Asset Management Tools (With Categories And Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 28 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

With advancements in technology, it is easier for organisations to manage and track their assets. There are several asset management tools (AMTs) that companies can use to get real-time information and a comprehensive view of their business assets. Knowing how AMTs work and how to choose the right tool for a business can assist you in ensuring optimal use of business resources. In this article, we define AMTs, outline their benefits, show you how they work, explain what to consider when choosing one for a business and describe how they can help in an audit.

What are asset management tools?

Asset management tools are software programs that help firms to manage their assets, enhance their efficiency and reduce expenses on lost or under-used assets. With a comprehensive view of both concrete and non-concrete assets, companies can save resources by knowing the current location of their assets, their current users, permit status and whether they require any servicing. AMTs can gather all this information and collate it into reports, which assist corporations in ensuring the proper utilisation of their assets.

Related: What Is Asset Management? (With Career Options)

Categories of AMTs

Here are some categories of AMTs and the assets they help to track:

  • Infrastructure: You can use infrastructure AMTs to record physical assets and infrastructure, such as roads, utilities, power engines and transport machinery. Public establishments and large corporations are the major users of this type of software.

  • Financial: These AMTs monitor financial assets, such as investment funds, mutual funds, bank deposits, bonds and cash.

  • Software: You can use software AMTs to manage all stages of software applications, including procurement, usage, upgrading and permit renewals.

  • Physical: These track physical assets, such as computers, cabinets, chairs, office tables, printers and photocopiers.

Related: Top Business Analyst Tools For Improving Efficiency

Importance of asset management software tools

When businesses choose a suitable AMT and implement it appropriately, they can have a holistic view of their assets. AMTs help a business to:

  • ensure timely maintenance and servicing, leading to reduced maintenance expenses

  • dispose of outdated assets

  • make informed decisions about IT procurement

  • improve software licence tracking and use

  • protect and secure business information

  • ensure a business is compliant with regulations and ready for audit

  • recognise business assets and their value

  • reduce the administrative cost of tracking assets

  • ensure employees are liable for proper usage of assets

  • identify trends in asset use and assess their contribution to business development

Key benefits of AMTs

Here are some of the major benefits of AMTs:

The elimination of manual methods

As AMTs are digital tools, they remove the requirement for a pen-and-paper spreadsheet. AMTs keep the information on assets accurate and secure. This allows you to track your assets with ease.

Centralisation of information

AMTs provide a platform where every team member can access information regarding company assets. A centralised system also allows you to put information about all assets in one place, therefore saving time and improving efficiency. AMTs can also notify maintenance staff about scheduled servicing of assets.

Maximising the asset lifecycle

AMTs help businesses maximise the lifecycle of assets from the time of procurement to disposal. This enhances the performance of the assets and assists with strategic planning. When a company better understands the costs of maintaining or replacing an asset, it can plan to put aside money for these purposes.

Effective asset maintenance

AMTs enable businesses to plan and schedule routine maintenance of assets in a cost-effective manner. Timely servicing can ensure the optimal performance of assets. It also helps to prolong their lifecycle.

Accurate information

AMT software provides precise and dependable data concerning business assets, which you can easily retrieve and analyse. Accurate data enables you to make informed decisions on where to allocate resources and where to reduce spending. It guides you on how to optimise resources, set future objectives for the business and enhance business growth. When an asset reaches the end of its lifecycle, AMT software can inform you whether its disposal would generate a profit for the business. The software can accurately estimate the gain or loss by considering the procurement and depreciation costs of the asset.

How do AMTs work?

AMTs accomplish several tasks, including managing and tracking all kinds of digital and tangible assets. They gather and compile information on business assets throughout their lifecycle. The lifecycle of an asset includes requisition, purchase, installation, alignment, maintenance, dismantling and disposal. Through the entire lifecycle process, AMT software monitors an asset's location, current users, downtime and uptime. It then generates computerised reports that contain important information and analysis of individual assets. AMTs can improve asset management by tracking many components in a single source, including software connections, business operations and documents.

Another significant feature of an asset management system is the contract data. This is information about an asset that the manufacturer or supplier provides to you when buying the asset. These details include licence rights, version number, vendor SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) and asset service level. When implementing AMT software, the first step is to record this information for all assets of the company. This data helps you pinpoint the exact location of an asset in real-time and make appropriate asset management decisions.

Related: What Is SAP And What Are The Advantages Of Using It?

How do AMTs help during audits?

It is a requirement for both private and public institutions to keep up-to-date and accurate records of their assets, including complete maintenance records. Learning institutions and non-profit organisations need accurate asset records to enable them to secure funding and win grants. For private companies, accurate asset data enables them to provide correct values for their balance sheet and ensure they comply with revenue services and lenders. It is necessary for firms to conduct annual audits of their assets to allow them to determine if they are operating optimally.

With an increase in digital assets and a need to comply with regulations, conducting asset audits can be challenging, but AMT software can provide you with an efficient process of monitoring company assets. AMTs can allow a complete view of an asset, including costs, utilisation and return on investment. They also enable establishments to compare the performance of their assets, including which assets are impacting productivity. AMTs tools also help to track the depreciation value of assets for tax compliance. Here are the key features of an asset audit using an AMT:

  • Familiarity with assets that need tracking: Computerised AMTs record important information about an organisation's asset holdings. During an audit, you can access this information from centralised reports.

  • Bar-coding and scanning: Companies allocate each asset a distinctive bar-code that, when scanned, provides relevant information about that asset, including location and utilisation.

  • Accurate asset record: Organisations can audit assets in various locations with the help of cloud-based AMTs and mobile devices.

  • Internal audit report: When auditors authenticate the asset register in their current location, AMT software helps to generate an accurate and up-to-date audit report.

Related: What Does An Internal Auditor Do? (Skills And Duties)

Factors to consider when choosing an AMT for a business

There are several factors to consider when selecting an AMT for a business, including:

Business requirements

It is necessary to choose an AMT that suits the company's needs. Assess your business asset management requirements and prepare a list of features you need from your software. It is important to check that the tool meets your specific business needs. Large organisations might require software that can record diverse assets, including infrastructure, financial, software and physical assets. In contrast, small firms might require software with fewer features.

Standard features

After identifying what the business requires, you can search online to find suitable software. You can choose a potential AMT by assessing the standard features of the software. These features include simplicity of setup and operation, mobile compatibility, real-time monitoring, user-friendly interface, continuous work distribution and comprehensive reporting.

Cost

The cost of AMTs can differ depending on standard features and pricing practices. Some providers determine their prices by assessing the number of users or assets. Other providers might charge a flat annual rate on a range of users and assets. Some vendors might also charge for extra features, such as remote access or system backup, while others incorporate them as standard features. Unless you have a specific AMT you intend to use, it is important to consider these different pricing approaches to ensure you choose one that is cost-effective for the business.

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