What is Asset Control?

A man practices asset control in his online shop stockroom.

Asset control isn’t new by any means—companies of every shape and size have always prioritized tracking their most valuable assets. But over the last decade, the asset control process has significantly modernized. No longer do companies rely on notebooks or inventory spreadsheets to keep track of their equipment, machinery, property, and other long-term assets. In fact, inventory software can help your business track every asset it owns and keep a full visual inventory, even across multiple locations.

Even though software solutions can take the guesswork out of asset control, it’s still important to know the fundamentals of asset control so you can apply it to whatever inventory system you choose. Read on to learn more about asset control, why it’s so important, and what to look for in asset control software. 

What is asset control?

Asset control, also called asset tracking, refers to the asset management process companies use to organize, track, audit, and record essential details about long-term assets. A critical part of inventory management, asset control requires a company to adopt an effective asset management system, such as asset management software.

An asset is defined as an item in your inventory that generates revenue but won’t be sold. It can encompass items like computers, equipment, furniture, and even company vehicles, as well as intangible assets such as software licenses. 

While some businesses may rely on documents or spreadsheets to track assets, these systems are prone to erasure and data entry errors and are difficult to synchronize across multiple locations. With the right asset management app, all teams—even those in different locations or job sites—can collaborate efficiently to ensure inventory records are always accurate. 

Why is asset control important?

Asset control is essential for many reasons, including preventing inventory loss, staying on top of important maintenance dates, and speeding up everyday processes, from operations to accounting. Here are three reasons why asset control is so critical.

1. Asset control saves you money by reducing inventory loss 

By keeping tabs on your assets properly, you can reduce inventory loss, theft, obsolescence, and premature demise. 

For example, say your construction company owns heavy machinery in Arizona and New Mexico. If your company was using a document or a spreadsheet to keep tabs on all those high-value assets or simply trying to manage them with no asset control system, it could be easy for critical details to fall by the wayside. For example, damage to equipment could go unrecorded, or key preventative maintenance dates could come and go with no service performed.

And while it’s unlikely a company would “lose” heavy machinery, equipment like laptops, tablets, smartphones, and personal protective equipment like noise-canceling headphones can easily be lost or stolen. 

But with the right asset control system, it’s easy to keep track of investments, no matter where they’re stored or how often they change hands. 

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2. Proper asset control improves collaboration and compliance

In all likelihood, there is more than one person in your company who utilizes and tracks assets. Items such as equipment, tools, and even vehicles may be used by multiple employees within a single day. 

Practicing good asset control means providing transparency into who is using what, when. A good asset control system makes it easy for your entire team to track assets, even if those employees don’t work out of the same office. It can also reduce the frustration of not knowing where a certain asset is, or if it’s even in that location.

For example, imagine you work at a consulting company. The company has offices in New York and San Francisco, but all technology and equipment is housed in Chicago. The IT department in Chicago can use asset tracking software to maintain a comprehensive asset list, generate barcode labels to place on each item, then “check out” those items when they are shipped to other offices or to employees working remotely.  

What’s more, the company will always have a list of what assets are where, what condition they’re in, and what employee they’re currently being used by. With asset tracking software like Sortly, your team can manage every facet of asset control from their smartphones, tablets, or computers, ensuring that every asset is accounted for. 

3. High-quality asset control can streamline business operations

Finally, adopting the right asset control strategy can make every aspect of your business run smoother, from scheduling maintenance to ordering new equipment to preparing corporate taxes and calculating depreciation

With a proper asset control system in place, your team will always know what assets it owns, how much they’re worth, where they are currently located, and when to reorder more or schedule service to keep those assets in pristine condition. When your business isn’t spending time and money searching for missing assets or replacing ones that have been misplaced, stolen, or fallen into disrepair, it can focus more on conducting business that matters.

The right asset management software can also speed up tedious asset audits and key organizational processes like asset tagging. What’s more, asset tracking software can use inventory data to inform your accounting processes, from crafting a balance sheet to forecasting demand to calculating depreciation. 

Sortly will alert you whenever a product is approaching expiration, needs to be restocked, or is nearing a custom-set important date, such as scheduled maintenance. The app also makes it easy to record an item’s condition, leave notes about any problems, and create an easy-to-follow user history should any questions or concerns about an asset arise. 

What to look for in asset control software

When selecting asset control software to track your business’s items, you’ll want to look for a product with helpful features designed to save you time and money. Here are four essential features to look for when it comes to asset control software:

1. Highly customizable

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to asset management; the right solution is customizable for your business. Look for asset management software that lets you customize item details (such as quantity, price, and condition), add photos, and even lets you organize inventory any way you want. That way, you’ll be able to develop an inventory management system that reflects how your business already runs. 

2. Mobile 

Your team needs an asset control system that they can use from anywhere, anytime—no extra equipment required. After all, they may need to update asset status in the field, on a job site, in a warehouse—not necessarily in an office. The Sortly app can be used on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop and is secured with cloud-based technology.

3. Intuitive

While there are many asset tracking solutions on the market today, many are highly technical and challenging to use. Look for a product that’s simple enough for all your employees to use on day one. 

Sortly is designed to be intuitive for all users. Not only is the software simple to use, but it can also be customized to reflect exactly how your physical inventory is stored and organized. This makes it easy for the whole team to update and add items.

4. QR code and barcode-ready

Barcoding and QR coding can help streamline asset control. Choose an asset control software that allows you to scan barcodes and QR codes to check items in and out, update key details, or verify information about a given asset. 

You’ll also want a barcode and QR code generator, so you can create and print labels to affix to assets you have on hand. Sortly allows you to generate a barcode or QR code, quickly sync it to an item in your inventory, and then use a regular printer and label paper to tag your assets. 

Features like these will simplify everyday asset management processes, helping your team maintain a top-notch asset control system while leaving everyone plenty of extra time to tackle the rest of their to-do lists.

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About Sortly 

Sortly is a top-rated asset control software that offers all the key features your business needs to start practicing successful asset tracking today. Curious how Sortly could change your business? Start your two-week free trial now.


Lauren writes about inventory for Sortly. Her favorite thing to organize? Her comically large collection of stuffed animals.Lauren

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