accountability

The 4 Biggest Inventory Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making (And How To Fix Them)

You may be making major school inventory mistakes without even realizing it.

School inventory mistakes are often honest mistakes.

By Gena Blankenship

K-12 school districts have limited resources, leaving little funding and time for the countless administrative processes that seem to grow with every new state or federal legislative session. Taking inventory shortcuts is tempting, but can cost you time and money in the long run. These are the four most common school inventory mistakes I see districts make without even realizing it – and how to fix them. Continue reading “The 4 Biggest Inventory Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making (And How To Fix Them)”

3 Secrets to Success from an Inventory Champion

By Greg Wright

When your district invests in an inventory system, the success of your technology adoption depends mainly on its users. Staff must use the system regularly for the system’s data to be accurate and provide value. We recommend that school districts have an inventory “champion” who continually encourages and educates staff to use the system effectively.

Greg Wright, Instructional Materials Coordinator at Leander ISD, has spent 12 years coordinating textbooks and instructional materials for 38,000 students at 42 campuses. During that time, he has championed the use of TIPWeb-IM to more effectively and efficiently manage the use and purchase of instructional materials.

We’ve invited Greg to write a guest blog post to share how a “champion” can motivate staff to effectively use an inventory system:

Continue reading “3 Secrets to Success from an Inventory Champion”

3 Strategies to Make Inventory Management a Daily Habit for Your Staff

By Morgane Le Marchand

Daily Habit Calendar

Nick DePauw, Director of Information Technology at Patterson School District in northern California, knows the challenges of keeping inventory data clean. With 8 campuses, 3 district sites, and over 6,200 students, DePauw oversees over 14,000 assets in the district. In this guest blog post, he shares his tips for motivating district and campus staff to execute daily inventory management strategies in pursuit of clean data.

Continue reading “3 Strategies to Make Inventory Management a Daily Habit for Your Staff”

4 Reasons Your Homegrown Inventory Management System Will Fail

Your homegrown inventory management system isn’t a sustainable solution.

By Emily Frazier

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your homegrown inventory management system. You built it because your district didn’t find existing software that met your unique needs. However, while the advantages of a custom-designed system can be alluring at first, the risks and costs over time exceed the initial benefits.

Many districts today are recognizing the headaches associated with maintaining their homegrown inventory management system are too great to manage. Instead, they’re opting for a third-party vendor developed and supported application. The result is greater transparency, increased efficiencies, and cost savings.

Here are four reasons to evaluate the value of your homegrown inventory management system:

Continue reading “4 Reasons Your Homegrown Inventory Management System Will Fail”

Measuring Inventory Management Effectiveness: 5 Metrics You Need to Track

By Sara ArthrellInventory Management Effectiveness

With the influx of technology at your campuses each year, it’s crucial to measure how effective your processes are for managing these devices rather than just assuming your policies are working. Each decision you make should be informed by data, and the result of these efforts should be cataloged for future reference.

When managing an asset inventory program, districts have a litany of data points from which to make strategic decisions to optimize people and processes. All this information can sometimes cause paralysis at your district and stall your program.

How do you know which data to track to get the most out of your inventory management program?

Continue reading “Measuring Inventory Management Effectiveness: 5 Metrics You Need to Track”

6 Tips for Creating an Instructional Material Procedure Manual at Your School District

By Jessica Zaleskipolicy and procedure manual

When it comes to managing instructional materials, it takes a team of people to keep everything running smoothly. As you start to plan for next year, one way to improve instructional material management efficiency is clearly defining and communicating policies and procedures through a manual you distribute to your staff.

We’ve enlisted Cherie Crews, the District Instructional Resources Specialist at Keller ISD for the past 11 years, to give her insight into how districts can develop a policy and procedure manual to reveal important information to district staff. Read on as Cherie shares the top six tips she’s learned while creating and updating Keller ISD’s manual for the past three years. Continue reading “6 Tips for Creating an Instructional Material Procedure Manual at Your School District”

6 Inventory System Integration Trends You Need to Know About – Part One: Help Desk

By Jessica Zaleskihelp desk inventory management difference

Welcome to part one of a six part series about inventory system integration trends! There are opportunities to increase the accuracy of inventory information accessible by district- and school-level staff simply by interfacing systems like your purchasing, fixed asset, systems management, help desk, cash management, and network management that may all hold valuable asset data. In this installment, we’ll talk about how your help desk system and inventory management system can be valuable complements to each other and help reduce manual data entry and increase information transparency across your assets. Continue reading “6 Inventory System Integration Trends You Need to Know About – Part One: Help Desk”

Psych 101: Updating your District Asset Inventory Practices

By Anna Maxin

Many districts are feeling the pain of outdated asset management processes and procedures, utilizing practices put in place before the days of highly mobile, low cost technology devices now considered necessary to our school and work days. These instructional changes can be an opportunity to address inventory problems that have been frustrating staff for years. It goes without saying that being good stewards of district asset investments takes some resources but the biggest overlooked challenge is often psychological. Continue reading “Psych 101: Updating your District Asset Inventory Practices”

5 Questions to Evaluate Your District’s Inventory Management Capabilities

By Anna Maxin

Transferring, assigning, auditing and budgeting for instructional initiatives is a district-wide, all building, all department challenge.  Think of a typical school day. Assets are moving from room to room, person to person, and even building to building – How do school and department inventory spreadsheets and district financial asset systems keep up?

Districts across the country are turning to new processes to manage their items to reduce the inefficiencies and costs of inventory operations. Many are finding the answer to their problems by implementing a perpetual inventory management methodology supported by building-level inventory automation software. Continue reading “5 Questions to Evaluate Your District’s Inventory Management Capabilities”

Three Reasons Why Library Style Inventory Control Doesn’t Work for Textbooks

By Anna Maxin

Providing the best possible learning environment for students is the primary objective of the 21st century classroom.  To accomplish this, schools must increase the effectiveness of every dollar spent on providing this educational experience.  Unfortunately, not all textbook inventory systems align with this goal and can unnecessarily increase the workload and cost for schools and districts.

An efficient textbook inventory process focuses on inventory transparency and accountability options designed to match the needs of school assignment and student/teacher obligations. Effectively accessing inventory data available across other schools prior to placing an order for materials focuses on meeting the real‐time and anticipated needs for instructional materials utilized in the district.

The following are fundamental process differences library management systems don’t provide: Continue reading “Three Reasons Why Library Style Inventory Control Doesn’t Work for Textbooks”