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What Are the Best Tips for Hardware Inventory Management?

Keeping track of inventory with a laser barcode scanner.
A man checking inventory with an RFID device.
Article Details
  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Hardware refers to all of the physical components of a computer network. Servers, printers, monitors, scanners, and keyboards are examples of computer hardware. Managers of hardware inventory tend to work in Information Technology (IT). This means that they are responsible for updating, troubleshooting, repairing, and developing technology related to computers and telecommunication for an organization. Some of the best tips for hardware inventory management are to make one professional or department responsible for registering hardware, invest in a tracking system, and train and assess all employees who might use hardware.

Successful hardware inventory management cuts cost by reducing the number of lost or misplaced pieces of equipment. It can also allow managers to know to repair equipment before it is broken. Organizations that have leased equipment can remain compliant with contract terms and regulations by practicing optimal inventory management.

Many asset management professionals believe that it is important that all hardware is registered by IT professionals. A representative from the IT department should be responsible for assigning each piece of equipment an identification number. He or she also can enter data regarding date received, condition, and location into a designated inventory database. By doing this, a manager can see that hardware inventory management is centralized, allow for fewer instances of confused or contradictory inventory information.

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A tracking system is a valuable resource for many hardware inventory management professionals. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking requires managers to attach an electronic tag to each piece of hardware. Tags can be read by scanners that communicate via radio waves. Users can access information regarding receiving dates, inspections, and location from an inventory database after scanning an item.

All members of an IT department should learn how to use asset tracking technology. Managers might choose to implement a new system slowly, allowing workers to grow comfortable with new practices. In this time, managers can supervise the transfer of data from an old to new database, smoothing out any wrinkles before they implement a whole new system.

Assessing the skills of IT workers prior to introducing a new hardware inventory management system can be a good idea. This allows you to find out which workers still need to learn new practices. It also reduces the number of instances of human error.

IT managers can benefit from training all employees who use hardware in basic protocol. For example, to reduce dependence on computer technicians, IT professionals can provide employees with troubleshooting tips. They can also instruct employees how to report problems with hardware so managers can schedule inspections and repairs.

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