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Asset Management: How to Identify and Manage Ghost Assets

Fixed assets are notoriously hard to track. Manual databases can be prone to human error, items are misplaced, broken, and forgotten about without that information ever passing along into inventory or asset tracking systems.  

Many times you don’t think of your assets until something goes wrong or you are in desperate need of them. This lack of oversight means managers can’t resolve problems quickly and manage workload efficiently. 

Whether you’re tracking vehicles, equipment, tools, parts, electronics, or buildings, losing track of physical assets costs time and money. In order to get the most out of any asset, they need consistent maintenance and assessment to maintain and judge their value. If you can’t find and quickly determine the status of all your assets, you likely have some ghost assets in your organization.  

What are Ghost Assets?

A “ghost asset” is a fixed asset that can no longer be physically accounted for or is not in use, but is active in an inventory system. Most organizations don’t know the current status of all the property, equipment or goods they own. Even if something is known to be misplaced, what exactly happened to it? Was it stolen, lost, broken? 

30% of organizations don’t actively keep track of the value of what they own, where property is located, or who is using it. This means you may be paying inflated prices for insurance and taxes without realizing and wasting valuable employee resources looking for ghost assets.

You need to perform accurate physical audits on a regular basis to look out for and eliminate ghost assets. But to stop them from accumulating, active asset tracking, maintenance, and monitoring can ensure you always have the details of all valuable property at your fingertips. Your asset management process should make you feel confident, if it doesn’t it might be time to try something new. 

Tracking Method Blind Spots

Relying on manual tracking or ineffective software can cost you in the long run. Manual processes and poor technology can add additional burdens to your asset monitoring process and waste significant time and resources. Some other fallbacks of ineffective tracking methods are:

MANUAL TRACKING

  • High risk of human error
  • Time-consuming processes, loss of employee productivity
  • Omissions and inaccurate data cannot always be regulated 
  • Lag time in reporting, crucial information not available in real-time

LEGACY SOFTWARE

  • Inaccurate or uneditable historical data
  • Lack of complete visibility and reporting
  • Software downtime during bulky upgrades
  • Inability to scale efficiently

New Technology Can Help Eliminate Ghost Assets

You don’t just need to know an asset’s location, you need to know its complete status and history, at any time, anywhere. Advanced asset management software today is customizable, reliable, and flexible matching the unique processes of any organization

Any great asset management solution should be able to tell you, in real-time:

  • Asset GPS location
  • A complete ledger of who used or transported the asset
  • Maintenance history
  • Check-in or check out status

Any solution should be able to be used both in the office and in the field on mobile and desktop devices. Users also need to be able to use them on-the-fly with cloud-based uploading so information can be recorded and accessed from anywhere. 

Processes like asset monitoring don’t need to be disconnected from the rest of your operations. Help stop ghost assets from accumulating with a tool that can integrate natively to other office technology or has API capabilities to allow for custom integration. That way departments sharing equipment, finance departments, and maintenance crews throughout an organization all have access to the same asset information. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Go Evo’s MESH advanced asset tracking software can help you be more proactive in your maintenance and monitoring of your assets, speak to our experts today