Air Force Inns, a subsidiary of Department of Defense Lodging, provides Air Force personnel clean, comfortable rooms at 88 locations worldwide. According to Eldon “Nick” Drain, Lodging Manager for Malmstrom Inns & Suites, each Air Force Inns property is responsible for tracking the stewardship and purchasing of assets under their control. Stewardship includes the safeguarding of the assets and compliance with Air Force, state and federal record keeping requirements. Tracking of assets is typically done manually using pen and paper, which is both time consuming and prone to human error.
Malmstrom Inns & Suites was manually tracking millions of dollars in hotel assets with a paper and pen. These assets include every room item in more than 100 hotel rooms and 30 apartments — from wall pictures to bed linens; from soap to television. The hotel’s bi–annual audit took three people anywhere from one to three weeks to complete. In addition, employees were incorrectly writing down information, such as item serial numbers, which ended up resulting in inaccurate counts and data entry. This meant that employees often had to go back to the rooms to recount items or get the correct information, wasting employee time and organizational money.
Malmstrom Inns & Suites also faced some labor-intensive challenges. For example, the inn has a lot of high value items to track by serial number in each room: televisions, DVD players furniture and more. And, Drain’s team often risked injury to move heavy items to verify their serial numbers, which was cumbersome, time consuming and often resulted in cords being disconnected.
Drain also took advantage of ASAP Systems’ professional installation assistance, online training and annual support to ensure the organization was up and running as quickly as possible and that any long-term technical issues that might arise could be addressed immediately.
Drain says the implementation of the Passport solution was easy: “the process of entering the assets and establishing re–order points was intuitive and simple.” He also recommends that anyone thinking about the solution should also consider ASAP’s online assistance and one–on–one tech support, which made learning the system easier for his team.
“Taking a manual system and converting to an automated one that now sits on my desktop is a dream come true,” says Drain. “It is like being in a dark room and someone just turned the light on allowing me to see everything with a push of a button.”
ASAP recommended a complete system to Drain that included Passport, the company’s automated asset and inventory tracking software, along with barcode labels and Motorola mobile barcode scanners. The result: Drains’ team is doing their bi–annual inventory and asset count in a fraction of the time it took to do them manually, the counts are more accurate, and Drain knows the exact state of his assets/inventory at any one time. In fact, in the latest round of audits, Drain’s property was the most accurate.
Their new barcode labels include detailed item information, such as the item’s make, model, serial number, date of purchase, location and more. Drain’s team simply scans the item’s barcode in the room using Passport Mobile. The information is then synced with the software, giving the team immediate updates on the state of their assets / inventory. The barcode system also helps the team instantly identify problems, such as when an item is not in the right location.
By automating their asset and inventory management through Passport, Drain has reduced the time it takes to do his property’s bi–annual audits from as much as three weeks to about one day. The counts are 100 percent more accurate and problems due to human error have been virtually eliminated. Drain is also able to generate real-time reports to share with his employees and superiors. Today, at any one time, Drain has accurate, detailed knowledge of the state of his property’s assets and the inventory levels, including: what needs maintained or replaced, what needs to be re–ordered, what has been moved, and more.
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