The Ultimate Asset Tracking and Management Solution | Reftab

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Are you looking for the ideal asset-tracking platform that not only handles the basics of assigning equipment to users but also propels your organization toward seamless automation and complexity management? Enter Reftab – a powerhouse platform that transcends ordinary asset management systems, propels you into IT professionalism and heightened automation capabilities.

Simplifying the Essentials

At its core, Reftab excels in executing fundamental asset management tasks with unparalleled ease. Users can effortlessly, assign equipment, manage location sites, and peruse a comprehensive list of assets allocated to specific users. This encompasses software licenses, accessories, kits, and more. What sets Reftab apart is its decade-long dedication to perfecting these functions, ensuring they are intuitive and user-friendly.

One of the standout features of Reftab is its ability to seamlessly integrate with various device management platforms. For example, Intune, Jamf, Meraki, Mosyle, Lansweeper, SCIM Provisioning, LDAP, Single Sign-On, and offer an open API, among others. Additionally, it consolidates data from sources like CDW for pre-purchases and manufacturers such as Dell for warranty lookups. This offers a single-pane-of-glass view of your assets’ lifecycles.

Elevating Beyond the Basics

However, what truly distinguishes Reftab is its capacity to navigate the intricate landscapes of complex business logic and track assets from procurement to disposal. As your company expands into new initiatives, Reftab shines by offering specific automation, custody verifications, and robust procurement tracking. These functionalities catapult an ordinary system into an extraordinary one, empowering users to handle intricate workflows effortlessly. Here are some examples:

Workflow Builder for Automation

Reftab’s workflow builder emerges as a multifaceted tool capable of automating diverse tasks. From sending email alerts, to managing equipment-specific information, maintenance schedules, auditing, and more.

Custody Verifications for Accountability

The platform’s automated custody verification system simplifies equipment auditing by allowing end-users to confirm ownership and condition, streamlining accountability processes.

Maintenance Management Made Easy

Efficiently handle calibrations, repairs, and safety inspections with Reftab’s customizable maintenance forms, reminders, and reporting features, ensuring equipment maintenance is never overlooked.

Customizable Procurement Tracking

By leveraging customizable forms, Reftab streamlines procurement, triggering requests, opening tickets for your help-desk, and capturing essential data, all consolidated within the platform.

The Ultimate Advantage

Reftab demonstrates its capability in not just simplifying the straightforward aspects of asset tracking but also in helping organizations that need to smoothly transition into managing more complex requirements. It empowers users to handle evolving organizational demands with ease. In it’s essenece, Reftab caters to simple as well as complex asset-tracking needs.

While several platforms handle the rudimentary tasks of asset management, Reftab goes above and beyond. Its ability to simplify complexity sets it apart, making it the top choice for organizations aiming to manage their assets effortlessly.

Don’t settle for the ordinary – elevate your asset-tracking experience with Reftab. Experience how this exceptional platform simplifies complexity, and helps your organization stay ahead of the curve in managing its valuable assets.

Sign up for an account today and mange first 50 assets free: https://www.reftab.com/sign-up

Reftab’s Summer 2023 Release Notes

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Reftab is excited to announce one of our biggest updates yet! We’ve heard a lot of feedback from you and after many emails, tickets and Zoom calls, we’re incredibly happy to announce that approval flows are now available!

Approval Flows

How-to guide: Start creating approval flows today with our guide:  Reftab guide to approval flows

In one of our biggest updates yet, Approval Flows bring you an easy and automated way to route requests for equipment to managers, department heads, safety coordinators, etc. in a simple way.

For example, if a user wants a specific software license that  requires approval from IT or their manager before being purchased or installed, or employees or contractors need safety training before using specific tools, you can send an email to an “Approver” for them to review.

The “Approver” can approve or reject directly from within the body of the email. This is incredibly important because by using email – a system everyone is used to, and uses all day, approvers can review and approve requests without  needing to login to any new system. It can be adopted by every department and any user with minimal effort.

This is our first iteration of approval flows. We plan to issue updates and enhancements in the coming months. We really want to hear from as many as you as possible about how approval flows can solve your business challenges.

VideoClick to view video on YouTube

New Integrations: Meraki and Jamf School

For users on the Business plan, you can now configure a connection to sync assets from Cisco Meraki, which is a cloud controlled, wifi, routing and security system for enterprise networks. This integration is great because if you have WiFi access points or other networking equipment across various locations, this integration automatically adds those devices into Reftab. By doing so, you’ll have even more ways to automate data into Reftab for reporting, automated alerts, maintenance etc.

How-to guide:  Reftab Meraki integration guide

You also can sync devices from Jamf School. Jamf Schools works in the same way as our existing Jamf integration works, however Jamf school is specifically for education institutions.

How-to guide: Reftab Jamf School integration guide

Gantt Charts

Reftab now offers Gantt charts to users on all plans. Gantt charts give you a great visualization of items in a list and can compare events easily to better understand usage and scheduling.

To view your Gantt chart, anywhere you see the calendar page, you can click “Gantt” and the gantt chart will display.

Updates to Users / Loanees

1) ICS Calendar Feed: For each loanee / user in Reftab you can now generate an ICS calendar feed. This creates a link that you can paste into your local Outlook calendar or GMail calendar so that when an item is reserved for a user, that event will be automatically sent to your calendar. By setting this up, you wont need to login to Reftab to view these events.

Edit any user and enable “ICS Reservation Link

Then, click “Save“. A link will display for you to copy and use within Outlook, Mac Calendar, GMail, etc.

2) Dynamic Manager Field: This allows you to link a user to another user to establish a ‘manager’ or ‘supervisor’. See our how-to guide: ​Guide to configuring manager field in Reftab​​​

The benefits of setting up a managerial custom field is because they can be used in Workflows and Approvals.  For example, sending an overdue email to a manager or routing approval steps to a manager or safety supervisor.

3) SCIM Custom Field Mapping: You can now sync custom user fields from your IdP such as Azure, okta, JumpCloud etc. Prior to this update you could only sync a name, title, email address and employee number. We recognized that was very limiting, especially with the need for detailed reporting and workflows. To map these fields click “Settings” > “Integrations” > “SCIM UserProvisioning” and you’ll see,”Optional Custom Fields

New YouTube Video:

Check out our new feature highlight video on Reftab’s e-signature functionality. Please share, like comment and let us know what you think!YouTube Video: Reftab’s E-Signature Functionality

Reftab’s Spring 2023 Release Notes

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Hello everyone, thanks for taking the time to read Reftab’s latest release notes. We’ve been working hard and are excited to introduce new features and updates!

New Feature

Equipment Requests – Available on the Business Plan, equipment requests allow users to submit general requests for equipment. For example, if a student wants a camera or an employee wants a monitor or someone needs a group of tools for a job site, they can request these items at the category level. Prior to this update, users needed to search and find specific equipment to reserve.

We heard that this created situations where certain equipment was being reserved more than others, or it was too cumbersome for some users to find equipment in the portal, or equipment was available but the user didn’t know it.

This update greatly eases the process for the end user because now they can simply enter a quantity of what they want and when it’s needed by.

Administrators can then approve or deny (which include email notices). If approved, the Reftab admin can select the specific items from stock and fulfill the request through a reservation or check out.

There are two ways to submit a request:

  • Public Request Pages: You can create a public page, share the URL with anyone you want and anyone with access can submit a request. You can customize these pages and create an unlimited amount of public pages.
  • Requesting Equipment from the User Portal: The alternative to public request pages, is allowing users to request equipment from the user portal. If a user clicks on a category that has no assets in it, they will see a notice saying “Click Here to Request Equipment”. 

Approval Workflows

Equipment requests are currently in phase one. The Reftab team is now working on building approval workflows. 

Approvals will allow you to set a procedure that places requests in rounds of approvals before an item is purchased or given to someone. (At this time, we don’t have an accurate estimate on when approvals will be released but we will keep everyone updated.)

We want to hear from you! Please reply to this email (or email ‘[email protected]‘) for any feedback and suggestions on equipment requests / approvals.

See FAQ Here: https://www.reftab.com/blog/faq/equipment-requests-overview/

PDF Generated Forms for Custody Verification and Asset Check Outs

Reftab can now automatically generate PDF files containing loan signatures and agreement text.

These PDFs can generate when an asset is checked out and a signature is required and/or when a custody verification form is submitted.

This is a major update that allows administrators to establish better compliance with company equipment agreements because it completely automates the process of capturing, formatting and saving employee agreements. This is important because these agreements may outline acceptable use policies and other types of agreements between an organization and a user.

Prior to this update, a signature was still saved to the system but there was no downloadable, tangible connection between a signature from a user, and the agreement.

See FAQ Herehttps://www.reftab.com/blog/faq/verify-custody-of-assets/#verification-signature

New Integration: Lansweeper

Reftab now offers an integration with Lansweeper. If you’re not familiar with Lansweeper it is a network discovery tool used by IT departments to discover what’s connected to a corporate network.

The integration we provide takes devices found from Lansweeper and adds them into Reftab.

Let us know if any questions and we’ll be happy to help. If you’re an existing Lansweeper user and want to participate in a case study, please reach out!

Updates to integrations: Intune / Jamf / Mosyle / Kandji

Reftab’s MDM integrations now map to assets in Reftab via serial number in conjunction with the respective unique identifies (Azure AD Device ID, jamfid, etc…)

This is a major update because prior to this, if a laptop was wiped and re-enrolled, a new unique identifier was created and thus when synced to Reftab, a new asset was created. However, with this update Reftab now looks for an existing serial number and if found, maps to that asset instead of creating a new asset. This is a major time-saver and ensure data stays organized across systems.

Consumables Can Now be Reserved

You can now reserve consumables. Prior to this update, consumables could only have transactions done to them and there was no way for users to reserve them. This update now expands the use case of consumables and can ultimately meet more needs of your business use-cases and requirements. Also note, consumables now display in the user portal as well.

Multi-Tenancy Update: Reporting Across Tenants

Reporting across tenants is now possible. If you’re a Reftab user with multi-tenancy setup, it is now possible to run a report to pull assets across all tenants.

To do this, log into your main tenant and go to the Reports page. Setup a new assets report and you’ll see a checkbox “Report across all tenants”. If that is checked, the report will return assets from all tenants.

Update to Windows Agent

The Reftab installable agent for Windows has been updated so that you can supply an asset ID during installation. Prior to this update, the agent would install and generate an asset ID from the guid.

Thank You!

Thank you for your continued support! As we always say, we build our platform based upon feedback we hear. So please do let us know any suggestions and keep us informed on how Reftab can further meet your needs. 

Thank you and have an enjoyable summer!

Asset Management Software for MSPs: Reftab’s Comprehensive Solution

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For Managed Service Providers (MSPs), efficient asset management is a critical component of delivering top-notch services to their clients. Reftab’s IT asset management software is tailored to meet the unique needs of MSPs, providing a robust solution for IT Asset Tracking. Reftab allows MSPs to setup a multi-tenancy environment to create distinct and independent tenants for each client.

In this article we’ll go over:

Multi-Tenancy for MSPs:

Reftab’s asset management software is a game-changer for MSPs, allowing them to track assets for multiple clients, treating each customer as a separate “tenant” within the system. For example, an MSP might have many customers across a city, state or region and each of those customers has their own IT inventory such as laptops, printers, servers, access points, TV’s and more. Reftab streamlines this complexity by consolidating all these assets into a single repository. Even though all these items are in a single repository, they are silo’d into “tenant’s” so that each customer’s data is separated. However, the MSP can login to Reftab as a “tenant administrator” to run reports across all tenants and gain a comprehensive visual into all assets across all customers and also the unique inventory of each customer.

Here’s how Reftab’s solution caters to MSPs and enhances their IT Asset Tracking capabilities:

Key Benefits for MSPs:

  • Customer Isolation: With Reftab, each client’s assets, data, and settings are kept completely isolated. This ensures that one client’s data remains independent of others.
  • Distinct User Lists: MSPs can maintain unique user lists for each client, granting access only to the relevant assets and data.
  • Customized Settings: Reftab empowers MSPs to configure distinct settings for each client, including branding, equipment agreement forms, workflows, etc.. which are crucial for effectively managing IT assets and tracking activities.
  • Separate Maintenance and Scheduling: Maintenance forms and schedules can be customized to meet the specific requirements of each client, ensuring efficient asset management.
  • Administrative Efficiency: Reftab’s multi-tenancy feature allows “tenant administrators” to seamlessly switch between clients or tenants, streamlining the management of multiple client environments.
  • Cost Savings: The MSP has one asset quota that is split between their clients (tenants). This makes it easy and cost effective to add more assets and more customers (tenants) into Reftab because the MSP spends less per asset the more assets are added.

Limitations for MSPs:

While Reftab’s multi-tenancy feature offers numerous advantages, it’s essential to be aware of its limitations:

  • Data Transfer: Transferring data or assets between different clients or tenants is not supported, as Reftab maintains strict separation.

Can an MSP Have Customers Access Their Own Tenant to Help Manage IT Assets?

Yes, if you want to give your customers access to Reftab and be able to work within or maintain their own IT asset inventory, you can. Simply create an account for them within their tenant. The user will gain access to their company’s assets. They won’t know that other tenants exist for any of the other customers of their MSP.

You have the ability to place users in custom access roles which allow you to dictate what they can and cannot do / access within the system.

Custom Branded Equipment Portals

It’s worthwhile to note that Reftab can create custom branded portals. This means, if you want customers to have a self-service portal where they can login and browse equipment available for request – or submit a request to purchase new equipment, each tenant can have their own branded page. You can even have a custom URL for each tenant which further improves the branded experience for the end user.

This screenshot below is an example of a custom branded portal for a client:

Here is another example of custom branded portal for another client:

What Kind of Integrations are Available within a Multi-Tenancy Scenario?

In a multi-tenancy scenario, Reftab offers a suite of integrations that streamline and automate the process of maintaining an IT asset management system, ultimately simplifying life for IT administrators. Each tenant benefits from the flexibility to access integrations tailored to their specific needs. For instance, Reftab facilitates user management by enabling SCIM integrations. This means that whether one tenant utilizes Azure and another prefers Okta, both tenants can seamlessly and independently leverage these integrations to automatically add users to their respective environments.

Furthermore, Reftab extends its integration capabilities to Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, accommodating diverse preferences. If one tenant relies on Intune and another opts for Jamf, Reftab can be configured to cater to the unique requirements of each tenant. This flexibility ensures that IT administrators can efficiently manage devices and enforce policies according to their preferred MDM solution.

In addition, Reftab integrates seamlessly with popular ticketing systems such as Jira and Zendesk. This integration bridges the gap between asset management and IT support by ensuring that when viewing tickets within these platforms, assets assigned to users, regardless of their tenant, are readily accessible. This unified approach alleviates the need for IT admins to constantly switch between applications and search for asset-related data, ultimately enhancing operational efficiency and making life considerably easier for IT teams.

Conclusion

In summary, Reftab empowers Managed Service Providers (MSPs) with a transformative “single-pane-of-glass” approach to IT Asset Management.

With the ability to create distinct and independent tenants for each client, Reftab’s multi-tenancy solution offers flexibility and efficiency in managing diverse IT environments. The array of integrations, including SCIM, MDM, and ticketing system support, ensures that each tenant can seamlessly tailor their asset management processes to their unique needs.

This unified approach provides MSPs with comprehensive visibility into their clients’ assets, while streamlining operations, reducing complexities, and ultimately enhancing the quality of service they deliver. By leveraging Reftab, MSPs can efficiently and effectively navigate the intricacies of IT asset management, all through a single, user-friendly interface.

MSPs seeking guidance or support can reach out to the Reftab team at [email protected] for assistance specific to the multi-tenancy needs of MSPs.

The Ultimate Guide to IT Asset Management Tools

In today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world, managing your IT assets efficiently is a necessity. IT asset management tools revolutionize the way organizations handle their digital resources. In this guide, we’ll explore the world of IT asset management tools, their significance, key features, and how they can be a game-changer for your business.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Imagine running a marathon with your shoes untied and your water bottle leaking. You wouldn’t would you? Well, that’s how managing IT assets without the right tools can feel – chaotic, inefficient, and prone to costly mistakes.

Enter IT asset management tools. These platforms are your secret weapon when looking for a streamlined, cost-effective, and secure way to get a handle on your IT asset management. But before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk about what IT asset management is and why it is important to your business.

What is IT Asset Management (ITAM)?

IT Asset Management (ITAM) is the process of managing an organization’s IT assets, hardware and software, throughout their lifecycle. A good ITAM tool should cover everything from procurement and deployment to maintenance, tracking, and eventual retirement or disposal.

Key Benefits of an Effective IT Asset Management Tools:

Cost Control: IT assets are often one of the most significant expenses for organizations. ITAM helps in optimizing asset usage, reducing unnecessary spending, and ensuring compliance with licensing agreements.

Improved Efficiency: Proper asset management streamlines workflows, leading to better productivity and reduced downtime due to equipment failures or software issues.

Enhanced Security: ITAM helps in identifying and mitigating security risks by ensuring that software is up-to-date, and vulnerable hardware is replaced or updated promptly.

Compliance and Reporting: ITAM tools assist in tracking and documenting assets for compliance with industry regulations and auditing purposes.

Now that we’ve established the importance of ITAM let’s move on to the star of the show – IT asset management tools.

Understanding IT Asset Management Tools

IT asset management tools are software solutions designed to automate and simplify the tasks associated with managing IT assets. These tools provide a centralized platform for tracking, monitoring, and optimizing IT assets throughout their lifecycle.

Key Features of IT Asset Management Tools

When evaluating IT asset management tools, it’s crucial to consider the following features:

  1. Asset Discovery and Inventory:

A robust ITAM tool should be able to automatically discover and catalog all IT assets within your organization. When thinking of IT assets, we need to consider those on the network and those not connected. Discovery for assets connected to the network such as your computers, servers, networking equipment. Even those not connected such as monitors, keyboards, and even software licenses may play a part. This feature helps in creating a comprehensive asset inventory, a fundamental aspect of effective ITAM.

2. Asset Tracking:

Once assets are discovered and inventoried, the tool should enable real-time tracking. This means you can monitor the location, condition, and usage of assets. Tracking is especially vital for preventing theft or unauthorized access to sensitive information.

3. Software License Management:

Managing software licenses can be a headache without the right tool. ITAM solutions should assist in tracking software licenses, ensuring compliance, and optimizing license usage to avoid overpaying for unused licenses.

4. Hardware Lifecycle Management:

From procurement to disposal, ITAM tools should provide tools to manage the entire hardware lifecycle. This includes scheduling maintenance, upgrading outdated equipment, and safely disposing of assets when they reach the end of their useful life.

5. Automated Workflows:

Efficiency is key in IT asset management. Look for tools that offer automated workflows for tasks like software updates, equipment repairs, and asset retirement. These workflows can save time and reduce human error.

6. Reporting and Analytics:

Robust reporting capabilities are essential for making data-driven decisions. A good ITAM tool should offer customizable reports and analytics dashboards to help you gain insights into asset performance, costs, and compliance.

7. Integration Capabilities:

ITAM tools should seamlessly integrate with other IT systems and software. This ensures that asset data is synchronized across your organization, reducing manual data entry and the risk of errors.

8. Security and Compliance:

Security should be a top priority. You can’t protect what you don’t know you have. The first step in IT Security and Compliance is always auditing your assets. What do we own? Who is in possession and has access to these devices?

9. Scalability:

As your organization grows, so will your IT asset inventory. Ensure that the tool can scale with your needs, accommodating a larger number of assets without a drop in performance.

10. User-Friendly Interface:

Last but not least, an intuitive and user-friendly interface is crucial. Your IT team should be able to navigate the tool with ease, minimizing the learning curve.

Choosing the Right IT Asset Management Tool

Now that you’re well-versed in the key features of IT asset management tools, let’s discuss how to choose the right one for your organization.

Assess Your Needs: Begin by identifying your specific ITAM requirements. Some questions to ask are; How big is my organization? How many assets are we currently managing? What are the industry specific regulations we need to consider?

Budget: Determine your budget for ITAM tools. While it’s tempting to opt for the most feature-rich solution, it’s essential to strike a balance between functionality and cost.

User-Friendly: Ensure that the tool’s interface is user-friendly. Your IT team should be able to navigate it without extensive training.

Scalability: Choose a tool that can grow with your organization. Scalability is crucial, especially if you anticipate rapid expansion.

Integration: Check if the ITAM tool integrates seamlessly with your existing IT infrastructure, including software applications, network systems, and databases.

Support and Training: Look for a vendor that offers excellent customer support and training resources. This can be a lifesaver when you encounter issues or need assistance with implementation.

Reviews and Recommendations: Read user reviews and seek recommendations from peers in your industry. Real-world experiences can provide valuable insights.

Conclusion

In conclusion, IT asset management tools are a game-changer for organizations seeking to optimize their IT resources, reduce costs, enhance security, and ensure compliance. With the right tool in place, you can turn the chaos of asset management into an efficient workhorse, managing all of those assets in the background.

Remember, the key to success is selecting the ITAM tool that aligns with your organization’s unique needs, offers essential features, and fits your budget.

If you’re ready to explore the world of IT asset management tools further or have specific questions, feel free to reach out to us at Reftab. We’re here to assist you on your journey towards efficient and effective IT asset management. 

Have questions? Book a Demo with our team. These demos are designed to give you a live-look at the platform and answer any questions you may have!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best IT Asset Management Tool?

The best IT Asset Management Tool varies based on specific needs. Forbes has listed the 8 Best Options here: Best IT Asset Management Software.

What are the 3 main deliverables of IT Asset Management Tools?

  • The 3 main deliverables of IT Asset Management Tools are:
    • Financial Deliverables: IT Asset Management Tools track and manage the costs associated with IT assets, enabling organizations to optimize spending.
    • Contractual Deliverables: These tools ensure assets are covered by warranties and monitor SLAs to minimize disruptions and ensure contractual compliance.
    • Inventory Deliverables: They maintain an accurate inventory of asset locations, configurations, and usage, facilitating efficient tracking and resource allocation.

What are examples of IT Assets?

Examples of IT assets include computers, servers, routers, scanners, fax machines, printers, modems, hubs, and other IoT devices.

What are the stages of IT Asset Management?

The stages of IT Asset Management include planning, acquisition, operation and maintenance, and disposal.

How do you keep track of IT assets?

You can keep track of IT assets using IT Asset Management tools or the old-fashioned way by using spreadsheets.

How to Pick the Right IT Asset Management System

In the fast-paced world of technology, the management of IT assets plays a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless and productive business operation. To navigate this intricate landscape, organizations turn to an IT Asset Management system (ITAM). In this extensive guide, we’ll explore the universe of IT asset management systems, their significance, key features, and how to select the ideal system for your unique business needs.

Want to skip ahead?

Introduction to IT Asset Management Systems

Imagine your organization as a finely tuned orchestra, with each IT asset serving as an instrument. Just as a conductor coordinates musicians to create beautiful music, an IT asset management system can orchestrate your digital resources to create operational harmony.

In the following post, we’ll delve deep into the world of IT asset management systems, shedding light on their pivotal role in today’s technology-driven business landscape. We’ll discuss what IT asset management systems are, why they matter, key features to consider, and how to choose the perfect system tailored to your organization’s needs.

Understanding IT Asset Management Systems

Before we can pick the right system we need to start by understanding what IT Asset Management Systems are and why they are indispensable in modern business operations.

What is an IT Asset Management System?

An IT Asset Management System is a comprehensive software solution designed to centralize the tracking, monitoring, and management of an organization’s IT assets. These assets include hardware, software, networking equipment, and other digital resources. The primary goal of an ITAM system is to optimize asset usage, reduce costs, enhance security, and ensure compliance throughout the asset lifecycle.

Key Features of an IT Asset Management System

When evaluating IT Asset Management Systems, it’s essential to consider the following key features:

1. Asset Discovery and Inventory:

A robust ITAM system should be capable of automatically cataloging all IT assets within your organization. Whether through integrations with your current systems or agents that can discover and catalog your devices. This includes computers, servers, network devices, software licenses, and mobile devices. This feature is fundamental to creating a comprehensive asset inventory, a cornerstone of effective ITAM.

2. Real-time Asset Tracking:

Once assets are discovered and inventoried, the system should enable real-time tracking. This means you can monitor the location, condition, and usage of assets, facilitating swift responses to issues or incidents.

3. Software License Management:

Effective management of software licenses is a major headache without the right tool. ITAM systems should assist in tracking software licenses, ensuring compliance with licensing agreements, and optimizing license usage to prevent overspending.

4. Hardware Lifecycle Management:

From procurement to disposal, ITAM systems should provide tools to manage the entire hardware lifecycle. This includes scheduling maintenance, upgrading outdated equipment, and ensuring secure asset disposal when they reach the end of their useful life.

5. Automated Workflows:

Efficiency is a key driver in IT Asset Management. Look for systems that offer automated workflows for tasks like software updates, equipment repairs, and asset retirement. These workflows save time and reduce the risk of human error.

6. Reporting and Analytics:

To make informed decisions, robust reporting and analytics capabilities are essential. A good ITAM system should offer customizable reports and analytics dashboards, providing insights into asset performance, costs, and compliance.

7. Integration Capabilities:

ITAM systems should seamlessly integrate with other IT systems and software applications, ensuring that asset data is synchronized across your organization, reducing manual data entry, and minimizing errors.

8. Security and Compliance:

Security is a top priority. The system should help identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities, ensuring that your IT assets are protected from cyber threats.

9. Scalability:

Select a system that can scale with your organization’s growth. Scalability ensures that the system can accommodate a larger number of assets without sacrificing performance.

10. User-Friendly Interface:

Lastly, an intuitive and user-friendly interface is crucial. Your IT team should be able to navigate the system with ease, reducing the learning curve and ensuring efficient use.

Choosing the Right IT Asset Management System

Now that we’ve explored the key features, let’s discuss how to choose the right IT Asset Management System for your organization.

1. Assess Your Needs:

Begin by identifying your specific ITAM requirements. Consider the size of your organization, the number of assets you manage, and any industry-specific compliance regulations that may apply.

2. Set a Budget:

Determine your budget for an ITAM system. Striking a balance between functionality and cost is crucial to ensure a sound investment.

3. User-Friendly Interface:

Ensure that the system’s interface is user-friendly. Your IT team should be able to navigate it with minimal training.

4. Scalability:

Choose a system that can grow with your organization. Scalability is vital, especially if you anticipate rapid expansion.

5. Integration Capabilities:

Check if the ITAM system integrates seamlessly with your existing IT infrastructure, including software applications, network systems, and databases.

6. Support and Training:

Select a vendor that offers excellent customer support and training resources. This is invaluable when you encounter issues or need assistance with implementation.

7. Reviews and Recommendations:

Lastly, read user reviews and seek recommendations from peers in your industry. Real-world experiences provide valuable insights into the system’s performance and usability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, IT Asset Management Systems are the linchpin of modern business operations. They streamline the management of IT assets, optimize costs, enhance security, and ensure compliance. Choosing the right system is a strategic decision that can yield significant benefits for your organization.

Remember that the key to success is selecting an ITAM system that aligns with your organization’s unique needs, offers essential features, fits your budget, and provides scalability for future growth. So, embark on your journey into the world of IT Asset Management Systems, and unlock the power of efficiency and cost savings within your organization’s IT infrastructure.

If you’re ready to explore further or have specific questions, feel free to reach out to us at Reftab. We’re here to assist you on your path to efficient and effective IT asset management.

How to tag Work From Home Assets | Best Practices

One of the largest problems our client’s face when transitioning to Reftab is how to tag assets. Placing barcodes on each individual asset can seem like a daunting task, this post should help alleviate some of those stressors. Our goal is to outline a process in order to tag all of your assets, without creating more work for everyone involved.

Why?

One of the main reasons to tag all of your assets is to streamline checking in / checking out your assets. Reftab includes a mobile app that acts as a barcode scanner. If all assets have a barcode it is as simple as taking out your phone, scanning the tag, and assigning the asset to the correct individual.

On top of that, a proper asset tag should include your company’s logo and some information on that asset. When sending assets to an employee’s home they may forget these assets actually belong to the company. If you can include a proper asset tag, it can act as a simple reminder that this asset will need to be returned at some point in time. We have found this leads to your employees taking much better care of these assets.

Here’s an example asset tag:

This tag should be printed on a sturdy label. A good choice for a laptop or other IT equipment would be a Tamper Evident Tag. These tamper evident tags leave a checkerboard on the asset when removed. If you are in need of something a little stronger, you can always go with a Destructible Asset Tag. Destructible tags work best in schools and universities but any company may want to implement them as well. These tags begin to break apart when removed. This makes it extremely difficult to remove the tag altogether.

How?

First things first, you DO NOT need to run around and tag all of your assets tomorrow. This is a massive task that needs to happen over time. At this point we are changing your company’s landscape, none of these changes happen overnight. The best way to start here is with a process for all new assets. 

New Asset Tagging Process

  1. New Asset is received
  2. Asset is added into Reftab
  3. Asset Tag is placed accordingly
  4. Asset is then shipped to employee

When a new asset comes in, it should first go to one of your managers, or someone that can be trusted to place the asset tag in the proper place. Once the tag is fixed and the asset is placed into Reftab in can then be mailed to your new employee.

Existing Asset Tagging Process

  1. Employee arrives to the office with existing assets
  2. Asset is handed to Designated Tagging Manager
  3. Using the Serial Number the Asset is found within Reftab
  4. Tag is then placed on the Asset
  5. Employee received asset with proper tag

The next step is to focus on all previous assets. Most companies have at least one day per year when employees will come into the office. This will be your designated “Asset Tagging Day.” If using Avery sheets, I recommend having all tags printed beforehand. As your employees come into the office, they will report to a designated manager for tagging. Using Reftab’s keyword search you are able to search for Serial Number of an asset. Ensure the Reftab Asset ID matches the Serial Number, and place the corresponding tag on that asset.

Truthfully, if your employees never come into the office, it causes extreme difficulties of tagging assets. The only process we have seen when it comes to this is to mail the tags to each individual. One benefit of this is the simple reminder that an employee has an asset that belongs to their employer. I don’t recommend this process as it creates a large workload for everyone involved. The risks outweigh the benefits for us. If this is the case for your company, I recommend implementing the process for all new assets. Over time all of your assets will have tags and all new employees will know who the asset actually belongs to.

Conclusion

Reftab will work perfectly fine without asset tags. However, placing asset tags does streamline processes when physically dealing with each asset. If you are working from home, you won’t need to tag every asset until you see it. There is no benefit in that regard. If you can input a process that will ensure all assets are tagged within the next 2 years, we believe this will absolutely suffice. If you have any questions about tagging assets or need help instituting a proper process, please reach out to [email protected] our Support Team is always happy to help!

A Detailed Guide to Building an AV Equipment Checkout System

Whether you are a school, church, or creative agency, there is a good chance you own a lot of equipment and multiple people have access to it.

Streamlining the process for keeping track of all your equipment (including when people are checking in and out gear is essential) .

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about building an equipment checkout system for your company.  

Why do you need an equipment checkout system?

There are multiple benefits to having a system to keep track of rental equipment, whether that’s through manual spreadsheets or asset management software, like Reftab. But, the two primary reasons to consider implementing a system for your business are: 

  • Increased accountability: With a documented process for checking equipment in and out, this ensures that people will return gear on time. 
  • Improves accuracy and tracking: When you track equipment through a system, you can tell exactly where your company’s gear is at any time. This is particularly useful if you have a lot of employees or equipment to maintain.

How to build your equipment checkout system 

Building an effective equipment checkout system comes down to making sure all of the right components are in place. 

What assets should you keep track of?

Everything from the smallest memory card to the largest projector should be tracked in your system. Think of it like taking inventory. Take note of all of your gear when you set up your system and be sure to tag new equipment as you acquire it.

Here are some examples of assets that can be tracked through a checkout system:

  • Cameras
  • Camcorders
  • Microphones
  • Lighting
  • Tripods
  • Rigs
  • Memory cards
  • Batteries
  • Displays
  • Screens
  • Transmitters
  • Receivers
  • Switchers
  • Mixers
  • Cases

Build check-in and check-out equipment processes

The two most common approaches to managing this process are manually using Google Forms and spreadsheets or by creating a user request portal using asset management software, like Reftab. 

A manual system can be a cost-effective solution, but it may require more work—both upfront and managing it. 

On the other hand, if you have thousands of pieces of equipment to keep track of and are loaning it to a lot of employees, students, etc, it might make sense to use asset management software instead. In addition to keeping track of all of your gear, most asset management software also includes functionality like creating custom reports, sending automated emails and alerts, and automated user partitioning. 

Pro Tip: Read this post on how to choose the right asset management software for your specific needs. 

Establish communication processes 

A vital part of a good equipment checkout system is communicating when equipment can be checked in and out. Whether you do this manually or use software to automate this, here are the bare minimum notifications you should send out by email and/or text. 

  • When an equipment reservation is made. 
  • When an equipment reservation is confirmed (if not automatic) 
  • When equipment is due back
    When equipment is overdue 

Keep equipment maintenance logs

You already know the importance of maintaining your A/V gear to extend its life cycle. However, implementing a preventative maintenance schedule is easier said than done. And writing maintenance work orders and keeping detailed maintenance logs can be just as important as the maintenance itself. Without tracking which equipment received repairs or maintenance, your gear might get too little or not enough attention.

Pro Tip: See how easy it is to keep track of maintenance work orders and schedule maintenance in Reftab. 

For example, let’s say that you check all of your equipment monthly to ensure it’s working properly. Without tracking which gear was checked and when, a piece of equipment might be missed for months. You wouldn’t know that something is broken and when the next person checks it out you have to send a maintenance team member out to fix it on their shoot. This wastes time and can affect the output of the production.

*** 

Whatever system you use for your equipment checkout, the tips above will help you make it a success. Remember to train all of your staff on the new system. 
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How to Handle Rental Equipment Cleaning and Maintenance

When renting cameras and equipment how are you able to ensure they are always performing at their peak? There are multiple steps that need to be taken every single time a camera leaves your inventory. The biggest issue we’ve seen is being sure every employee handles the cleaning and maintenance the same way. In this post we are going to cover how we’ve solved this problem.

The Problem

Last week, in was speaking with one of our clients we found a common problem they were facing. This specific client handles loaning camera equipment to Loanees within their organization. The problem they were looking to solve involved a specific process when these cameras were returned. They had a specific step by step check that needed to be completed.

  1. Check that the camera turns on
  2. Clean Camera
  3. Check Lens Cap
  4. Attach Lens Cap

Once this check is completed, the camera can then be placed back into the inventory and is ready for loan. The issue came up that not all employees were completing this check. The solution we came to was to implement Reftab’s Automated Workflows with our Maintenance Feature.

The Solution

Our Automated Workflows allow you to automatically handle certain actions within Reftab. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to implement this feature. The first step to this was to prevent this asset from being checked out if it wasn’t inspected. To do this we created a status label of “Inspection Required.” If the status label “Inspection Required” is applied you are unable to loan the asset.

After the status label was created, we created a Maintenance Form of “General Cleaning.” This form included the 4 steps above along with an electronic signature field. I felt we were ready to test this functionality so I scheduled a zoom call and we built a workflow together.

The workflow is going to be triggered each time an asset is returned. However, since Digital Cameras aren’t the only assets being returned and this form is specifically for Digital Cameras, we needed a condition. The condition we included was to check the Asset Category, this would allow us to only apply the status label and maintenance form IF a Digital Camera is returned.

Implementation

This particular client has implemented the workflow and is working towards perfecting the process. We’ll work to keep our blog followers updated with this story. If you have a similar story we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email [email protected] with your story and we’ll feature you and your business in one of our upcoming posts.

As always, if you have a specific process that you need worked through, please email [email protected] with your needs. We’ll sit down with you personally and build a specific workflow that will benefit your business. As a business, Reftab would be nothing without your support, in return we are here to support you. Don’t hesitate to reach out, we are always happy to help!

How to keep track of your church production equipment

A live broadcast can help your church service enter the homes of thousands of congregation members both near and far.

However, the sheer amount of equipment and systems necessary for producing large-scale worship services on streaming platforms, like Facebook Live, Youtube, and Twitch, on a regular basis can be daunting.

From how to best manage all of your equipment to reservations and maintenance, here is a church production equipment checklist to meet your congregation’s needs.

Keeping track of all of the gear that you need

Regardless of whether your church is mostly doing pre-recorded video, think podcasts and sermon videos, or you host full-scale livestreams every Sunday to a rapidly expanding online audience, there’s a fair amount of equipment required. 

Though the specifics may vary depending on your church video setup, here are the items that you most likely have on hand: 

  • Lighting: Individual stage lights as well as a lighting board (console) and dimmer pack to enable audio-visual (AV) teams to control multiple light fixtures simultaneously.
  • Video Projector: Minimum of one large-scale screen skirt, projection surface, and projector device to display relevant passages or lyrics to viewers.
  • Video Cameras: Minimum of one fancy video camera to film the pastor along with optional cameras placed throughout the venue to film a live congregation or choir.
  • Tripods or Monitor Stands: One tripod or monitor stand per video camera and projector to eliminate shakiness in picture quality.
  • Microphones: From headset microphones to wireless microphones, there are a lot of different styles of microphones. There is a good chance you’ll need at least two to capture sufficient audio.  
  • Speakers: Wedge or power speakers for congregation members gathered on stage, subwoofers for those in the venue, and in-ear monitors for the pastor.
  • Soundboard and Mixers: A digital sound mixer to mix the input from various microphones, instruments, and pre-recorded tracks.
  • A/V Accessories: Encoding device to convert video input into a digital format for playback on multiple devices, velcro cable ties, and various cases for gear.
  • Video Editing Gear: Desktop or laptop computer, additional harddrive for storage, and applicable software for editing.
  • Power Cables and Cords: Extension cords, a cable snake or cable wrap to control all cords, and a power strip or power conditioner to protect gear in the event of a power surge.
  • Batteries: Various battery types depending on equipment needs, such as 12V N batteries for cameras.

Pro Tip: Be sure to also consider the acoustic and visual limitations of your church to construct the best live production.

Setting up equipment management processes

Livestream equipment isn’t cheap. So, you want to make sure you have the right systems and processes so that you always know where your gear is.

How to handle reservations

With a better understanding of the gear you’ll need for a livestream, you can take the first steps to simplifying the equipment reservation process. 

We recommend creating a user request portal so that you can keep tabs on who has what equipment and where your gear is all the time. 

If you are a smaller church, you may be able to DIY this with a Google Form or spreadsheet. However, if you have a lot of equipment and/or people, you may want to switch to asset management software, where you can set up a more robust user request portal. 

No matter which format you use, be sure to include elements like:

  • Who is checking the equipment in or out? 
  • When do they need it? 
  • What equipment are they taking? 
  • How long are they taking it for? (i.e. duration) 
  • When is the equipment due back? 

In addition, if you use a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel, you can simply add another column to indicate when the equipment should be checked in and when it was actually retrieved. 

However, if a lot of people have edit access to your check in / check out spreadsheet, this can become problematic as it is easy for things to not get updated in a timely manner or for rows to get deleted by mistake. 

That’s another reason why you should invest in asset management software. You don’t have to worry about things falling through the cracks since you’ll have a custom asset / equipment list along with a clear check-in and out process.

Communication and reminders

Another reason to use a custom user request portal over spreadsheets is that you can automate reminders and alerts. For instance, you can send a reminder email or text when equipment is due back along with overdue reminders. 


This streamlines communication, establishes better record-keeping, and makes it less likely for equipment to go missing.

Maintenance

The more often your equipment is used, the more likely something will break.

While urgent maintenance or broken equipment is something that no church wants to deal with, every one will at some point. You can keep track of maintenance and out-of-service equipment with spreadsheets, this is time-consuming and can lead to more human errors.

With asset management software, you can see a maintenance log, issue work orders, schedule preventative maintenance (to reduce the chance of equipment breaking at an unfortunate time!) and set up automated triggers.

Simplify your church productions with the proper software

When it is time to hit record, simplify the process with asset management software. Asset management software allows you to keep tabs on all of your equipment along with setting up processes for handling reservations, reminders, and maintenance.

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