Asset Management in Schools: Simple Overview Through a Digital Solution

Asset Management in Schools: Simple Overview Through a Digital Solution

Felix Yim 14/12/2022
Asset Management in Schools: Simple Overview Through a Digital Solution

In order to efficiently manage the growing number of IT resources in schools, it can be a good idea to use a specialised inventory software.

A digital inventory management solution can also help to comply with the obligation to provide details about the exact use of funds required under leasing programmes or grants. It also helps to keep all inventory information up to date and answers questions such as "what inventory do I have?", "where is it located?" and "when does my equipment need to be serviced?" at the touch of a button.

Apply for Funding, Order It Equipment... And Then?

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Current expansion projects for digitisation at schools can be funded by leasing programmes or grants from the federal government. Many schools have already applied for additional IT infrastructure and received equipment. The first successes are visible. However, in many cases it has been a long road full of forms and meetings from the regional needs assessment at schools to the delivery of devices. This is also due to the fact that the individual funding programmes raised new questions for many school boards and municipal administrations. Quite a few school headmasters and administrators only realised after the application that the new networks, devices,contracts and licences also entailed extended management needs. A good management strategy is therefore needed to keep track of the situation after funding has been approved and equipment has been ordered. In addition, sooner or later every funding agency wants to know how the disbursed funds were actually used.

Documenting the Use of Funds From the Beginning

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Those who pay attention to clear documentation of the use of funds and the use of the new IT resources at schools right from the start are on the safe side. In the proof of use, schools often have to confirm that the approved funds were used for the intended purpose. Information on the exact use of the equipment (e.g. where the equipment is located and in what condition) can be revealing. Therefore, all aspects related to the inventory (including condition and maintenance) should be documented on an ongoing basis. To avoid having to do this manually in self-created tables, it may be worthwhile to invest in modern and secure inventory software. In addition to the proof of use of the funding, it may be necessary to submit a factual report showing more detailed figures and statistics on the condition of the inventory. For this purpose, it makes sense to document statistics on the usage history of the equipment, support contracts, repairs and software licenses, in such a central system for the inventory objects. Professional inventory software has an integrated maintenance management module for this purpose.

Application Example: Use of Funding at Schools in Southern Germany

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The example of the town of Remseck am Neckar in Baden-Württemberg shows the concrete possibilities offered by inventory software for the management of IT equipment at schools. The local authorities planned to apply for a government grant for the digitalisation of schools “DigitalPakt Schule” (translated: Digital Pact for Schools) even before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in May 2019. To this end, they first carried out an inventory at all schools and, after various subsidies were disbursed, they ordered a large number of additional IT resources. In order to be able to manage them securely and comprehensibly, the municipality concluded a contract with the Zurich-based company Timly Software, which has developed a digital solution for the management of IT assets. Their inventory software Timly is a modern documentation system for digital and physical inventory in which every object can be virtually catalogued (also featured on Capterra). New entries and changes can be made by different authorised users, which helps to keep inventory information up to date. School headmasters and municipal administrative staff thus can keep track of digital end devices, licence agreements and IT accessories. For this purpose, each object acquired with funding is given a unique inventory number, which is attached as labels with QR codes. The code can be scanned with a simple smartphone and various actions can then be carried out in the inventory software - for example to report a change of location or a defect in the device.

Avoid Additional Effort - Work Digitally From the Start

It is worthwhile for schools and municipal school boards to think about the management of resources from funding programmes in good time, for various reasons. For example, inventory management software avoids a lot of additional work during the funding period. Questions such as "Who has which device at the moment?", "When is which resource needed where?", "In what condition is the inventory?" or "When are maintenance deadlines?" can be answered quickly with such software. In the city of Remseck, one of the results of the inventory in 2019 was that the quite different digital requirements at the schools should be harmonised. For this reason, the administration created a new position to support schools and administrative staff with digitalisation. Insufficient utilisation of the new IT resources can be avoided with the help of Timly by ordering in advance and continuously checking whether the staff is informed about all the possibilities of the available hardware and software. Managing all inventory information in a digital system quickly pays off for schools and municipalities, as it helps to stay compliant.

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Felix Yim

Tech Expert

Felix is the founder of Society of Speed, an automotive journal covering the unique lifestyle of supercar owners. Alongside automotive journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects. 

   

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