On October 2nd and 3rd, TIPWeb-IT users gathered at Hayes Software Systems’ Headquarters in Austin, TX for our 6th Annual Asset Management Meetup & TIPWeb-IT User Group. It was a wonderful opportunity for district professionals from across the country to meet and exchange ideas about asset management.
One of the panel discussions focused entirely on inventory audits, exploring physical inventory best practices, potential roadblocks, and processes to streamline audits and ensure clean data. The discussion on Inventory Audits was moderated by AnnaMaria Gallozzi, one of the Solutions Engineers at Hayes Software Systems. She helps school districts across the country manage their resources more efficiently. AnnaMaria and her team help over 8,000 schools and 35 of the 100 largest school districts in the United States.
Wednesday’s panelists shared over 70 combined years of experience, and they took a deep dive to explore physical inventory. These four experts shared their experiences and lessons learned regarding preparing for audits and sharing best practices. Featured panelists included:
The panelists first shared how they prepared for inventory. Each member discussed the importance of communication, determining which of the district’s tagged and non-tagged assets should be covered.
Once a baseline is established, the next step is to gain buy-in from staff in order to maintain a clean inventory process. “We partner with campuses to build mutual ownership, allowing them to communicate to us when something is there or not,” said Lyn Wilkerson of Dallas ISD. “We began conducting a basic inventory, and then let district wide staff members take over from there. So instead of the four staff members in my office, we have 20,000 staff members helping keep track of what’s out there.”
Dallas ISD has over 150,000 students across 230 campuses, and by utilizing TIPWeb-IT’s staff-led audit feature, teachers and campus-level administrators can cut the audit time down significantly. “This process doesn’t take more than 10 minutes of their time, twice a year,” said Lyn.
Between staff-led audits and site-level audits, the best practices involve constant communication. “The key elements are scheduling coordination as well as coordination with individual campuses and the district overall,” added Mike Moss of ProBar. “This ensures everything works in unison whenever inventory teams are actually onsite.”
Many districts that do frequent physical audits in order to maintain a healthy database have different processes that keep them streamlined. Penny Dominguez of Roseville City School District (CA), tags the doorjamb to each room. “By scanning the doorjamb, we can easily and quickly reconcile each asset in the corresponding room.” In TIPWeb-IT, when scanning a doorjamb during an audit, every asset that is supposed be in that room pulls up; allowing for a quick and accurate audit to be held.
Each school district has their own, unique best practices for checking devices in and out. For instance, in Dallas, they have a checkout process for teachers that helps keep everything running smoothly. “At the end of spring, we have a checkout process for staff members,” said Lyn of Dallas ISD. “This is one of the new features we had added to TIPWeb-IT. When we finish an audit, they get the confirmation information so they can pass that on to the campus as part of the checkout.”
The audit process isn’t always easy at first. Each district represented has faced many challenges along the way. For example, Spring ISD had to overcome confusion when asset purchases didn’t have a defined process. “We had individuals purchasing items they needed and getting them delivered directly to their campus. It became nearly impossible to track those assets,” said Kevin. “We began to centralize everything by receiving deliveries to our distribution center so every asset could get tagged before it got delivered to the campus.”
Conducting a routine physical inventory is essential. Losses can cost enormous amounts of money and time; the disorganization can result in vulnerability or losing track of categorically funded assets. On top of that, manual data tracking leads to errors and other logistical nightmares. We learned so much from this remarkable panel! For more questions about physical inventory audits and how you can make your audits stress-free, contact Hayes Software Systems.
By outsourcing inventory services, you can increase overall productivity, accuracy, and time management within your system. Check out five reasons to deploy and outsource inventory services in your district.
TIPWeb-IT is built for K-12 education. Manage the entire lifecycle of your assets with a solution that gives you confidence in your inventory data, and with the newest update to TIPWeb-IT, you can forecast for the future even more. Prevent disruptions to teaching and learning with new model end of life reporting.
About Hayes Software Systems
By offering SaaS services tailor-made for the unique needs of education professionals for nearly 30 years, Hayes has helped over 8,000 schools, including 35 of the largest 100 districts in the country, implement asset management solutions.
Hayes is a privately held company specializing in asset management software and services to support K-12 inventory accountability. While primarily servicing K-12 school systems, Hayes also has customers in higher education, state agencies, and government entities.