Asset vs Inventory Management Systems, Part 1

If you’re considering purchasing an asset or inventory management system, there a few things you should be aware of when determining which one is right for you.

First, let’s specify the difference between assets and inventory:

  • An asset is an owned item of value.
  • Inventory is the amount of materials on hand.

Next, let’s look at how each of these systems would be implemented within the same company, as well as the benefits of each type of system. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll use a manufacturer’s shipping department.

Asset Tracking in a Manufacturer’s Shipping Department

Assets you could find in a manufacturer’s shipping department include:

  • Tow motorsasset management
  • Fork trucks
  • Printers
  • Computers
  • Scales
  • Tape machines
  • Loading docks
  • Personnel (yes, even your personnel are considered assets.)

The manufacturer would have purchased the equipment listed above and used it over time, carrying out preventative maintenance, certification, and calibration when it was needed. Some of this equipment might be maintained by another internal department, and some might be maintained by a vendor. For instance, the IT department could be responsible for the printer and computers, and an outside vendor could be responsible for the scales and fork lifts.  An Asset Management System would help keep track of the equipment listed above by providing information about:

  • When the assets were purchased;
  • Where the assets were purchased from;
  • Where they are currently located;
  • When preventative maintenance was last performed and when it is due; and
  • When a service contract is due for renewal.

An Asset Management System can also assist with managing your employees who work in a certain area by recording trainees on each piece of equipment.

Benefits of Asset Management:

  • Efficient procurement: This is likely one of the greatest benefits for an organization that takes time to track its assets. You will have a snapshot view of what you currently own and can avoid unnecessary purchases.
  • Accurately calculate property taxes: Avoid the guesswork and easily estimate your property taxes based on a complete list of your tracked assets for budgeting and other financial purposes.
  • Monitor the number and functionality of software licenses: If you over-purchase licenses, you risk the increased chance of duplication and wasting money. Tracking your licenses in one place, reduces this risk.
  • Manage equipment that’s leased: Easily track lease end dates and location of this equipment to avoid fines and other unanticipated expenses.
  • Lower installation costs, decrease redundancies, and discover irrelevant maintenance: By reconciling and tracking your assets, you can pinpoint repetitive or rarely utilized equipment that can be discarded. You may also notice that you’re paying for maintenance on equipment that’s not being used—another expense that can be eliminated.

Click to learn more about asset tracking solutions.

Still have questions about Asset Tracking?

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And don’t forget to check back soon for Part 2, so that you can learn more about Inventory Tracking!


About the Author:


Amanda DeRoo is one of our ‘Edu-Techies’ and specializes in digital content creation.  Her passions include SEO and her pets (any animals for that matter).  She can be reached at:

800-830-9523  or