Case Study: Ivybridge Primary, Hounslow, Asset Inventory Management

Ivybridge Primary School is a large primary school maintained by Hounslow Education Authority. It currently has 290 full time pupils and 42 children part-time in the nursery. Backed by good systems of analysing and focusing school investments, and with a solid management team, Ivybridge has growing attendance numbers and is steadily improving its Ofsted ratings year on year. The latest Ofsted report commented how recent improvements in whole school development planning are strengthening the way in which the school is targeting its resources and enabling it to evaluate the effectiveness of spending and obtain best value for money. In other words Ivybridge is a ‘switched on’ school with a track record of good financial control.

Ivybridge originally used a spreadsheet to track their school assets but it required a large manual commitment and was proving unmanageable.

“We do have business software but the asset management facility is insufficient for our purposes and offers limited support in managing the school inventory,” explained Edna Byrne, Ivybridge Business Manager.

Ivybridge decided it was time to tackle the problem head on by going out to the market to find the right asset management solution. A neighbouring school recommended getting in touch with SG World to look at their AudIT school asset management solution.

“SG World already provided us with visitor books and passes. The initial demonstration was arranged very quickly and was delivered very efficiently,” Edna said. “The system is so easy to follow, the icons are fabulous! We had no difficulty in instantly understanding how the system worked.”

SG World Sales Executive Adam Rosenberg spent a couple of hours going through AudIT, SG World’s asset management system with Edna and Ivybridge’s head teacher, Caroline McKay. During this time he covered the basic features, demonstrating how easy it is to populate the software with financial details, complete a purchase history, tag and locate assets and set up automated capital depreciation reports.

“I’ve found the product demonstration really brings home to schools how easy AudIT is to use,” Adam said. “The simple, but powerful, user interface is particularly attractive to primary schools, since they might not have the same dedicated IT and administrative resources as a secondary school to resource an asset management program.”

AudIT has a unique interface which shows users where their assets sit via a virtual map, as well as with a traditional list view, making it easier for schools to get a handle on asset distribution and locations. Unlike other systems, AudIT doesn’t require schools to link assets using hierarchies, like a “parent-child system” where all assets in a classroom are linked to a top level barcode that sits on the classroom’s door frame. Because assets can be given unique registry entries, there is no danger of data loss or inaccuracy if a “parent” barcode label is lost or damaged.

AudIT is very flexible in the way schools can tag and record assets. Most other systems will require you to label every item in order to include it in the inventory, including high volume, low value items like desks and chairs. AudIT allows schools to use this method, or to choose to only barcode label high value resources like computers or A/V equipment. This method means the auditing process becomes a lot quicker as lower value items are covered by a quick manual check rather than having to individually scan each item.

Flexibility is a recurring feature running throughout AudIT software including the reporting function. If information is in the system it can be outputted in whatever form a school needs to get the best out of it using a very simple report builder. AudIT is backed by a UK-based helpdesk who are happy to set up one-click reports remotely on the school’s behalf. The software can be accessed using a mobile phone and the desktop so you can take your data with you but still take advantage of a big screen view and keyboard when you want it.

The AudIT software package is supported by an optional Asset Discovery Service where SG World’s trained engineers can come on site, photograph and record the assets, attach any supporting asset information, document serial numbers, label with barcodes and also set up the virtual asset map. SG World engineers are CRB/DBS checked and can work in and outside of normal school hours and term time. The software is incredibly easy to use but this optional service support is a very fast and cost-effective way to get schools over the initial hump of performing their first comprehensive audit. The service quickly pays for itself by freeing up the staff man hours involved in performing a comprehensive asset inventory.

“AudIT has already saved us a huge amount of time – and therefore money, ” Edna said. “ We have a fully populated, up-to-date inventory in place which is easy to access, update and monitor. We were delighted to find the price so reasonable. The support we have had so far has been excellent. I have already recommended AudIT to other schools in the Hounslow area.”

Previous article School Health and Safety Myths #1 - Bonkers about Conkers