Asset management software finds future in mobile apps
Asset management software is used not just for keeping records. They are used for logging details dynamically and that too in real-time. It is this feature of these software which has made them a near necessity for almost all the manufacturing or even supply chain management. A typical asset management software has come a long way from where it began. While they were used primarily for inventory management earlier, asset management software is now used for managing industry workflows, maintenance schedules, vendor communications, and a lot more.
The next level of advancement in the domain of asset management software’s has happened in terms of asset management app development. These asset management apps have helped firms save upon the hidden deployment and infrastructural costs of a typical asset management software. In addition, the on-the-cloud solutions provided by these asset management apps provide superior security and data fluidity.
In this article, we shall discuss a typical asset management software, the reasons for the now quick shift towards asset management apps and finally, a look at the must-have features in an asset management app.
While we have touched the preliminary points here, let us first discuss what an asset management software is as mentioned in the books.
What is Asset Management Software?
Asset Management is the act of developing, operating, maintaining, upgrading and disposing of assets in the most resource efficient and cost-effective manner An Asset Management Software is the enabler of the same i.e. it is an application tool which is used for recording and tracking an asset throughout its life cycle, starting from procurement until its disposal
A typical asset management software is used for tracking inventories, hardware devices, software solutions etc with their respective life-cycle managements
Why do we need an Asset Management App?
Asset management software has become an integral part of life-cycle management in an organisation. Almost every nook and corner of a firm has some or the other assets which require maintenance at some point in time. Auditing and other aspects need to be dealt with and hence quick documentation and review are needed to.
While software solutions come in handy in such situations, yet there are certain things which lack. It is to fulfill these needs that an Asset Management app is required.It is important to note here that web applications are being used by multiple organisations around the globe. However, accessibility over the internet alone has become a major problem. Plus, the user interface hasn’t been as well.
Error Reduction and Immediate Record Keeping
An asset management app ensures that your firm or specific departments or even individuals are logging information as close to the original actions as possible. A typical asset management app ensures that you do not have to wait till accessing your system so that you could log in the information after logging in to the software solution. It saves you the effort of making notes or writing stuff on a piece of paper and then losing it to be baffled later. While it might seem trivial in writing here, yet this is a common occurrence in our daily lives. We do not have a pen on us all the time and sometimes in the pursuit of a pen or paper, we forget the information itself. While mobile phones have made that easy for us, an asset management app requires you to simply put in the information into it directly. So, all you need is to click a few buttons and the entire information will be updated on cloud real time.
Scanning capability feature using asset tracking software
One another major capability that an asset management app carries is being a portable scanner. This holds all the more important for asset-intensive companies such as a typical FMCG or even an automobile industry where even a single asset mismanaged has the ability to send the entire system down. Also, an asset management app does not need to have the scanning capability of its own.One can integrate the QR code and barcode scanning app with the asset management one and be ready to move on. The kind of portability and ease to handle that comes with an asset management app thus makes a strong case for itself.
Furthermore, an asset management app ensures that you can scan items at a particular location and then draw up an asset scan report later. Thus, all your inventory and equipment get audited without any additional infrastructural cost.
Logging details from the field in real-time
One usually makes a checklist at the time of shifting. So, whether it is the requirement of shifting the equipment for a photo-shoot or setting up a new quality control lab right before its grand inauguration, it is important that everything is logged in at one place. Usually, organisations stick to the responsibility of one person to ensure all of this happens seamlessly. However, an asset management app can make this process purely mechanical. All one needs to do is to refer to the knowledge base of the firm to extract the list of assets to be used/shifted. Have the list auto-uploaded in the mobile app and then, all one needs to do is to tick and confirm!
Bolster communication with simultaneous updates across functions
A typical asset management app does not just log static details but, just like a good asset management software, also enables the user to create associations and linkages between vendors, items, maintenance staff and so on. Also, against an asset management software which can allow only a limited number of people to log in under one module at a time, an asset management app, just like any typical app allows for innumerable parallel logins. The thing which makes the process even better is that the up-gradation will also happen parallelly. Thus one can have the finance, maintenance and service-scheduling teams working on their schedule in the app at the same time. And just in case somebody forgot to do it during office hours, they can simply log in to the app later and have the stuff updated. So, the deadlines become sort of blurry!
The convenience and flexibility of time and usage
We have in a way said this in some form or the other in the points mentioned above but we will still dedicate a separate section to it. Roughly 6 billion of us will have a smartphone by the time the year ends. Thus, it is a crime to neglect the mobile users or rather the power of mobile and the mobility that it brings along. We keep saying how having an app for your business is a good idea, we have mentioned it in several of our earlier blogs! How about having an app such that it doubles up for asset management-both for you as well as the user. Let us assume you are a local store or a small e-commerce business. The process of passing on the information from your warehouse manager to your customer about the availability of the product will become lightning-fast through the use of an asset management app! Isn’t that a good idea?
The Features to Have in an Asset Management App
Here are some features which have to be in an Asset Management App that adds value for the user
Well, the very primary reason for the existence of an asset management app is that it should be adept at managing assets. The importance is not just flexibility and ease of use, but the entire backend processing has to be fast too. In addition, given the amount of data that will be stored on the cloud and also in offline apps, it is important that the app doesn’t become too heavy as to slow down the user’s phone. These are some of the basic hygiene bargains one needs to take care of while creating an asset management app
Next comes the option for adding any newly purchased or existing assets in the asset record or in the stock. Thus the addition, deletion, updation and notification on approaching the lower end of the safe inventory level options should also be there.
Discard Asset Cycle
Discarding an asset comes with its series of necessary documentation and signoffs and finally handovers. An ideal asset management app should not just have the option to discard but also the option for automatically completing the necessary documentation and notifying the stakeholders.
Access Asset Information
With different levels of access in place, an asset management app should be able to provide the necessary information on the assets of the organisation to all the relevant stakeholders. Asset details, pending activities, pending tickets, pending audits, addition, update, discard, of asset or tickets and activities are some of the information which can be covered under this purview
The biggest headache for any supply chain associated stakeholder, an asset management app should have the ability to keep a real-time track of orders, inventory levels, sales and deliveries, making the entire process more streamlined.
A good asset management app should allow users to raise tickets or queries. These tickets can then be notified to the relevant parties through an email, SMS or a push-notification on their app.
The status of these queries or tickets should also be updated on the app in real-time. Just like the ticket raising should have a notification, a similar notification system should be in place for ticket closure too.
Preventive Maintenance Scheduling
An asset management app should also have the option to allow the maintenance teams to schedule the standard equipment maintenance. One can even create timetables and checklists to ensure that the production and the technical teams remain in sync and hence can plan accordingly.
Audits & Physical Verification’s
One can scan asset tags using a simple mobile phone camera these days. Hence, an asset management app should also have the features to create and assign audits based on different categories and asset locations. The app can help the stakeholders to keep and maintain asset count from theft and damage
Scanning of Barcodes/QR Codes
An extension of the point mentioned above, an asset management app should have the feature to scan the barcode or QR code accurately and store the information at the designated place. A one up in this technology will be if the app could support NFC too.
The asset management app should have the functionality to allow multiple levels of permission and access. This isn’t any rocket science but in simple words a replication of the access feature of a typical asset management software.
This feature is especially important for larger organisations having multiple levels of access structures.
In addition to just keeping the record, an asset management app should also keep a track of the movement of the material and in case any undue delays are caused, there should be an alert option too.
Simply because all the pen and paper data of the earlier days now need to be digitized too. It isn’t a hygiene feature to have but having it will give the app brownie points for sure!
Emails & Notifications
Well, we do not really need to say more! If the app cannot notify, it is having a major issue!
Integration with Handheld Devices
The asset management mobile app should have the option to be integrated with handheld devices like industrial rugged handheld devices, RFID scanners, etc.
The Future of Asset Management Apps
So, we discussed the necessity for an asset management app and we also discussed the very basic features that a good asset management app should have. What next? What should one expect to see in terms of advancement?
Well, the answer would be pretty standard and it will revolve around Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics.
Artificial Intelligence-powered by smart analytics will make all the approximation and forecasting decisions. The accuracy will be significantly higher than the current scenario since the data will be humongous and second the comparisons would be made over the decades.
This will help the organisations get a better understanding of their users or customers and give them better control over their operations. Plus, real-time location tracking of the vehicles will be possible and any concerns will be notified across the relevant teams. The speed of processing will be so high that even the default travel route will be optimised.
One can say that Just in Time, the ideal to achieve for all operational processes can be something one can look at achieving if AI is used at the backend of an asset management app!
Well, that was all from our side! Hope it helped! If you are interested in the concept or are looking at having an asset management app developed, do let us know!