I love libraries. And I just thought of an ingenious way to combine my passion for libraries with my understanding of asset tracking. I’ll use libraries to explain the difference between asset tracking and inventory management.
Asset tracking is different than inventory management in the same way that a library is different than a bookstore. Asset tracking is all about managing the tools you need to continue operating, and inventory management is about managing the products you need to sell to stay in business.
Asset Tracking at the Library
How is asset tracking like a library? Because libraries have a variety of assets – including books, CDs and DVDs – that are constantly being lent out to patrons with an expectation that they will be returned. Libraries do obtain new items and sell old ones, but for the most part they’re interested in maintaining their assets.
Government agencies and other organizations are often more interested in asset tracking than inventory management because they’re not selling products, but they are using materials. They need an asset tracking system, just as libraries use barcodes and scanners to scan books in and out.
Inventory Management at the Bookstore
How is inventory management like a bookstore? Because a bookstore is a business, unlike a library which is more of a public service. Bookstores must sell books and other products to be successful, so they are constantly receiving, storing, shipping and selling products.
Bookstores can’t afford to keep products sitting in their warehouses or run out of hot-selling products. That’s why bookstores and many other businesses use inventory management software. It automates many of the inventory management processes, such as monitoring inventory levels, reordering products and more.
Asset Tracking and Inventory Management
Asset tracking and inventory management have a lot in common, but they also have important differences. Asset tracking handles an organization’s internal resources while inventory management handles a company’s products for sale.
If you’re interested in learning more about Fishbowl’s popular asset tracking system, get a free inventory software trial today. I’ll see you at the library!