Artificial Intelligence for Asset Management in Education Sector

April 18, 2023

For a layman, the education sector overtly seems to be a process of imparting knowledge in exchange for tuition fees. But at the backdrop, running a school or any educational institute or running a whole education system is a large business which includes financial decisions, Investments, asset assessment and management. It is not just a big data file of attendance, and achievement records, it includes the things, devices, and apparatuses, to assist the teaching learning process.

As an academic year starts, the last thing one wants to think about is the end of year audits and asset tracking, but the truth is, we know it is coming, and there is no better time to think about it than early in the year. If we start tracking early in an academic year, the end of the year will be a cause for celebration and not a concern. No academic year ends or starts without stories of missing assets, usually computers and tablets, but sometimes even bigger items, like gymnasium equipment or any other expensive equipment. While some losses and theft are inevitable often these missing assets aren’t gone, just unfound.

As they say, “Education is the biggest and oldest Business in the world”, and a Business cannot survive without a sound system of asset management and Investment. Now to understand the assets of a business, some terminology should be clear.

Hard and soft assets

Asset management concerns the monitoring and recording of two types of assets: hard and soft. A hard asset is any physical object that is either owned or maintained by an organization, such as keys, laptops, books, transportation, building, playground, swimming pools etc. But these Physical can be further categorized as fixed assets: School buildings, playgrounds, swimming pools etc. Which is maintenance based but does not require inventory. Other than these everything owned and managed by an organization is inventory based, which are soft assets. Soft assets, on the other hand, are important documents or procedures that need to be monitored and maintained. This may include inspection documents, fire procedures or financial documents. Most organizations think to manage their hard assets, but they often forget about their soft ones. If these aren’t backed up or maintained regularly, though, your school/ education institute could get into real trouble and there could be huge repercussions.

Four main types of Education Institute Assets

You can only manage your Assets successfully if you know which category they fall in and the kind of supervision they require. Schools use a raft of items as part of their Inventory, to cater to different departments.

Therefore, to make Asset management easier, it is recommended to divide your Education Assets into four main categories.

  1. IT Assets: These consist of electronic hardware devices such as tablets, printers, laptops, and projectors. They are normally assigned to classrooms by Users.
  2. School/college transport: Each school has its fleet of school vans and minibuses depending on the size of its staff and transport needs. You must monitor the routes and maintenance requirements of your school transport to make sure it works at its optimum.
  3. Inventory: This includes all stationery, cleaning supplies, sports equipment, and other consumables that need frequent restocking.
  4. Soft assets: Teachers and Admins often use different software to work on different projects and follow up on assignments. These comprise the soft Assets used in a school.

Artificial Intelligence in Asset Management

The rise of artificial intelligence is nothing short of a technological revolution. AI is poised to completely transform the asset management and investment strategies of businesses, yet its current application within the education sector is limited and fragmented. Existing AI implementations tend to solve very narrow educational issues, rather than serving as a powerful tech framework for the next-generation Education Era.

Artificial Intelligence in Asset management is known as AMS: Asset management software. The software provides businesses with a streamlined process for tracking assets with efficient data management. AMS delivers complete visibility into asset costs, usage, and return on investment for improved business performance insight.

Examples of asset management software in the Education Sector:

  • Hardcat’s School Asset Management Software
  • Brightly ASM
  • Asset Panda (Universities and Schools’ ASM)
  • VIZOR Chromebook Management Software Solution for K-12 Schools
  • Reftab ASM

The benefits of implementing Artificial Intelligence for asset management in schools

  • The improvement of record-keeping. Schools that still depend on paper-based arrangements for managing their assets in the 2020s run the risk of fire or other circumstances destroying all of their records. This can have many negative implications, including making it harder for insurance claims to be filed about lost assets. By contrast, having your school’s asset management system ‘in the cloud’ – as is the case, for instance, with Assets & Compliance Managed Services UK’s Vision software – provides a single, central location where details on the institution’s assets can be kept and continually updated, out of harm’s way.  Cloud-based software allows for futureproofing, flexibility and scalability.
  • Avoid spending on duplicate assets. In the absence of an adequately maintained and accurate asset AI register, a school can easily find itself spending its finite budget purchasing assets to which it already has access. A teacher may request more chairs for use in their classroom, for example, without realising there are chairs they could use in another classroom in another department. An up-to-date asset management system helps avoid this.  AI can help to tag each item and location in form of a barcode so that the item can be traced easily and expenditure on duplicate items can be managed much more easily than scrolling over a different hard copy of registers.
  • Improved budgeting and tracking. No school has a bottomless budget, but many institutions compound the issue by failing to sufficiently keep track of how much is being spent on assets for each department. When there are arrangements in place for accurately tracking spending on different departments within the school, better-informed decisions can be made about budget allocation and what assets are prioritised for purchase. Using hard records can be a cumbersome task, whereas by using AI tools, a lot of human errors can be avoided.
  • Reducing the risk of assets being stolen. The importance of schools sticking to what is likely to be a stringent budget only makes the headache all the greater when certain key assets go missing. A teacher may notice, for example, that a projector has gone missing. If asset management software is in place with the projector having been suitably tagged, it will be easy to simply refer to this system for information on where the projector was last located and who most recently used it.
  • Reducing the number of manual asset audits. The most sophisticated asset management platform will provide live data on where a given organisation’s assets are, and exactly what equipment is accessible for use. It’s no less the case for schools, which therefore won’t have to carry out so many time-consuming manual audits of their assets.
  • Storing data in one place. Any given school can have hundreds or even thousands of assets, encompassing such vital equipment as chairs, desks, laptops, keys and documents that are crucial to the management of the institution. Investing in an asset management platform like Vision software gives a school a single, centralised register of assets that can be referred to from almost anywhere and is not under threat from fire or other disasters in the same way as a paper-based system would be.

Choosing The Right Asset Management Software

Choosing the right asset management software can be daunting. There are many moving parts within an AMS program, and programs can vary widely in their feature sets and pricing. Your challenge begins with having to choose from more than two dozen AMS providers.

To narrow your choices to the best AMS programs, one must consider several key factors, including ease of setup, ease of operation, standard features, mobile capabilities, reporting, and pricing. Ultimately, choosing the right AMS program should be based on these key factors and, more importantly, whether the program applications are suitable for your specific Education business needs.

Other than this, the software must come with a Training Module containing how-to guides, drawings, and even video footage.

Various factors will help determine the suitability of a given asset management solution for your school, including its ease of use, functionality and reputation in the education sector.

Concluding Remark

The education sector worldwide is preparing for a major change in how students learn. They are investing in technology to use in their new curriculums based on AI. As a lot of effort and planning go into these developments, schools are realizing that IT asset management tools that will help them manage technology long-term. School asset management system, traditionally or has always been a massive chore being expensive, time-consuming, and not always systematic. Therefore, there is a need for a system like an asset tracking to earn high grades in ease of use, accuracy, and performance. Through Asset Management System it gets very easy to get complete control over every data recorded new fields are added, Every item on the asset list gets centralised and eases out the budgeting decisions and saves a lot of time of management.

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