Asset management in field service is a tough feat. The plan to keep tools and equipment in order requires the entire workforce and the administration to function in sync with third-party users such as sub-contractors.
Fremont, CA: It is frustrating to search for a specific item in the company ledger, especially when in a hurry. It is a common problem that occurs in companies that fail to manage their inventory of spare parts and equipment properly.
For field service companies, the risk is higher as most of their assets are utilized outside the company’s premises. These tools and assets can be easily misused, lost, broken, or even stolen. This move would put all the future service calls at high risk of delays or cancellations. Ultimately, this causes a ruckus in the planned schedule, making it a mess.
Another common problem arises when the company needs to undergo a periodic inventory audit. The professionals typically end up questioning why the tools and equipment are not in their places, why they aren’t logged in the database, and how many of the mobile workers have equipment in their cars. The limitless range in which the inventory can be scattered is a startling fact. To avoid this from happening, why asset management in the field is prone to risks should be understood.
• Parts on the move – As employees work in different shifts and with different parts and tools, there is a constant transference of the assets between personnel, making it difficult just to track assets and keep it updated.
• Many warehouses – It is a tough task to keep the warehouse inventory accurate and up-to-date. On top of this, maintaining inventories of various warehouses is more complicated. More warehouses mean greater complexity because the monitoring and management of the inventory is multiplied.
• Fraudulent activity – When it comes to company’s tasks, the only trust is not enough, especially when using and sharing valuable equipment in the field. In circumstances where relying on subcontractors occurs, there is a huge chance that they might be reusing tools for tasks not related to the company.
• Theft – It cannot be excluded from consideration—thefts are reported even in companies where employees work on-premises and with the scenario being easier to monitor assets. In cases where the workers are outside the company also pose an additional risk for missing inventory, as it cannot be monitored. The fact that there are more people other than employees involved in the handling of tools and equipment or scenarios where there are frequent location changes of employees, theft is a common occurrence.
• Ambiguous Procedures and Improper Execution – if the company does not set explicit instructions for responsible utilization of tools and equipment, or does not enforce the set instructions, asset management becomes merely a theoretical aspect– and this reality may cost the company a great fortune.