The amount of security-related assets utilities need to manage has increased rapidly over the past decade. Multiple layers of protection are needed, not only on a physical level but also on a digital level. Every security camera, intrusion detection device and secure router brings with it additional connectors and other accessories that need to be tracked, managed and digitally secured.
New generation inventory management software is taking the guesswork out of managing security assets, leading to fewer transactions and missed orders, in addition to other process improvements. Much of this technology is web-based and can be accessed through a web browser or even through applications on iOS®/ Android® phones.
“There are so many variables, so many different components to a security implementation,” says Ignacio Valdes, operations supervisor at Anixter. “What this new technology does is give 24/7, 365-day visibility into what they have and where it’s located, which eliminates those ‘gotcha moments’ of realizing way too late that they don’t have something they need.”
Valdes goes on to explain that there’s so much visibility into such areas as asset tracking that some utilities are only now realizing how much time and money they may have been wasting. These analytics are leading to improved auditing and fewer invoices, which can make those on the accounting side equally happy.
Physical security, when it comes to materials in remote locations such as laydown yards, is covered too. New tracking and inventory management capabilities like Anixter’s Trakr™ allow for GPS (GeoStamp™), Bluetooth® and data cloud storage, resulting in greater visibility to intelligently manage remote materials. Specific assets can be tracked by product name or product ID. And, with phone app capabilities, location detail and product description can be accessed right there, on the spot. Users may even be able to view the assets on Google Maps right from their phones.
Not only do these capabilities save time, but they can also improve safety by eliminating the need to climb over or move heavy equipment to find a product. Security is tightened as well because assets are tracked— wherever they are taken.
As Valdes sees it, “it all leads to more time on process improvement and less time on troubleshooting.”
Securing Better Control Over Security Inventory
New generation inventory management software can now help utilities:
- Manage inventory from multiple suppliers all from one system
- Track consumption individually or by projects
- Consume variable put-up lengths or standard reorder quantities
- Access information from any web browser or mobile device
- Make use of extensive reporting that is fully customizable
- Customize label formats
- Manage kits, including build/break or parent/child types
- Scale up or down to host and transfer material between multiple locations