Why Inventory Management Matters
As a business, you continually purchase equipment, software, tools, services, and other technology assets. With so many assets to worry about, things can quickly become overwhelming to track. Your inventory is growing alongside your business, and you might decide that neglecting the need to track your assets is easier. However, avoiding your mountain of assets isn’t going to make them organize themselves.
Taking that first step towards keeping track of your assets can have a major impact on the overall success of your business. While most legacy Telecom Expense Management (TEM) providers solely focus on billing discrepancies and saving you money by managing disputes for you, there are some providers that bring your savings to another level. While billing discrepancies and contract negotiation are key elements of providing effective TEM services, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Getting on the right track towards that next level of savings includes maintaining an accurate inventory. By getting a better understanding of your assets, you can figure out exactly what kind of assets your company really needs. What kind of assets are most important for your business, and which assets you haven’t used in years but continue to pay for. Being aware of what you own can give you a clearer picture of what is benefiting your business, what you have too much of, what you don’t have enough of, and what you simply aren’t using.
In order to effectively manage an accurate inventory, you must first understand that in many ways, everything can be considered an asset. By treating everything as an asset and incorporating everything your business makes use of into an inventory, you can quickly discover what’s working and what isn’t. And by organizing everything into a well-maintained database, you won’t have to worry about where things are. You can find what you need and identify what you don’t.
Fixed assets include anything that appears on a bill or customer service record (CSR) as physical equipment or hardware. Typically they are those which you purchase for the long-run; the hardware assets you can use and reuse over and over again. Since they typically represent a significant chunk of your investments, it’s useful to keep track of them so that you aren’t wasting money. Fixed and wireline assets can include things like tools, printers, phones, computers, or other similar physical equipment found in the office or in remote locations. Having an accurately managed inventory means being aware of the physical location of fixed and wireline assets, thus knowing when things get lost, broken, stolen, purchased twice, relocated, or just aren’t being used at all. Knowing the state and usage of your assets can help you know exactly when to replace things, when to retire assets, and so forth. Keeping track of each fixed/wireline asset’s line, circuit, model, manufacturer, service, and much more is necessary to maintain an accurate inventory. One of the best ways to keep track of these kinds of assets is by using a TEM software. Good TEM platforms will keep track of an accurate inventory for you, automating most of the tasks at hand. Tracking your fixed/wireline assets allows you to control your assets and lines more accurately, thus avoiding future discrepancies and better lifecycle management.
Wireless (Mobile) Assets
These kinds of assets can include anything appearing on a bill for mobile, such as a wireless line, device, asset, accessory, or even an app. Whether you use one carrier or multiple carriers, you can have all of the data concerning your entire wireless inventory centralized into one platform. Tracking your employees, their mobile devices, and mobile usage, is key to cost savings and optimization. In terms of location, your inventory should track the assigned office for the mobile user of every device (for tax purposes). You’ll need to know exactly who has which devices, and how they’re using it. With Cimpl, your employees can access their personal costs, where they’ll receive a summary of each month’s invoice specific to themselves. This promotes a culture of cost transparency, where employees contribute to savings by being aware of and keeping track of their usage. Individuals can make the necessary changes to avoid overcharges and exceeding their usage limits as everything is made visible. Managers can also verify the accuracy of statements, communicate directly to vendors for reconciliation, and monitor costs. They can track their employees’ mobile activity using the Employee Digital Trail, allowing them to optimize contracts according to employee needs. Last but not least, the automation of chargeback files offers a clearer perspective to IT managers of costs and fees associated with each department’s mobile device usage. Automating these processes helps to save time, avoid common manual errors, and optimize your spend for mobile devices and contracts.
This type of asset includes anything appearing on a bill for an IT service or asset. IT assets generally include things like hardware and software, and managing them promotes the re-harvesting of existing resources as opposed to purchasing new IT assets. You’ll want to track things like the Inventory name, description, account number, type of inventory, and so forth for each IT asset. Knowing the physical location (host for cloud services) of the inventory is also pertinent to effectively tracking IT assets. Cimpl provides many tools to help you manage your IT inventory and supports data exchange with key company systems like IT Service Management (ITSM). Keeping an accurate inventory provides life-cycle management of your IT assets, allowing your business to maintain visibility over hardware and software that are and aren’t being used, thus eliminating the occurrence of unused, misused, and overused assets, or even worse, Shadow IT. Having all of this information located in one unified platform can have long-term benefits on your business.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Managing IoT-related services will be key to keeping track of data and assets, in order to avoid being overwhelmed by having so many things connected to the Internet. In the Internet of Things, everything links and communicates with one another. It’s gaining more importance every day for nearly all types of businesses. Machina Research has estimated that by 2020, 44% of IT budgets are going to be dedicated to IoT development and implementation. Furthermore, Machina Research also showed that the primary reason people are adopting IoT services is due to cost savings, since IoT will allow firms to cut costs and increase revenue through increased production and less human hours. By combining Cimpl’s actionable data analytics with IoT, you can harness your data and assets into one unified, precise system. Understanding your data and the trends within your data is a necessity when it comes to IoT. Keeping all of these services and the data collected by them in an accurately managed inventory can lend your business a hand in reaping the benefits of the IoT without the stress of a data overload.
Trying to manage all of these assets separately and without a properly maintained accurate inventory can be challenging. That’s the whole point of our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – Cimpl. Our software can help you manage everything related to your inventory in one centralized platform. Linking all of your technology assets into one dashboard, configurable reports for a clear view of your ROI, and never paying for an unused asset or service are some of the many advantages of using a TEM vendor like Cimpl. Cimpl’s three brand promises – Save Money, Save Time, and Manage an Accurate Inventory – are the three ingredients to a successful TEM program.
Ready to take control of your assets?