An asset management system is a set of procedures used for managing all of the assets of a company or an individual. These assets can include both physical and digital assets. The asset management system must manage and maintain the details of each asset, including their selection, maintenance, inspection, protection and renewal. These systems are of most use when a company has assets that have a short service life and that depreciate in value over the life of the asset.
A system can be a physical system whereby the assets are tracked with a series of processes and documented manually. The system might be housed in a piece of software that tracks all of the company’s assets electronically. An asset management software system allows the company to track and report on all of its company assets out of one location rather than gathering the information from multiple locations.
An asset management system maintains a record of each of the assets as entered into the system by the company. The asset management system might hold the information regarding asset service schedules, maintenance records, current value of the asset and a schedule for asset replacement. Within the software package, certain reports or triggers might be set in order to help maintain regular maintenance and replacement cycles.
The asset management system is only as good as the information that is contained within it. It is imperative that the company put in good information about its assets into the system. This information also should be maintained regularly and updated with any change in the company’s assets. If the information is not maintained properly, the company will not have a good value for its business assets on its books.
Managing digital asset information in the asset management system will assist the company in the event of an audit or catastrophe or in a lawsuit. If the asset management system includes not only the information regarding a specific computer but also the software installed on that computer, then during any discovery process, it will be far easier for the company to respond to specific requests. In the event of a catastrophe, such as a fire or a crashed computer, the company will be able to replace the computer for a specific employee much more quickly with accurate asset information.
The choice between a physical or software-driven asset management system is one that must be made by each company or individual with assets. Generally, the more assets one has to manage, the more likely one is to choose a digital system. A good physical asset management system that can be maintained by each location, however, might prove to be better for some companies.