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Every business has diverse assets. As the company grows, those assets have a tendency to become both more diverse, and more numerous. Before you know it, managing a burgeoning IT and fixed assets portfolio is taking up a disproportionate amount of time and money.

Asset management software is touted as the efficient solution, but is it really a universal panacea, improving efficiency while also cutting costs?

Better Understanding - What, Where, Who and When

The first key, regardless of the business sector you operate in, is knowing exactly what you've got, where it is, who needs it and when they can have it.

Sounds relatively simple, but without timely communication and adequate detail, things can easily go astray. Then reported information doesn't tally with the situation "on the ground". It doesn't matter whether you're tracking the latest version of software, the vehicles in your fleet, building management or production capacities, there's a breakdown. It costs you time and money to correct.

The right asset management system provides accuracy by making the sharing of information fast and easy. Input from multiple locations and multiple devices (computers, tablets, phone, bar code readers, etc.) is co-ordinated and made available to those who need it following rules that you set. What's more, there's tremendous flexibility and adaptability within the program so it can change and grow as your company does.

It can track your IT, buildings, vehicles, supply-chain, production, logistics, etc. It can ensure the relevant departments have the knowledge they need and it can be developed to ensure end-to-end continuity so that data is gathered from the right people - and reported to the right people - in the way that suits your business best.

Better Control - Faster, More Cost-Effective Management

It has always been true that if you have the right tools, you do the job better and quicker. A properly implemented asset management program like restoration software provides a set of tools that are adapted to the demands of each task.

So your maintenance department doesn't just have up-to-date information, they have ongoing analysis. Predictability reduces overhead because, as we all know, preventative maintenance is always more cost-effective than repair. The same rules apply in manufacturing environments, where accurate stock management and production control is the difference between profit and loss.

In both cases, your accounting department needs data from the same sources - but not quite the same data. So what it receives is presented differently and, as a result, they can quickly see the impact on inventory, or running costs, or depreciation, and react accordingly.

Of course for any new system to be truly effective it has to be adopted quickly. It has to be as near transparent for the user as possible. Leading specialists like Novo Solutions provide software that integrates with existing industry-standard SQL server and ASP/ASP.NET architectures or they can offer secure, cloud-based systems.

For the end-user, delivery is via familiar, browser-based interface. It can be accessed by any device, from any location. Simple - and responsive to the needs of both the individual and the company as a whole.

Better Communication - Internally and Externally

Business success depends on many factors, but regardless of the marketplace it will always be dependent on people - from suppliers, through its own personnel, to the customer.

For efficient delivery of a product or service along that chain, and management of the assets within it, the flow of accurate information is absolutely vital. This is what the software promises. Virtually seamless integration. While there's no such thing as a perfect answer, it's now possible to achieve a remarkable level of control over a huge diversity of elements.

It's all about getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time.

And when, inevitably, things go wrong, you have in place a method of delivering rapid communication - not just to those who need to fix the problem, but also to those who need to deal with your customers. Your customer service people can have the answers ready when the phones start ringing: infinitely better than them not even being aware of a problem until the customer calls!

Are You Still Guessing?

If asset management hasn't presented challenges to your business in the past, there will certainly be situations in the future when it will. It makes sense to implement an effective system before problems arise.

Not surprisingly, there are many options, from off-the-shelf packages to custom-built, extensible programs that may require a little more initial investment, but offer far greater adaptability going forward. You'll get remarkable insight into your assets and processes and you get predictability that has considerable impact on your profitability.

Or you could just keep guessing.

Jeremy S is a small business consultant. He frequently shares his advice on business blogs across the internet. Click to learn more about Novo Solutions.

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