)
- Current Price
- Purchase Order Information
- Warranty Information (length, RMA process)
- Quantity in Production (in use)
- Quantity on Order
- Quantity at Repair
- Quantity at a Staging Partner
The list of data can be endless. These are just some ideas.
To get started grab a pen and paper and write down what you want to track. This is a brainstorming session so write down whatever comes to mind. You will be surprised and the ideas you can come up with. Review your current system and see what elements need to be added or improved on. Go over your paperwork such as purchase orders, vendor return sheets, inventory sheets, vendor information sheets and product information sheets. See if others will use this data and get their input.
Once you have a good idea of what you want to include you are ready to setup your software. If you are looking for samples try the Microsoft Office Online Templates site. Even if you do not use one of the templates you may get some good ideas or find one you can customize to your needs.