Physical inventories can be so daunting. Countless mundane hours of touching every single asset across your district, manually counting mobile devices, projectors, access points, server rooms, and everything in between is dull, time-consuming, and leaves room for human error. Imagine if you could magically inventory everything within 14 feet of you in a few seconds,
Want more great content? Sign up for our email newsletter!
Now more than ever, technology is being used as a powerful tool for education in classrooms across the nation. As schools gain more valuable assets that enhance education, inventory needs are increasing rapidly. It’s important to develop lasting organizational strategies to manage the resources needed to build a well-rounded learning environment.
Deploying an inventory strategy is essential when it comes to initially distributing assets, but also maintaining transparency throughout the lifetime of each asset. Unfortunately, inventory management is not without its challenges. Administrators and staff are already overwhelmed, losses can cost enormous amounts of money and time, and disorganization can result in vulnerability or in losing track of categorically funded assets. Additionally, manual data tracking leads to errors and other logistical nightmares.
Performing these 3 types of inventory audits throughout the year will improve your data accuracy and usability.
By Gena Blankenship
School districts need to know where their assets are at all times, and a reliable inventory tracking system is the first step to having great data at your fingertips. The next step…audits! One of the best ways to boost the accuracy of your inventory data is to complete these three types of inventory audits throughout the year.
1. Real-Time Audits
- Completed on a regular schedule
- Completed at random locations
- Take less than 20 minutes to complete
Think you know the best time to audit inventory? Consider these 5 reasons to change your audit schedule.
By Gena Blankenship
Many districts complete inventory audits at the end of the academic school year when staff, teachers, and students are already stressed to the max. Often, crazy schedules and competing priorities cause the audit to go undone, forcing you to use inaccurate and outdated inventory information to plan for the coming year. Is that really the best time to audit inventory?
In my experience, completing your inventory audit in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is much easier for all involved. Here are 5 reasons you should consider conducting your audits in late fall, instead of the end of the academic year. Continue reading “The Best Time of Year to Conduct an Inventory Audit (Hint: It’s not May!)”
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:
By Jessica Zaleski
E-Rate 2.0 is here, and there are some important changes that might help you and your district provide broadband connectivity to your students and increase the reach of digital learning in your classrooms.
For those of you not familiar, let’s begin with a quick overview of what E-Rate is. Then we’ll dive into some of the details about how to ensure your district is compliant with the stipulations and requirements associated with E-Rate.
E-Rate is a funding stream administered by the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), and was initially presented as a part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. E-Rate provides subsidies that are eligible to schools and libraries. Continue reading “Quick Guide to E-Rate 2.0 Compliance for Schools”
By Megan White
We often hear of school districts going through unsuccessful inventory audits where purchased assets are unaccounted for and policies intended to control assets are nonexistent. With separate processes and a lack of oversight, things can quickly get out of hand. Your school closets could end up with boxes of unopened laptops or iPads that your students and teachers need in their hands, which is exactly what just happened at New York City schools.
A recent audit by the comptroller’s office found that more than 1,800 computers were unaccounted for, and nearly 400 laptops and iPads hadn’t been opened. One of the reasons for the inaccurate data was the lack of a centralized inventory program. As individual school sites recorded their new inventory and it was sent to the district for entering into an inventory system, administrators noticed that the site and central office data were not lining up. Some computer serial numbers were even recorded multiple times, so the audit recommended switching to a centralized inventory system. Continue reading “Don’t Let This Be You! The Case for a Centralized Inventory Program”
By Anna Maxin
It’s a fact – there is more costly “stuff” circulating around your school buildings than there was 10 years ago. Assets are being purchased without you knowing about it and issued to people without standard practices – How do school and department inventory spreadsheets and district financial asset systems keep up? Continue reading “Recorded Webinar: How 5 Districts are Solving Critical Asset Inventory Challenges”
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”
By Anna Maxin
As a district administrator, you know how difficult it is to keep accurate track of the technology assets being purchased and assigned to schools. Ideally, your department is able to track inventory information to demonstrate what you have, where it is located, and how old it is.
However, you know that your asset spreadsheet is only as accurate as the last time your staff updated it. Who knows if all the items are still in the same location and in a usable condition for the start of school? You scramble your staff to scour your buildings to find the required items using this out-of-date data, taking them away from their core responsibilities. The initial results indicate there was inventory newly identified you didn’t know about that had to be tagged and a high percentage of inventory that couldn’t be found.
The scenario above is all too common for K-12 school districts. Knowing precisely what you have and where inventory is being utilized will allow for more reliable reporting. It’s time to think of your technology asset information in a different way. Here are three simple questions to consider to reduce the headaches induced by bad data. Continue reading “Auditing School Technology Assets – 3 V’s to Avoid Headaches”