Every year £1 billion of computer equipment is stolen in the UK. Even when fully insured, the time and inconvenience of equipment replacement are additional costs, as is replacing sensitive information. Thousands of recovered items cannot be returned due to lack of proof of ownership, and one thousand laptops are being stolen in Britain each week! Digital cameras are not far behind.
Organisations seldom know exactly what equipment they have or where it is. Poor supervision results in resources being wasted as misplaced items are replaced unnecessarily. Theft is encouraged when no checks are apparent.
Faulty equipment causes accidents and compensation levels are rising with the effects of consumer ‘rights’, victim culture, and ‘no win no fee’ lawyers.
Financial resources and reputation are further undermined when a lack of up to date maintenance records and risk assessments prevent due care being demonstrated over such diverse assets as portable appliances, trees, machinery, IT equipment, street scene, cemeteries, and buildings.
Misplaced files and staff turnover result in vital knowledge potentially departing with the employee, leaving dangerous and time consuming knowledge gaps.
The above illustrates important threats arising from property
ownership, which if ignored can cause failure to reach agreed
standards, increased claims frequency, loss of reputation, or at
Problem: Getting answers to these questions is taking up too much of our senior
Are we breaching our software licences? Are we operating unsafe workplaces?
Can we discover instantly what IT equipment we bought last year to maximise our
negotiating power with the sales team next week?
The financial controller needs year end book values using different depreciation rates.
Can we run this quickly in each department?
Can we export a list of our power tools to the grounds maintenance team for updating?
Solution All data can be sorted and filtered much faster than using spreadsheet
queries, with instant changes to totals, and exported or printed
Benefit Speed, accuracy, time saved, and perhaps reputation too.
Databases can be set up for inventories, registrations, visitors, leases, vehicles
cash in transit, phone call logging, fuel expenses, training attendance, risk assessments, scientific measurements, archiving, bar and club licences, job interview scoring, call out times. It can even validate outside contractors invoicing, eg cleaners have to scan a barcode after each room is completed
Essentially what ASSETtrac does, being independent of any hardware manufacturer in this field, is to put a range of tag options, decoder choices, and data management possibilities in front of clients to substitute as much paper as possible with electronic recording. Selections can all be supplied through us to provide an end to end solution which speeds up procedures in the fixed or revenue generating asset sector, reduces inaccuracy, deters theft, and offers documentation to protect reputation enables balance sheet/financial controller questions to be answered quickly. We work with the label and scanner suppliers on many occasions, integrating components with our own software to produce a ‘plug and play’ system that can be operated comfortably within an hour and is also network ready. Standard packages are on the shelf. Our emphasis is on ease of use and all our clients find operating a one button barcode scanner in conjunction with a tagged asset or room or person or vehicle significantly improves accuracy and speed over the clipboard approach. This is a complete end to end solution with barcode or microchip talking to scanner and scanner talking to software. More detail on the three elements can be found in APPENDICES A - D THE SOLUTION
A secure marking system can play a vital part in the mitigation of insured and self-insured losses, the resolution of deficiencies in asset management, and the proof of ownership necessary for the return of stolen items recovered by the police. These advantages can be applied across the whole range of property concerned, and at a cost bearable by separate departmental budgets for security and software development The Asset Range Mobile Phones Computers and printers Tools and plant. Vehicles. Traffic signs and street lighting Trees Museums & libraries Schools equipment Boilers Scientific Apparatus Residential inventories Cemeteries THE SOLUTION
BENEFITS….. Fast data capture and reduced auditing time Theft deterrence Accurate warranty and maintenance Proof of ownership for information recovered assets Improved accuracy for audit trails and Identification of surplus assets depreciation Tracking of labour force tools and equipment Minimal staff training Proper assessment of total sums at risk. Potential reduced premiums Costs of less than 1% of the capital asset values. No health risks THE SOLUTION
Anyone with a modest knowledge of data input can become familiar with all the functions within one hour as training records and Help file are pre-installed. Other benefits include:-
Our research shows its price is well below comparable software
It can be amended to your requirements, and your current records (if trusted) imported en bloc
It can track any activity that needs recording, not just fixed assets.
User defined views can be set up instantly so that for example the IT manager can see a set of asset information that is separate from the information that the auditor may want to see, or the purchasing dept may want etc, all within the same database.
It manages all the business ‘chores’ of tracking, audit, inspection records, depreciation,
and values in one program, with fast data input and easy reporting.
With the application of barcodes to locations, vehicles, or even people, these
procedures are completed both accurately and at great speed compared with
the manual paper approach, leaving you free for more interesting activities!
The asset manager or internal auditor may use this system to track who has what where, and via ‘History’, who had what where. Old asset registers are easy to import. Equipment associated with field inspections, weekend home working, vehicle tools and plant may be marked and tracked.
The purchasing manager may use it to determine the age and write off periods for site machinery, furniture, catering equipment, and budget for replacement.
The IT manager ensures compliance with software licences, and defends the security of important computers with tamper resistant labels. Repairs can be checked in and out, as can the issue of software CD’s, and laptops for staff at weekends.
The licencing manager may create new databases very quickly to record many aspects of the council to licencee or contractor relationship, as each data record may be identified by post code as well as barcode number.
The finance director can instantly review original and depreciated values, demand any type of report by asset, location, time, manufacturer etc.
The insurance manager may obtain accurate sums insured for policy limits, and control up to date maintenance and inspection records. This is vital to demonstrate reasonable care in court to limit compensation for injured parties, and resist accusations of negligence.
The facilities manager may log building conditions, record asbestos discovery, log security guard movements, and schedule grounds’ maintenance.
A lab manager may label and track laboratory specimens, and defend valuable scientific apparatus.
The security manager may record covert identification numbers of RFID microchips to assist in proof of ownership and the recovery of valuable stolen property.
The health and safety officer can issue batch records/work schedules to a hand held computer for maintenance staff to carry out condition surveys, risk assessments, PAT testing etc. Edited results are uploaded to the host PC instantly, removing the need for keying hand written results into spreadsheets.
The financial controller can validate the costs of outsourced services, eg room cleaning.
The leisure centre manager can record all sports equipment, and track loans to visitors, and accident reporting
An archivist, librarian, or art manager may create an inventory of their respective collections for security or lending purposes
All elements of this solution have been chosen for low cost practical benefits, ease of use, and minimal training needs, and can be tailored to exact client requirements without costly rewriting of the software.
A SELECTION OF CURRENT PUBLIC SECTOR APPLICATIONS PUBLIC SECTOR CLIENT APPLICATION BENEFIT Brighton, Bath, Corporation Memorial headstone Reducing the cost of of London and many other councils risk assessments making cemeteries safer London Borough of Camden Wheelie bin tracking Repairs and maintenance Rushmoor BC Dog waste bin tracking Efficient route management Maldon DC, UK Sport IT asset tracking Paper free audits Doncaster MBC Memorial tree identification Tracking lease revenue N E Lincs Council Toy library inventory Lending toys to playgroups Surrey Ambulance Vehicle inventories Tracking equipment B’ham Education Authority School inventories Asset management Millennium Seed Bank, Kew Seed sample tracking Inventory management Ministry of Defence Asset ID and management Inventory movements North Ayrshire Council Noise and vibration tests Paper free PDA recording
The Asset Performer program is all about improving processes, removing paper, and liberating busy managers from time consuming and often boring activity. The main objective is usually physical asset management, but it can
be quickly tailored to register any human activity, thus saving even more time and costing less per user.
Many clients are stirred into action by theft, insurance companies, education departments, accidents, legal proceedings or health and safety inspections. A typical overall cost of £3000 is a small investment to
Defend a hard won reputation in an aggressive legislative climate.
Alleviate concern over information deficits and security weakness.
Discover and remedy potentially dangerous conditions.
Encourage best business practice.
Obtain a positive ROI by concentrating faster tools in fewer hands.
Clients appreciate ease of use and as you can see from the pictures below, there are very few buttons hence a minimal training period! Both are supplied with cables for computer linking.
RFID read only scanner Cipherlab 8001 PDT Cable link RS232/USB holds up to 60000 barcodes
APPENDIX C Asset Performer is a practical spreadsheet looking program to manage Inventories, Property Tracking, Maintenance Records and Compliance, Sums Insured, Depreciation, Audit, and Proof of Ownership. Based on the success of its predecessor Asset Manager, which has already sold over a thousand copies, this latest version incorporates all the daily needs of managing moveable assets. ASSET PERFORMER
● Can contain multiple products (databases) in the same program
● Has pre-designed formats (views) which can be easily customised
● Is integrated with barcode and radio frequency microchip scanners
● Contains depreciation routines
● Tracks the change history for every field belonging to an asset
● Allows sorting and filtering via simple mouse clicks
● Is network ready (many people can share the same data)
● Allows simple import from and export to other programs
● Has in-built security
● Contains a menu of all the common asset description fields that you are likely to need
● Will build lists from existing data to save typing when adding similar asset details
The program is for use with Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/NT4/XP/7, written
in VB with an ACCESS 97 backend. The program may be loaded from CD on
stand alone PC’s, or a network version installed. In each case the program will
run for 30 days before a registration code is required from us via a phone call.
APPENDIX C ....
THE SOFTWARE PROGRAM- ASSET PERFORMER MAIN ASSET TRACKING FUNCTIONS OF ASSET PERFORMER Single record input Value range filtering RFID input Date range filtering Help File Button Menus D/B access passwords Instant D/B switching Default headers Book value comparison Cell change tracking Dependent filtering Search record Instant filtering Column order/width In cell editing Font/Style User defined display User defined headers Multiple asset entry D/B import/export Custom report printing Scanner integration Multiple barcode entry Auto total value fields Paper free audits Depreciation Routine Built in Training D/B Multiple customised views Pocket XL Hot sync Each data record can contain as many cells as you like. However to save scrolling time and entering data that is rarely used, there is an attachment feature to any other file type. So attaching a picture of the asset, or its operating instructions is but a mouse click away. APPENDIX C…..
P APERFREE A SSET I NSPECTION and R ECORDING S YSTEM
One of these tools is three times as V fast as the other, reducing survey costs by up to 70%
PAIRS is a simple but powerful paper free system to accelerate the process of recording equipment inspections or surveys of corporate property and procedures.
Combining office PC and palm sized hand held computer, the costs of recording
and storing inspections via the traditional paper trail are significantly reduced. Typical examples are memorials, trees, street scene and playground surveys
The Objective Improve the speed and accuracy of creating and reporting risk assessments, survey results, and equipment tests to the responsible manager with modern electronic data capture tools. Reduce the annual costs of the whole process without a significant rise in re- training. Obtain documentation to support both compliance and safety measures taken. The Benefits The issue of batch inspections, isolating equipment most at risk, and prioritising remedies. Updating via user friendly spreadsheet records, and automatic re-inspection scheduling. A robust record retention program to meet best practice and the requirements of the HSE. Substantiating the dialogue over duty of care with employees and third parties. Accelerated progress towards site compliance through faster survey rates. Based on nominal employment costs, inspection cost reductions of 70% are achievable. APPENDIX D….. PAIRS
APPENDIX D….. PAIRS Communication with field personnel. The movement of data to and from hand held devices may be achieved by USB cable or wireless GPRS over the mobile phone network. A cable link is cheaper and quite appropriate if the field team are always returning to base regularly. However to increase work rates, decrease fuel consumption, and reduce form filling and keying, a GPRS system may be better as shown below. GPRS Tracking System overview. The system is designed to allow collection and collation of data in the field using PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) or other means and the consequent viewing/reporting of this data from a central web database via the internet (see fig. 1). Data can be collected by Bluetooth- enabled devices, such as handheld PAT testers for example, and then subsequently transmitted into a PDA, or by attaching an RFID scanner to a PDA and scanning data directly into the device. Data can also be gathered by manual entry but in each of these cases it is marshalled by an ASSETtrac application running on the PDA (see fig. 2). In some cases clients may have a requirement to send their own data stream to the web server and this can also be accommodated.
APPENDIX D….. PAIRS Once data is collected in the PDAs it is sent via GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) to a web server, where it is parsed and entered into a database by an automatic application running on the server. The server application ‘listens’ on a range of ports for a specific data stream, which once detected, can be used to determine the identity of the sender, the location from where the data has originated, the date and time at which the data was collected and any other information the client may find useful. Once in the web server database the data can be viewed and reported in meaningful ways within a web browser, via secure login accounts. It can also be used to invoice client customers directly from the raw data or imported, via an ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity) link, into desktop applications such as MS Excel or MS Access – thus providing infinitely customisable ways in which to sort, filter and query the data by those with even a small knowledge of data manipulation using such desktop applications. All data is held on secure, dedicated servers with full back up facilities.
ASSETtrac Ltd was formed in 1999 by director Stephen Laing with the experience of some 25 years as a Lloyd’s broker in the City of London and abroad. The company’s initial focus was in the security sector with the provision of objective advice on unique identification and the supply of a range of tagging devices including RFID microchips, radio frequency identification devices commonly found in animals. These are a serious alternative to barcodes in chosen areas of article numbering. Ian Athersmith joined as technical director in 2003 and is responsible for all software products. In a short time the company has developed a number of household name clients as detailed elsewhere, and the focus now is very much on:-
Improving processes in the data management field
Enabling clients to dispense with costly slow paper processes and tick sheets
Providing integrated end to end solutions comprising tag, scanner, and software
Keeping the software simple, to accelerate roll out, minimise training and
facilitate user defined procedures.
Reinforcing day to day management benefits with security as a bonus.
Providing outsourcing services to organisations who just require their assets tagged, logged, and audited with an accurate inventory as the outcome. Data reports may include condition, value, weight, serial numbers, and PAT testing.
We will provide any combination of the following services:-
Recommend, assist design, and supply generic or customised labels
Fix labels and collect asset data, and/ or conduct an audit
Supply appropriate microchips and scanners
Supply standard or client specified software for own installation
Supply and install software in stand alone computers or across a network
Supply on site system training
Import current inventories and/or create new databases
Provide office hours technical support.
East Anglia Ipswich BC Maldon DC Southend BC East Midlands Birmingham CC Coventry CC East Staffordshire BC Stratford upon Avon TC Tamworth BC London British Standards Inst Corporation of London LB of Barnet LB Camden LB Greenwich LB Havering LB Hounslow LB Lambeth LB Lewisham LB Richmond MAJOR PUBLIC SECTOR CLIENTS LB Southwark London Underground Ministry of Defence OFCOM Office of Deputy PM Royal Borough of Kingston Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew UK Sport V&A museum North East Doncaster MBC Kirklees MC Newcastle CC Sheffield CC North West Carlisle CC Crewe & Nantwich BC Oldham MBC Warrington BC Scotland Borders & Lothian Police Edinburgh CC East Ayrshire DC Falkirk Council Fife Council Glasgow CC Inverclyde Council North Ayrshire DC North Lanarkshire Council Scottish Borders Council South Ayrshire Council South East Brighton & Hove CC Bournemouth BC Chilterns BC Dacorum BC Eastbourne BC Harlow DC Havant BC Medway Council
South East Portsmouth CC Reading BC St. Albans DC Surrey Ambulance University of Sussex Wales Caerphilly CBC Cardiff CC Gwent Merthyr Tydfil CBC West of England Bath & NE Somerset Bristol CC Exeter CC Gloucester CC Malvern TC Mid Devon DC Plymouth CC Torbay Council Weymouth & Portland BC Wyre Forest DC MAJOR PUBLIC SECTOR CLIENTS…. West Midlands Chesterfield BC Derby City Council Peterborough CC Borough of Boston Mansfield Schools/Lea’s Berkhamsted School Bordesley Green GS Brighton & Hove SFC Chalvedon SFC Hautlieu School, Jersey Highlands College James Brindley School Kemnal College Kingsford School Notre Dame College Swalciffe Park Telford College London Academy CastleHS Doncaster HTC Linden Lodge Commercial Air Liquide France Telecom Kellogg Brown & Root London Underground Medical Gas Solutions NFU Mutual Insurance Northern Rock PLC Sage UK Sporting Index Orange Business Systems National Refridgerants