BYOD for Inventory and Asset Tracking
Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to the practice of allowing employees to use personal equipment to access company information and applications. What is the device you ask? For this article and specifically applying BYOD to an inventory system or asset tracking solution, a device would be a smartphone or tablet. Can it play a part in inventory management and asset tracking solution? Yes, absolutely it can especially with SaaS Software as a Service solution.
Enabling BYOD for a Stock Inventory System
Rugged, enterprise-grade cases are available for smartphones and tablets which is often the first hurdle on the path to acceptance. Even without a protective case, the built-in camera handles the task of scanning barcodes. Barcodes are an integral part of a stockroom or warehouse inventory situation with the core elements being barcoded warehouse locations such as racks and shelves, and the SKU barcodes themselves either existing UPCs, manufacturer or supplier barcodes or your own printed SKUs. The day to day tasks of inventory control is mobile and so the idea of smartphones and tablets enabling the user to scan barcodes and process transactions where they actually occur is one of the great efficiency improvements for an inventory system.
Utilize BYOD for Asset Tracking
Whether your organization has a BYOD policy in place or not, mobile apps are especially useful in service and construction environments where lost or misplaced assets are of primary concern. Everyday tasks like checking out equipment, searching for tools available in inventory, updating equipment condition, even documenting with pictures can all be done in a mobile app. You can buy rugged, enterprise-grade cases to scan barcodes twice as fast as using a smartphone’s built-in camera. Generally, the site foreman would be tasked with scanning the barcoded employee ID badge or job # as well as the tools and equipment. With multiple jobs in play, it is easy to see the benefits from an item tracking perspective.
Advantages of BYOD
The proliferation of tablets and smartphones has led to a growing number of companies allowing personnel to bring their own devices to work. This is likely due to perceived productivity gains, cost savings, and even employee job satisfaction.
The devices are mobile and thus tasks are more efficient as they are performed and documented in one place where they occur, versus the person having to return to a central location to document activities. An organization could also see improved productivity from a worker with BYOD as it allows them to easily take the item home and work.
Cost savings can occur on the company end because they now would not need to supply the employee with an expensive dedicated device such as a high-end mobile barcode scanner. Additionally, people may take better care of their own assets than company supplied ones.
Employee satisfaction, or job satisfaction, occurs with BYOD by allowing the user to use the device they have selected as their own rather than one selected by an IT department. It also allows them to carry just one item as opposed to one for work and one for personal.
The risk introduced by BYOD tends to be an expansion of the current risk landscape — rather than introducing completely new risks. What is often found is that the risks generally remain the same. On one front, employee access to data with PCs and laptops remains or shifts to mobile, whereas on another front a mobile app with approved login access to a specific application doesn’t necessarily increase overall risks. The good news here is that companies will most likely have to focus on data and content rather than software incompatibility issues.
About Our Inventory and Asset Tracking Solution
Our inventory system and asset tracking SaaS enabling you and your team to make informed, real-time decisions based on your data whenever and wherever you need it — via a desktop browser, mobile app, or even modern dedicated barcode scanners. We’re BYOD friendly and would be happy to discuss any topics you have regarding your requirements or our solutions.