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Tracking Your Assets in Excel or on Paper Costs You More Than You Think

PUBLISHED
November 9, 2018

WRITTEN BY
Ryan LeClaire

If a digital asset management tool seems too expensive, you may not realize how much your paper or spreadsheet-based system is actually costing you.

Business owners still doing things the old-fashioned way feel that their system works well enough. Plus, paper is cheap compared to the cost of an asset tracking system, right? Not when you step back and look at the big picture.

Here are a few ways that a “cheap” system actually ends up costing you an unexpected amount of time and money.

Your Spreadsheets Contain Errors… and Lots of Them
They say to err is human. Well, humans are the ones filling out your spreadsheets, so expect some errors.

How many? To give you a terrifying idea, a study by Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business found that 94% of workplace spreadsheets contained manual errors.

If you’re lucky, these errors are benign and go completely unnoticed with no consequences. But other errors can cost you thousands of dollars in damaged assets, equipment downtime, failed inspections or even workplace injuries.

However, you can take human error out of the equation by using the right digital system. For example, you can use Field iD’s mobile app to scan pieces of equipment with a smartphone via a barcode or RFID. You can track your assets without any manual data entry.

You Have Trouble Staying Compliant
Some of your assets will only need to be inspected once a year. But some key safety equipment has to be inspected at least once a month. This may include:

● Ladders/ Scaffolding
● Fire extinguishers
● Sprinkler systems

OSHA pays close attention to these items during inspections, and the fines for any infractions can be costly. For example, a simple fire extinguisher fine may start at $7000, but can quickly balloon to over $160,000.

Trying to stay compliant with a paper-based or spreadsheet-based system can be frustrating. If something slips through the cracks, you may not know there’s a problem until an auditor finds it for you.

Digitizing your system allows you to control and automate your inspection schedule. That means you can schedule alerts and assign tasks to ensure your employees are accountable for regularly inspecting crucial equipment.

Your Information is “Trapped”
Who owns your asset information? Is it all kept in one employee’s hard drive or filing cabinet? Do other employees have to go through them to access it?

If the answer is yes, a lot of crucial information is “trapped” with that employee. If they call in sick, go on vacation or quit, this information may be inaccessible.

For example, as the HSE Director at Kokosing Materials, Chuck Mull found himself acting as a “One man show” for their lockout/tagout documents. Thousands of LOTO documents were kept in Microsoft Word files on his computer.

However, he was able to change all of this with Field iD. Now, employees across 20 different job sites can access Kokosing’s up-to-date LOTO documents on their smartphones, at any time.

Your Safety is Suffering
Did you know that 29% of workplace injuries are equipment-related?

You may have thousands of assets to track across multiple job sites. Some of these assets need to be inspected monthly, weekly, or even daily. It’s simply not reasonable to track your assets’ maintenance/ inspection schedule with a spreadsheet, or a paper-based system— Not when your staff’s safety is at stake.

Inaccurate or siloed information about a piece of equipment creates a disconnect about how safe it may be to use.

You Don’t Really Know Where Your Assets are
Messy stacks of paper and clunky spreadsheets lead to disorganized assets, which leads to your business hemorrhaging money from injuries or downtime.

When you’re disorganized, your front-line workers may not have access to the tools they need, because there’s no reliable tool check-in/check-out system. Or maybe your crane is double-booked, or not on the right worksite on the right day.

In either case, your system (or lack thereof) is costing you a fortune in lost-time and downtime.

You Can Avoid All of This
It’s simple: digitizing your asset tracking helps you save money by extending the life of your equipment, while helping you prevent the costs of industry fines, workplace injuries, or site downtime.

Give your front-line workers a simple mobile app to track equipment and inspections with a few quick swipes, while giving management the data they need to stay ahead of potential problems and make more informed decisions.

Want to see how Field iD can help your business? Click here!


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