Fixed Asset Management

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In the late 1990's, the seven established Magistrates' Courts Committee's based in the West Midlands were amalgamated into a single organization, the Secretariat of which is now based at Newton Street, Birmingham in the West Midlands.

Before Hardcat

When it was established that the seven Courts Committee's were to be combined into one, it became apparent that assets from each site must be recorded in some way. It was at this point that a severe deficiency in record keeping and the tracking of assets was found and it was clear that a solution had to be found.

Staff of the new Magistrates' Courts Committee began searching for a suitable asset management system and finally decided that the Hardcat System best suited their requirements.

Before the implementation of the Hardcat System, the records that were available were often incomplete and lacking in detail. A total overhaul of the current system, with a view to introducing a definitive asset tracking system across all sites, was required.

A Hardcat Project team attended all West Midlands Magistrates' Courts Committee sites and carried out a full data-capture of all required assets, from which, the first complete database was built.

After the Implementation of Hardcat

Once the initial data-capture of assets was complete, this information was fed into the Hardcat System.  With the aid of the additional modules that the organization purchased (Bar-coding, Helpdesk, Depreciation and Preventative Maintenance) and the handheld scanners, staff are now able to track, monitor and maintain approximately 14,000 assets.

Assets now monitored include IT equipment such as PC's, printers, monitors and specialist office equipment including data projectors and desks.  Derek Stone, Head of Facilities at West Midlands Magistrates' Courts Committee commented, "With a comprehensive database of assets now bar-coded, it sometimes seems that about the only things that are not bar-coded are the buildings themselves!"

The Benefits

With the Hardcat System now installed, audits of equipment will be much more straightforward and the time taken to do the audits will be greatly improved.  Over time, there will also be substantial financial savings,

Conclusion

Derek Stone comments "I am sure that by using Hardcat, we will make significant cost savings, the reasons for this being, firstly, the simple process of bar-coding all our assets indicates that we have a record of an item and it's location - this will discourage anyone from removing the equipment without permission and secondly, we now know what assets are held in store and available for reallocation therefore enabling best use to be made of all available assets before new items are purchased".

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Administration

The Administration Module is used to manage users and system configuration. Users are assigned a role and a cost centre. The role defines which modules of the system are available and what the user may do within them. The system allows these roles to be constructed. Examples of role types are:-

•  Administrator
•  Requisitioner
•  Approver
•  Budget Manager
•  Purchase Clerk
•  Goods Inward Clerk
•  Accounts Clerk

Cost Centres allow users to be grouped and managers to be assigned to be responsible for them. In this way, a hierarchy can be established which controls the access to information on the system. For example, a Manager may be set up as being in charge of a Cost Centre and able to see all requisitions raised within the Cost Centre.

The reporting module is accessed from within the other modules and provides the user with reports appropriate to their status. A number of standard reports are provided with the system but users may add their own, using a report generator such as Seagate Crystal Reports.

The Help Module is accessed from within the other modules and provides the user with help appropriate to their current position on the system.

Budgets

The Budget Module uses a flexible company and cost centre structure allowing budgets to be set up for financial years and financial periods.

The system is multi-currency and allows budgets to be viewed in the local currency, the standard currency for a Group of companies or in Euros.

For each budget period, the system keeps account of the budgeted amount, the amount outstanding on requisitions and the amount invoiced. Managers can view and allocate budgets as part of the Purchase Requisition Workflow process.

System security prevents a user from viewing data outside their Company and/or Cost Centre.

Benefits of this feature include:-

•  Flexible, powerful cost centre structure can handle budgets by Project and/or Department and/or period;
•  Up to date information ensure that Managers do not exceed budgets;
•  Cost Centre structure ensures that spend in properly allocated.



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