The FM Professional

FM Checklist: Simple Resource Tracking Methods Every Facility Manager Should Know

David Spence
October 25th, 2016
office desk with computers

Tracking company assets like printers, office furniture and safety equipment is a common FM task that requires reliable tracking methods. Manual spreadsheet tracking can lead to inaccuracies or lost equipment due to human error, but automated technology can help avoid those issues. There are many well-developed resource tracking methods that facility managers can employ to maintain their equipment and avoid damage, theft or loss. Here’s a look at three simple yet effective tech options.

Centralized checkout systems

inventory checkout scanner

A centralized checkout system allows your workplace to store and distribute resources to different employees or teams upon request through a physical or digital gatekeeper. A facility manager can keep specific groups accountable for the equipment they use, and exert fine-tuned control on how and when equipment can be used. This enables an FM to account for the needs of different stakeholders and projects throughout the company. Libraries and room booking requests often rely on this method.

A checkout system is effective for specific resources like meeting rooms, media equipment or industrial tools, but it doesn’t work for everything.

For example, commonly shared equipment like kitchen appliances or printers are too frequently used by different groups to be individually booked. Office managers using a checkout system should combine it with other methods to ensure all their resources are properly tracked.

IoT tracking

internet modem in an office

Tracking through the Internet of Things (IoT) involves using physical chips or tags in combination with sensors and software to automatically view the location of your facility’s resources. When an asset is moved or changed, its tag can be scanned and logged in order to provide an up-to-date snapshot. IoT tracking is often used for shipping and inventory management.

There are many different protocols and implementations to consider when employing IoT tracking—RFID chips, NFC and Wi-Fi are just a few potential options.

For instance, incorporating a Wi-Fi–based system will require an office to have reliable wireless signals and possibly multiple routers placed throughout the space while RFID chips will need special equipment to scan and log different items. As a result, facility managers will need to consider the different space, range and infrastructure requirements of each IoT option based on their workplaces.

Resource tracking software

using resource tracking software on a computer

Software designed for resource tracking can help facility managers log, visualize and share information about office assets. With this type of tool, you can monitor the location of each resource and communicate their availability to stakeholders and partnered contractors. You’ll also have access to up-to-date reports that share details on the condition of each asset so you can easily identify which ones require repair or replacement.

Tracking resources with a tech solution can help you avoid common errors, saving you time and reducing costs.

Managers looking to bolster their tracking capacity should consider their overall list of resources to determine which tech method best suits their needs. By combining their resource tracking platform with effective work processes, FMs can keep their offices running smoothly.

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Photos: Paweł Kadysz, Photology1971 / Shutterstock.com, andibreit, cosmix