IT Governance

7 Top Tips for Effective Inventory Management

ITSM is the dance that never ends, in spite of all the sore calves. Continuous improvement is the prime directive every day, and that applies to even “simple” endeavors like inventory management. In a post at his website, Joe the IT Guy shares seven tips to do a stellar job with inventory management:

  1. Understand what inventory management is.
  2. Start with your most expensive area.
  3. Get an accurate count.
  4. Categorize and label inventory.
  5. Watch for renewals.
  6. Build a basic process.
  7. Keep things going.

Fully Stocked

Inventory management—to distinguish it from asset and configuration management—looks at inexpensive peripherals like keyboards and ID cards. That being said, even inexpensive items add up in cost, so Joe says to look at the most expensive area or the one where it is hardest to get financial sign-off first. This way, you are setting yourself up for a quick win to show off when there is a need to demonstrate benefits being produced.

In any case, it is important to get accurate counts. It is embarrassing but wholly possible that an incident can occur as a result of not having as much of X on hand as you thought. And about how to categorize and label it all, Joe says this:

Sensible housekeeping helps. Group your inventory items together in clearly labeled, logical groups. For example, all laptop peripherals together in separate labelled boxes – so one for keyboards, one for power supplies, etc. Then move on to PC, network, and voice peripherals.

By being smart – although some would just say “organized” – with how you store your IT equipment, not only do you improve the workflow of your support teams, it also helps you to maintain a more accurate inventory.

Labeling makes it easier to see when it is time to restock. To reduce the need for discussion, agree upon a quantitative threshold at which you automatically reorder supplies.

There will be aspects of inventory management that fall out of an inventory manager’s control, such as aspects that fall into incident management. Build processes that account for these gaps and connect with these other areas as needed. Once you have done that, you have your foundation for great inventory management in place, so just keep going with it from there.

For additional elaboration, you can view the original post here:

John Friscia

John Friscia was the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success from 2015 through 2018. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and grew in every possible way in his time there. John graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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