Tracking assets is a challenge in any school, and record keeping can easily become a nightmare due to misplaced assets, forcing busy faculty and staff to waste precious time tracking down equipment. If the equipment can't be found, many schools stretch their already tight budgets to unnecessarily purchase or rent replacements.
The Calhoun County School District in central Mississippi is no exception. The school district serves approximately 2,400 students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade with seven individual schools under one school district.
Implementing an asset tracking system requires three main components - the asset tracking software or database, the hardware used to scan the information into the database and the asset tracking tags which are placed on the asset being tracked. Calhoun County School District's Fixed Asset Clerk, Kelly Box, follows the district's policy when reconciling assets. She uses the number on the tag to link to information about the asset itself, including when they purchased it and how much it cost. Each asset has its own unique number which they enter into the database.
For more than 10 years, Box has relied on Metalcraft for their identification products.
Box reports that she uses two different types of identification products in her asset tracking systems. For assets purchased which meet the cost threshold set by the Mississippi Department of Education, requiring them to be listed on their district inventory, she uses Metalcraft Foil Barcode Tags. The unique numbers on these tags are linked to information about the asset, including the date it was purchased. Highly valuable assets that weren't purchased aren't required to be identified by the Mississippi Department of Education. For these, Box uses different roll label products from Metalcraft.
Items tracked vary greatly in size and scope. They include technology assets like Chromebooks, etc., as well as general equipment and tools, athletic weight benches, HVAC units, mobile equipment, school buses, camera systems and lawn maintenance equipment.
Box stated that she appreciates Metalcraft's great response time and service. "We haven't had any issues with the service received," she said. "It's nice not having to worry."
While the tags the school district purchases have barcodes on them, they have not yet incorporated that technology, according to Box. However, when they are ready to do so, it will be a seamless transition because the numbers will all stay the same - the only thing that will change is the method of capturing the data.