Ten Questions to Guide You in Shopping for Asset Tracking Software

If you are researching different asset tracking software solutions, asking the following questions could help you determine your requirements and evaluate which asset tracking software is the best fit for your company.

1. Why do you want to track your assets?

Is it to improve SOX compliance, get better inventory control, improve tax rebates, reduce process cycle time, etc.?

2. How many assets do you need to track?

You can estimate this if you do not have an exact number but it will be important to at least have some idea. The reason for this is because some software providers charge incrementally based on the number of items in inventory.

3. How do you want the asset identified?

For example, is color, size, serial number or other descriptors important? Meta-data is easy to capture, and any software provider can capture any identifiable attributes you can think up. Knowing this will simply help you communicate your requirements to a solutions engineer.

4. What kind of asset information do you want to retain?

Do you need maintenance history and requirements, digital content, warranties, last known condition, location, etc.? Knowing exactly what you need goes along with #3 above. Be sure to write these requirements down so you can communicate them to a sales engineer early in the process.

5. How many employees will be using the system?

This is important because some software providers charge incrementally based on the number of users.

6. Do you need to hook into your ERP or other software programs?

If so, does the software provider offer that ability? Some barcode software comes with standard hooks for common software such as QuickBooks. For less common programs, it is not always out of the question, but it may add significant custom development fees. You will need to carefully weigh the cost / benefit of any custom development you have done.

7. Have you identified and prioritized user requirements in regard to software functionality?

Be sure to obtain contributions from all stakeholders on this topic. Requirements may be the ability to adjust inventory from the handheld, access visual dashboards, the ability to schedule asset maintenance alerts, cloud data storage and so on.

After you have identified your requirements, prioritize them on a scale of high, medium and low. Try and determine what requirements are deal breakers and which you can live without.

8. Have you examined your existing processes?

Before getting carried away with questions 6 and 7, try and examine your own internal processes. Barcode software does not institute good processes but supports and accelerates existing processes. If you have faulty processes or are incapable of and/or unwilling to improve them, a new system could end up costing you thousands in custom development fees.

Work with a trusted barcode solutions provider to examine your processes and find opportunities for improvement. You may find you don’t need to buy asset tracking software at all. Remember, whatever solution you buy should result in measurable ROI.

9. Have you identified a timeline?

If you are a decision maker, then work with stakeholders to establish a timeline. This allows you to place a sense of urgency on software providers. A realistic timeline also makes it much easier to get what you need.

10. Have you established a budget?

The sooner you can establish a budget the easier it will be when you enter the negotiation process. You will find that having a budget and timeline will give you significant leverage.

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