Inventory Control began using handheld scanners to conduct equipment audits several years ago. We offer the handheld for departmental use based on our audit schedule and the amount of equipment a department has. There are many benefits of scanning equipment inventory.
When SU barcode tags are scanned, there is no doubt that the equipment was located. Tag numbers keyed manually into the handhelds are not uploaded to the inventory system. The scan automatically updates the building and room number, eliminating the potential human error in making the changes manually. With a traditional printed inventory report, the tendency is to flip through the report looking for each item assigned to a room, a process called working "sheet to shelf". When an entire room of equipment is scanned any items not listed on the inventory will be located. These may include items that had previously been missing, or brand new items not yet added to the database, or even items listed in a different location.
The handhelds save all SU departments time. Conducting an inventory with the scanner will take less time than submitting a paper inventory report. They are relatively easy to use, and require less direction than a manual inventory. If a department scans an item, Inventory Control does not also have to physically verify it when performing the 3 year equipment review. The department doesn't have to locate and item twice and off campus items need only be brought to campus once, or the scanner can travel to the off campus item.
Inventory reports can be exported to Excel and emailed to departments, rather than printing and mailing every department, as has been done in the past. This saves energy, paper, and staff time in several departments.