With the modern retail ecosystem consisting of heavily digitized processes for both employee experiences and back-office operations, many retailers can find it difficult to manage all the IT assets the industry now requires to be successful.
IT asset tracking is an essential process for any organization looking to manage its technology resources efficiently, and it’s more important today than ever before:
- Compliance: Retailers are subject to regulations and industry standards that require accurate records of IT assets. Effective IT asset management reduces the risk of financial penalties or legal issues due to non-compliance.
- Security: Ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive data decreases the risk of security breaches and data theft, ensuring compliance with PCI DSS and HIPAA rules.
- Efficiency: Asset management enables retailers to identify where assets are underutilized or overutilized and take corrective actions to save money or prevent downtime.
Any asset management software should be able to track every asset in the organization’s inventory, from laptops and smartphones to software licenses and cloud service subscriptions, in real time. When considering a tracking solution for your business there are several key requirements that must be met:
1. Alerts and Geo-Fences
Generate alerts if a device is moved without authorization or if it goes missing. In some cases, it may also be necessary to use tags, providing real-time locations for the IT devices. Another common method is to use barcodes that can be read using a handheld scanner.
2. Reporting and Analytics
The reporting and analytics reports can be used to improve operational efficiency and optimize the utilization of assets. For example, a report on IT asset usage can help to identify which assets are being used most frequently and which ones are sitting idle. Or, if analytics show that an asset is constantly being moved from one location to another, it may be time to consider investing in additional devices.
3. Automated Returns and Repairs
The process to start a return or repair of an asset should be directly integrated into the systems and processes you already use. Your asset tracking system should generate shipping labels and schedule a pickup of the device from the store’s or employee’s site.
4. Direct Integrations With Business Systems
IT asset logistics software should be able to integrate with other business systems. This includes ERP, CRM, accounting systems, monitoring and security systems, and shipping and procurement services. Integration allows organizations to automatically share data between different business processes and improve overall visibility into their operations.
5. Seamless International Shipping and Customs
International Shipping and Customs is a difficult and often laborious process involving multiple parties, arcane regulation and strange Harmonized System codes that are difficult to decipher. An IT asset tracking system should ideally provide real-time tracking and monitoring of all assets in transit even through international routes. The system should also be able to generate alerts and notifications when assets are delayed or have experienced damage during transit.
In conclusion, IT asset management for the retail industry allows for tighter security and gives retailers a comprehensive understanding of their assets to make informed decisions.
—Scott Ryan, CEO and Co-Founder, Montra