Today when I went shopping, I found myself looking at fire extinguishers in the supermarket. Not the ones that you buy but the ones set aside as emergency equipment by the store. As I looked, I noted that each of the four extinguishers in my vicinity had a label with a number on it. Each number was different, yet the numbers contained a regular pattern.
So I got to thinking: how does a large supermarket chain, like Safeways or Carrefour or TESCO, or indeed any large company, create and administer inventory labels across hundreds of stores, in dozens of states or countries, for equipment like fire extinguishers, etc.? My own business is quite small, so we can pretty much recall everything in the business by memory down to the dusters and markers. But that’s because we literally bought everything ourselves, item by item.
In essence, our heads contained an ‘unofficial’ database of the fixed assets. In a larger business, a solution like fixed asset software would be the most appropriate way to handle the situation.
With IMSolutions.Net, you wouldn’t just get the software though. If you have a large inventory, they will do an actual inventory for you as they did for Ben & Jerry’s St.Albans plant when they provided on-the-factory-floor support in the planning and execution of their asset tagging project. The kind of support they can extend for physical inventories included software, training, scanners and barcoding equipment. In fact, the supporting staffing required for the project ensured that Ben & Jerry’s manufacturing team could focus on their own job while the entire process was conducted.
Now you are wondering why you might need to do an inventory at all. In fact, for all business, keeping an accurate track of the fixed assets is essential. It will allow the business owner enough depreciation on equipment and assets purchased, thereby creating an accurate assessment for tax purposes. Also, it will help you control your business costs more accurately when you purchase business insurance to cover your business assets. Lastly, and not least, you will know much more clearly the assets that your business has, thereby allowing you to make better decisions on purchasing, maintenance and administration of your fixed assets. A good example of how such information helps directly would be the annual insurance premiums that you pay: you would be able to avoid spending money on excess premiums, allowing the saved cash to go straight to the bottom line. Now that’s bound to bring a smile to your shareholders’ faces.
A good inventory therefore can help you save money in at least three ways: from taxes, insurance costs, and administration costs over the life of the business. Do you know where your fixed asset inventory is? If not, why not?