The logging of assets was handwritten and as more equipment was acquired, keeping track of the assets became increasingly difficult.
The whole system has driven major improvements in the school’s processes and efficiencies. The old process was time-consuming and information was inaccurate and out of date. The new asset management solution is easy to use and really simple to keep up-to-date and along with RAM's asset tagging service, it has reduced valuable admin time.
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The Spalding Special Schools Federation has partnered with Real Asset Management (RAM) to transform the management of its asset register across its two special schools. The Garth School – a small education provider for children with severe learning difficulties – and its sister school, The Priory, a facility for pupils with moderate learning difficulties –will use RAM’s asset accounting and tracking software to manage a large, combined asset-base. The assets will be tagged initially by RAM to get the system up and running.
The tool has enabled the schools to replace a longstanding, but outdated paper-based methodology – and has given management at both facilities real-time visibility of more than £345,000 in assets.
“Prior to working with RAM, the logging of assets was handwritten,” says Clive Bourne, Business Manager across both schools. “But, as is the case in many schools, keeping track of everything in that manner had become increasingly difficult as we acquired more and more equipment. As a result, the register was badly out of date and we had no idea of the value of our assets. The new system has transformed the way we work and enabled us to manage our asset base much more effectively and efficiently. ”
Using the software, school assets valued at more than £100 are tagged, with staff able to track their locations on a PDA. Items under £100, such as digital cameras and other classroom equipment, are logged as inventory items and are also managed through the system. With a number of assets shared by both schools – and therefore commonly moving between sites – the ability to trace equipment quickly promises to have a major impact on productivity and teaching continuity.
“We can now ensure that everything that’s on the system is still in the school; we know what we’ve got and where it is,” says Clive. “And because everything is categorised, we can see which classrooms, or which part of the building, items are in – and can keep registration and serial numbers all in one place. The system gives us back teaching time that may otherwise have been lost searching for missing items.”
The RAM system also automatically depreciates every item, over time – maintaining a true net value for each asset. “This is a huge step forward from our paper-based system; we’ve now got an up-to-date value for everything – so that in the event of a fire or an emergency, we have all the information we might need for insurance purposes.
“The whole system has driven major improvements in our processes and efficiencies. The old process was time-consuming and information was inaccurate and out of date – in fact it became out of date precisely because the process was so time-consuming. Our new asset management solution is easy to use and really simple to keep up-to-date – it’s saving us so much time.”
The transition to the new software, says Clive, was straightforward, and the post-implementation support from RAM has also proved very effective. “The RAM team has been very proactive and provided help wherever we have needed it. And better still, we know that if in the future we need to integrate the tool with our finance systems to generate reports around the value of our assets, the system can do that easily. As the schools develop, we know that the software will support us throughout.”