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Fixed Asset Management Software: Features, Requirements, Benefits and Recommended Vendors

The ability to effectively track assets is essential for any company, no matter its size or the industry that it operates in. Every company has fixed assets such as machines and equipment that are needed to operate properly, as well as many smaller assets that also need to be tracked and managed.

But managing fixed assets without a reliable system in place can have dire consequences. Assets that aren’t properly managed can go missing or get damaged without anyone even noticing until it’s too late.

What’s more, without a reliable way to manage your fixed assets, it’s almost impossible to track maintenance requirements and depreciation in order to make sure that the assets are functioning properly and serve the company for as long as possible.

Despite all that, according to a report Wasp Barcode, only 17% of companies have an asset management system in place to track physical assets.

But that also means that companies that can adopt the technology can gain a significant advantage over most of the competition. With a comprehensive system to manage buildings and machinery, companies can get the most out of their assets and maximize their efficiency. Today, there are many fixed asset management solutions that bring a robust list of features that can be useful for a wide range of businesses.

But before we can get into fixed asset management software, we must first understand what’s considered a fixed asset.

What is a Fixed Asset?

To put it simply, a fixed asset is an asset that’s purchased by the company and registered as a fixed asset, which means that the company doesn’t plan on selling it or otherwise converting it into a monetary value within the upcoming year after purchase. These assets usually relate to infrastructure, such as buildings, lands or machinery, meaning that they’re not assets that are directly sold to customers. Nonetheless, they’re oftentimes very important to a company’s day-to-day operations.

These assets are usually expected to bring a long-term profit to the company as a result of their function. At the same time, they have a finite lifespan, because their usefulness usually declines over the years as a result of wear and usage.

In order to get the most out of these assets over their lifespan, companies must be able to accurately track the depreciation of value that these assets bring, as well as accurately manage preventive maintenance. That’s where fixed asset management software comes in.

What is Fixed Asset Management Software?

Since tracking multiple locations, conditions and maintenance requirements for assets can be difficult and time-consuming, a tried and trusted system can help businesses quickly implement an efficient, serial code-based asset accounting system that makes the entire process easier to handle. These systems are known as fixed asset management software, or FAM software.

There are numerous software vendors that offer fixed asset management solutions to businesses of all types and sizes, although these systems don’t always fall under the same software category. Software solutions that often have comprehensive fixed asset management functionality include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), both of which can help organizations effectively track, manage and maintain their fixed assets.

Fixed Asset Management System Features

Fixed asset management software brings a number of features to businesses, which makes it a growingly popular tool among companies that want to make sure that they get the most out of every asset in their possession. It allows you to track and actively manage assets across multiple business locations, enabling maintenance managers to access relevant information from any device, all while providing real-time data.

And since fixed assets are vital to both day-to-day operations and achieving long-term goals, having a reliable way to make sure that the assets are always secure and maintained is a top priority.

But how exactly can fixed asset management software software help make the process more efficient? Well, here are some of the main features of FAM solutions that make the software a wise investment:

Barcode Scanning

Asset tracking is a huge part of asset management, and with FAM systems, the entire process is made simpler. With the help of barcoding technology, managers can get real-time data about all of their items, including tracking costs, identifying potential issues and making timely adjustments to maintenance schedules according to both immediate and long-term needs.

FAM software also provides accounting for parts, tools and other supplies that leave the warehouse. This seamlessly manages all of the billing associated with it with the help of barcoding, all in one system.

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With all the benefits that barcoding can bring to fixed asset management and warehouse management, it’s no surprise that so many companies are implementing it. According to a 2013 survey by Motorola, 66% of companies were planning to equip warehouse staff with scanners to speed up the implementation of barcode technology.

Preventive & Predictive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is all about making sure that the fixed assets function properly and have a prolonged lifespan. It helps make the processes of creating schedules, procedure tracking and setting up maintenance routines much easier, automatically generating schedules and notifying managers about any necessary actions.

According to a PdM survey, more than 45% of plants are taking a proactive approach to maintenance, which means that a significant number of companies understand the importance of getting ahead of any potential problems, because it can help reduce maintenance-related expenses while maximizing the value of each asset.

Mobile Access

Implementing mobile devices into business operations is no longer optional, as their widespread use and application have made them an absolute requirement for businesses that want to operate efficiently. Since issues with your fixed assets can occur at any time, it’s paramount to not only have real-time data on all of them, but also to be able to access the data at any time of the day, from any device.

Since sometimes even minutes can make a huge difference in fixing problems, having mobile access to fixed asset management software can prove to be a very valuable feature. That’s why most of the leading vendors provide mobile access and are continuously working to make accessing the software easy and seamless from all devices.

Do You Need Fixed Asset Management Software?

Even though it’s obvious that fixed asset management software can be very useful, does your company actually need it? Well, the short answer is yes — at least if you have multiple fixed assets that need to be monitored.

But the easiest way to quickly figure out if this software could be useful for your company is to think about a few key considerations:

First off, a great indicator that a FAM system could be useful is if your company owns multiple fixed assets that need to be monitored and maintained. Since the software brings numerous benefits that make the entire process much easier, it’s definitely worth an investment.

However, even if the number of fixed assets you currently own is limited, your company may have plans to add new assets in the coming year. If so, it might be wise to start looking for a FAM solution, because it’s better to be ready once the need arises.

Some of the other questions to ask about your company include thinking about your needs to track asset depreciation, or have a convenient way to generate reports, track assets on multiple companies or easily exchange data between different systems.

If these areas are part of your operations, then FAM software could make them much easier and more efficient.

Benefits of Fixed Asset Management Software

What exactly can FAM software offer your business? Well, here are a few of the main benefits that you should expect from a comprehensive software solution:

Increased Security

Since companies in several industries face increased scrutiny by government agencies and regulatory boards, not to mention having to report to investors, the ability to provide a transparent view of their operations is essential.

With the help of systems such as FAM, it’s much easier to accurately store and track data, which makes it easy to access and minimize the chance of human error. The software makes it easy to record every single action that’s made by users, so that the data is always available at hand. At the same time, having the necessary security measures in place ensures that only authorized personnel can view sensitive information.

Cost Reduction

Companies are always looking for ways to make their operations more efficient, and fixed asset management software software allows you to make sure that your assets are maintained in the most cost-effective way possible.

Unnecessary procurement is a problem for many organizations, so having a reliable system for storing and tracking data is important. This way, companies can have complete control of what they currently have, and can make smart decisions about making new investments.

This also allows you to plan a budget ahead of time, by considering things such as asset depreciation. This could potentially save money by providing time to plan out procurement and find the most cost-effective options. Because of these benefits, FAM software is a key part of smart budgeting of maintenance management operations.

Improved Efficiency and Accuracy

Fixed asset management software enables companies to access real-time data about how each asset is functioning. It can measure performance and efficiency, as well as evaluate the lifecycle of assets, which leads to significant improvements in the efficiency & accuracy of the entire asset management process.

This results in a streamlined management process, which allows you to get the most out of each asset. Additionally, this helps avoid human errors that can result in inaccurate depreciation calculations that, in the end, waste your company’s valuable time and resources.

Top Fixed Asset Management Solutions

Here are some of the leading FAM solutions that have a reputation for successfully serving a wide range of companies:

AssetWorks

AssetWorks Enterprise Asset Management is a comprehensive system that can help organizations of all sizes effectively handle their assets. It provides an easy way to approach day-to-day tasks, such as inspection recording and future planning, including complete lifecycle analysis and capital budgeting.

With the help of AssetWorks, companies can customize an unlimited number of depreciation books, generating separate reports for each and defining them by asset class, timing or method of depreciation. The software makes it easy to extend or shorten the useful life of assets and perform asset value impairment, impacting the future depreciation schedule without disrupting previous depreciation expense reports.

With AssetWorks, companies have a much easier time recording and tracking data, all while having real-time access, including mobile database capabilities.

Infor

Infor is a comprehensive asset management software vendor that understands how different asset management can be between different industries. It provides industry-specific editions for healthcare, oil & gas, public sector, manufacturing and hospitality industries.

With the help of Infor, scaling up doesn’t have to be complicated. Companies can focus on making their day-to-day operations run smoothly, monitoring fixed asset performance and use while gaining insights into how to maximize the efficiency and lifespan of each asset.

Infor offers extensive EAM solutions that can help to improve productivity and spot problems as soon as they occur, minimizing any potential harm.

Companies using Infor report significant increases in manufacturing cell uptime, improvements in the accuracy of maintenance schedules and better in-depth insights into their assets, which allow for accurate strategic planning.

The software also offers great flexibility, as it can be deployed on-premise, on the cloud or as a hybrid solution. This way, companies can choose the option that best suits their needs.

This, combined with the specialized industry-specific editions that offer deep functionality, make Infor an excellent choice for companies that want to make their fixed asset management processes as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

Sage

Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management system that enables businesses to track and manage their fixed assets across different steps of the lifecycle.

With Sage Fixed Assets, companies can make use of the software’s Planning, Depreciation and Asset Tracking modules that allow you to take complete control of the entire FAM process.

The pay-as-you-go pricing system makes Sage a popular option for those companies that don’t want to make a big commitment, while the extensive support via phone and email ensures that any problems that might arise can be solved quickly.

When implemented, Sage can offer a great blend of flexibility and functionality for companies of different sizes.

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