Measuring Inventory Management Effectiveness: 5 Metrics You Need to Track

By Sara ArthrellInventory Management Effectiveness

With the influx of technology at your campuses each year, it’s crucial to measure how effective your processes are for managing these devices rather than just assuming your policies are working. Each decision you make should be informed by data, and the result of these efforts should be cataloged for future reference.

When managing an asset inventory program, districts have a litany of data points from which to make strategic decisions to optimize people and processes. All this information can sometimes cause paralysis at your district and stall your program.

How do you know which data to track to get the most out of your inventory management program?

1. Metric: Missing or Lost Assets
Your district loses the most money on devices you don’t keep track of. Collecting data on missing or lost assets is important during audit season and for planning future purchases. Spending more money on replacing lost assets means that funds for buying new technology assets will be limited. This could derail your district’s long-term technology plan and prevent students from having equitable access to resources.

Focus on recording the asset retention rate at each campus to save your school district of time and money. Some districts include the percentage of lost and missing assets on each principal’s evaluation to represent how the principal runs their campus. Are they being financially responsible? Are teachers and students held accountable and appreciate what they have access to?

Identify a threshold for the amount of missing assets from the audit that is acceptable, like five percent. If a campus has a missing rate higher than that, an improvement plan should be put in place. This plan should be developed with the technology/finance department and campus principal to ensure staff and students are appropriately managing devices in the classroom and reporting when items are lost in real time.

2. Metric: Task Completion Time
Tracking how much time is spent performing procedures will reveal how efficient your staff is. Does it take one staff member longer than another to complete a task? Why is that? Is it their general skill sets or is it that the procedures haven’t been communicated correctly? Recognizing these numbers provides the opportunity to offer your staff more training and teach them the skills they need to be successful. Set a standard completion time for how quickly certain tasks should be done and then evaluate how consistently that process is being performed.

The time spent on procedures also extends to how districts communicate information. Many districts expect campus staff to tag assets, but did not teach them the proper protocol or give them the necessary resources to do this. Tracking this will show you if staff is prioritizing correctly and if policies and procedures are properly documented to communicate expectation.

3. Metric: Staff Satisfaction
While staff satisfaction is number three on the list, this metric is the most important. Your staff’s ability to successfully complete their tasks is the cornerstone of the entire inventory management program. Your program can’t be effective if you don’t get staff buy-in. Survey staff to gauge their satisfaction and get a better glimpse into their roles and responsibilities. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:

  • Do you know what is expected of you at work?
  • Do you have the materials and equipment needed to do your job right?
  • Are your fellow employees committed to doing quality work?
  • Do you have any recommendations for ways to better meet the goals the district has set out? Can we be accomplishing these goals in a faster/more effective way?

Their answers will give you insight into what they need to do their jobs efficiently. Make sure to revisit your communication plan, vision, and other change management principles on a continual basis. Continue to refine your message, procedures, and training based on staff feedback.

4. Metric: Last Scan Date
There are certain assets at your district that are highly mobile and need to be continually monitored, rather than one time a year during an audit. Ideally campuses with a higher number of mobile assets should have more frequent audit processes or spot checks to ensure that inventory records are accurate.

As a district, you should have a normal percentage of assets that are constantly moving. Identify staff who effectively maintain their inventory and determine their percentage of mobile inventory to static inventory by product type. The last scan date is important because it helps regulate mobility at each school. If it isn’t equal across the district, then you’re able to investigate whether the particular school has the devices they are supposed to, how the campuses use assets, or even if the right people are managing the data.

5. Metric: Vendor Satisfaction
A vendor scorecard is very similar to a staff satisfaction survey, but geared toward vendor relationship management. The scorecard can cover anything from how your vendors are covering installation, repair, disposal, and even audit management. Some of the key questions you should ask when building a vendor scorecard are:

  • How well does the vendor tag the assets? Are they following asset tagging best practices?
  • Are the vendors supplying devices following the correct procedures?
  • Are the vendors recording details on your assets?
  • Is the information provided to you by vendors given in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Can you find your items where vendors said they installed or delivered inventory?

When building a vendor scorecard, make sure the metrics you are tracking are meaningful and measurable and that you have a consistent scale for how they’re measured. Ensure those requirements are effectively communicated prior to signing your vendor contract and continuously evaluated during and at the end of the contract.

What metrics are important to your school district? Comment below, and click here to learn how Hayes can help you with your inventory management!

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