Jackson College transforms inventory process with new asset management platform
Keeping track of thousands of college-owned assets had become a nearly impossible task in recent years for the leadership of Jackson College, an accredited public college enrolling more than 7,500 students across four campuses in and around Jackson, Michigan.
“When I first started working at Jackson in 2015, inventory management had been a challenge for years,” says Jay Ponagai, Database & Internet Systems Coordinator. The inventory software the college used was custom developed many years prior and was locally hosted, and much of the system required manual data entry and paper recordkeeping.
“It was difficult to use and access, and there were very few data standards, so even the data we did have was inconsistent. We couldn’t rely on our inventory,” Ponagai says. “Our business office had difficulty calculating and understanding the value of what the college owned. It wasn’t clear if some items were lost or even stolen. We knew this system was costing the college money, but we couldn’t even tell how much,” he says.
Modernizing asset management
After doing some research into asset management platforms, the college implemented Asset Panda in 2017.
Asset Panda’s flexible asset management software uses a mobile app and barcode system to easily track and manage any item or asset. “One of the most important features of Asset Panda was that it was mobile app-focused and cloud-based,” Ponagai says. Jackson users can simply install the app to use any mobile device as a barcode scanner to inventory items into the system.
After a smooth implementation, the college started tagging, scanning and adding thousands of items into inventory using Asset Panda, everything from computers, cameras and other technology, to facilities equipment, tools and parts, vehicles, medical equipment and musical instruments. Any item assigned to a certain space or room is tagged with that location, and every campus room has its own tag with a barcode.
Creating a detailed inventory
To date, Ponagai says Jackson is tracking almost 20,000 assets in inventory, and the new system has provided a wealth of insights and organization the college didn’t have before. “We found thousands of dollars in missing equipment that hadn’t been accounted for in years, or at all,” he says. “None of this was possible in our old system. We didn’t have any way to keep such a detailed inventory.”
When it comes to the future, Ponagai says the college has even bigger plans. “We’re excited about our plans to integrate Asset Panda into our ticketing system for IT support and project management. That way, if there’s a support or maintenance issue, we can see the history of that asset right in the ticket. We also plan to continue adding even more assets, because it has been so effective.”
Ponagai says the impact of Asset Panda has been significant and will only increase. “If we can reduce the time that employees are spending on asset tracking and management, the more time they can spend focused on their jobs, and that creates a wide variety of benefits for everyone.”
To learn more, go to AssetPanda.com/solutions/education