Keeping track of what is where depends on many factors, but it is important that below rules are not ignored, as recovery of this information becomes impossible.
- When kit comes in it should be logged
- When it is assigned it should be logged
- When kit is moved it should be logged
- When kit, lost, broken, or stolen it should be logged
Good asset management is not just about the hardware of even the software, it must include the people who use it, combining asset management into support calls allows the company to identify faulty equipment, training requirements and allows the helpdesk to know what and who they are dealing with. The installation process also becomes easier to manage as it can ensure that no unnecessary licenses are purchased by identifying who has specific software, this can be cross referenced to with other software to show usage. Software sat on a computer that is seldom used is a license wasted. I will go into the building and options in a later article.
Example of an Asset Management Project
I worked for several companies whose management of assets or records of the infrastructor were virtually none existant. I found in that in one particular company the following:
- They has records in the accounts department of what they had purchased, but thes records were mixed up with everything else they had purchased over the past 7 years.
- The 98% of their computers where no brand white boxes, built by a local computer shop.
- Their understanding of software licensing needed to be addressed.
- They ran their operations using computers without any buffer stock, if one of their CAD workstations failed, there was no spare/replacement machine he could use until a replacement was purchased. Sometimes a CAD Draughtsman could be without a machine for 3 days or more. A loss of 4 days is equivalent to £1,600 with damage to their project deadline and to the company’s reputation to deliver. The build alone for a complicated installation of one of these CAD workstations would take a day alone. I am being generous here.
Wrote a business case for the creation of “buffer computer stock” and included implementing ghost imaging using Norton Ghost, to reduce build time by 90%. Buffer stock and image builds for a CAD workstation created a saving of aproximately £1,550 per machine and with the time saved I was able to address their long standing asset management issue. I followed through with providing the business case to move the purchasing of computers to corporate standard provider and away from “white box suppliers”.I chose Dell as our supplier due to not only their pricing but for their warranty which was especially important to our off site remote workers.
The Configuration Management System grew out of the asset management system I had built using Microsoft Access and ultimately moved to a MySQL database with a web front end.