If you are suffering using Excel to manage your assets then you may be comforted to know that you are not alone. Those niggles you have and all the things you wish spreadsheets could do? Yep, shared by a staggering number of people, regardless of industry.
Let’s take a look at the areas Excel is lacking in and how a smart asset management system will answer your prayers.
1. Excel was not designed for asset management
Excel in its fundamental form was designed as a solution to a requirement for a more efficient way of conducting analysis. It’s no wonder then that it’s lacking in desirable asset management features! The rise of mobile devices, allowing access to information on-the-go and our relentless desire for efficiency means there are now better ways to manage our things.
2. Asset records are not updated instantaneously, which leads to errors
The likelihood is that your maintenance team is expected to update asset records once they have returned to base. However, the greater the time lapse between maintaining or servicing an asset and updating the records, the greater the chance of error (if records are updated at all!).
3. You have no real-time view of your assets and their status
You don’t need us to tell you that asset data is most valuable when it is accurate and up-to-date. Spreadsheets may contain out of date information (see point 3). In addition, you have know way of knowing the status of your assets right now, what their current locations are or what maintenance is scheduled against them.
4. It’s tricky for multiple users to access and contribute information to the same spreadsheet
You know the drill, explore different ways of sharing an Excel file so that everyone that needs access to it has it, make sure everyone has the most up to date version and cross your fingers that nobody deletes the spreadsheet off the face of the earth. Let’s not even get started on the chaos that ensues if multiple users edit a spreadsheet at the same time!
5. Spreadsheets aren’t practical for managing assets on-the-go
The full benefits of Excel can really only be enjoyed on a desktop or laptop but it’s inconvenient to lug those around in order to update asset records onsite. However, we’re willing to bet the vast majority of your team have a smartphone stashed in their pocket at all times. Wouldn’t it be magical if there were an asset management solution that allowed you to conveniently manage your assets via your smartphone? (Hint: keep reading! Or if you can’t wait, click here)
6. Asset records are not linked to the physical asset
If you’ve got 3 gullies in a row or 3 air conditioning units in a room, how do you know which is which? How can you make absolute certain that your asset records are linked to the correct asset? It’s all well and good maintaining and servicing your assets but if the records are not attributed to the correct asset then your efforts may be futile.
7. There is no accountability in terms of who last interacted with the asset and when
When lots of users contribute data to a spreadsheet it’s often difficult (or impossible) to know who added what when. You have no way of knowing who corrupted your records. What’s more is that if an asset gets broken or lost, you may launch “The Case of the Lost Asset” to no eventual avail. Every interaction with an asset should be automatically recorded, creating an audit trail so that actions are accountable for.
8. Excel only allows for inefficient, one-way communication
Excel accepts your data but does not allow your assets to communicate back to you. Your assets are not able to send you automated emails when they require maintenance. If they are lost, they cannot tell you where they are and if it’s a pesky stock take you need to complete then they cannot alert you of their presence. It is now possible for asset management to be a two-way relationship.
9. Often multiple spreadsheets are used as there is no one-size-fits-all solution
Do you have one spreadsheet where all of your asset records are stored? Or do you have spreadsheets as well as folders containing maintenance records, photos, user manuals, etc? We find most people have documents stored in many locations. Despairing asset managers seeking to consolidate all of their asset documents and records in to one all-knowing, accurate database often approach us to find a solution.
10. Lack of confidence when handing records over to other stakeholders
Depending on your circumstances, you may be managing assets that will at some point be handed over to a customer or another stakeholder. Spare yourself the stress and embarrassment of inaccurate, incomplete and inaccessible asset records and look at alternatives to Excel that will revolutionise the way you mange your assets.
11. You cannot attach photos, maintenance record sheets and other attachments to a line in a spreadsheet
Usually, in Excel, each asset gets one line where all its relevant information should be kept. What happens to those vital documents you wish you could somehow attach to the assets’ records, such as photos, inspection sheets and user manuals? Most tend to get buried away in folders and forgotten about *sob*. What you need is a one-stop-shop where every piece of data relating to an asset can be easily and securely stored and accessed.
We think you’ve carried the burden of inefficient asset management for too long. At RedBite, we have developed a product that will solve all of these problems (and more!) for you. RedBite Asset will transform the way you manage your assets. If you have any questions or would like some further information, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every object tells a story | RedBite Solutions