Today’s business climate is anything but normal. With many organizations home officing for the foreseeable future and others coping with substantially reduced operations, many business premises sit empty or nearly so. While the future of these site may be unknown, what is clear is that many assets are idle at the moment and that presents a rare opportunity.
One of the challenges faced when conducting physical inventories is the disruptions caused by the team moving through the facilities and interrupting the productivity of the staff. Invariably the inventory team will work to minimize these disruptions which slows the speed and drives up the cost. The traditional work-around is to perform the inventory after hours but that can also be more expensive and sometimes not feasible at all. In today’s environment, that challenge has evaporated.
So, is now the time to inventory your assets?
Clearly, for those assets located in facilities that are empty or nearly so, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Never before, and hopefully never again, will inventories be conducted absent interruption. Often knowledgeable staff is available and has the bandwidth to conduct the inventory and, if needed, reconcile the results. If a professional inventory service is required in lieu of an internal effort, fees and availability are likely to be favorable.
Conversely, today’s climate presents new challenges. Any on-site effort must respect CDC and local guidelines for safely allowing individuals into the facility. Some of these requirements may provide a minor reduction in the speed of the inventory. Access to the facility may be more difficult as the normal security systems and personnel are not present. Additionally, clean-up may be required after the inventory is completed.
In some instances, a considerable number of assets, particularly IT assets, may be off premises due to home officing. If the inventory is limited to that single category, it is likely the inventory will need to wait but is that is a component large scale effort, the time is now to proceed. The IT assets can simply be a phase two effort when those assets return.
While inventory activity evaporated early in the pandemic, we have seen many organizations begin to recognize the opportunity and take advantage of these unique circumstances. This window will remain open for a limited amount of time and the wise managers will take advantage to provide the foundation for asset management going forward.