Denver Public Schools Tracks Over 100,000 Assets with CheckMate Capital Assets Software from Dynamic Systems
The Denver Public School System (DPS) is widely recognized today as one of the best urban school systems in the country. It serves the residents of the City and County of Denver, consisting of 200 schools, warehouses and other facilities. Their mission is “…to provide all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our society.”
Within Enterprise Management at DPS is the Fixed Assets Department, whose job it is to assure that the schools’ assets (computers and other electronics, furniture, etc.) , are properly accounted for as regulated by the federal and state governments. There are four Inventory Specialists in the department who are responsible for managing over 100,000 assets located in over 200 locations within the district’s schools and offices. Each year approximately 5,200 assets are added and around the same number are retired from the district, plus some of the assets are moved regularly, making it a challenge to maintain an accurate inventory.
Requirements for a New Asset Tracking System
When the Denver Public Schools decided to look for a new asset tracking system, they wanted an easy-to-use system based on mobile barcode technology. The system should allow them to count their assets at each location, connect to their financial system, and reconcile any discrepancies on site in real-time. They were also looking for a system that would allow for future growth.
Prior to purchasing CheckMate Capital Assets Software, the asset reconciliation process consisted of multiple, time-consuming steps: An Inventory Specialist would travel by car to a DPS location and collect the asset count. He would then return to the Enterprise Management office where a Data Input Specialist would enter the asset count into the financial system. The Data Input Specialist would then reconcile the entries and determine which items did not jive with the database. These items would require confirmation at the remote location. The Inventory Specialist would again travel by car to the location and verify the discrepant assets, and would then return to the office where the Data Input Specialist would finalize the reconciliation.
Needless to say, the multiple trips by car were not only very time consuming, but expensive. It was important to DPS that their new system have the capability to alleviate these costs and save time.
Flexible Software that Integrates with the Financial System
After a formal bid request and submission, Denver Public Schools decided to purchase the CheckMate Capital Assets Software from Dynamic Systems of Redmond, Washington (http://dynamic-systemsinc.com/). It was determined that CheckMate answered their needs for state-of-the-art mobile data collection and real-time reconciliation. It was also determined that both the software and the equipment offered by Dynamic Systems met the criteria for long-term growth within the department. Capital Assets uses a glossary of terms for asset descriptions which makes the set-up of new assets very flexible. The software also has the ability to connect to the financial system and transfer asset purchase and retirement information to CheckMate as well as upload asset inventory count transactions for reconciliation.
Mobile Barcode Data Collection Equipment That Can Grow With Future Requirements
The mobile barcode scanner selected was the Psion Workabout Pro3, which has the unique ability to be retrofitted in the field. “We wanted the option to use RFID (radio-frequency identification) in the future,” said Rich Maes, Inventory Specialist. “The Psion Workabout Pro3 offered by Dynamic Systems is modular and can be field-upgraded to add RFID when we’re ready.”
“We estimate that the CheckMate Capital Asset system has taken the time to count a large school from 1 week down to 3 days..”
Rich Maes, Inventory Specialist
Time Savings with CheckMate Capital Assets
Today, the DPS Inventory Specialist is able to travel one time to a location, count assets using CheckMate, and reconcile that count via a laptop that is connected to the financial system in real-time. “We estimate that the CheckMate Capital Asset system has taken the time to count a large school from 1 week down to 3 days, stated Mr. Maes. “Our fixed asset inventory records are more accurate than ever, and the Inventory Specialist is doing the whole job, which frees up time for the Data Entry Specialist and gives us more control of the reconciliation process.”
When asked about the support from Dynamic Systems, Mr. Maes said “Awesome! Our support specialist calls me back quickly and works through our issues until we are satisfied.”
CheckMate Capital Assets can be used as middleware to a financial system, as is the case at Denver Public Schools. It is also a stand-alone Asset Management system, and can be used in conjunction with the CheckMate Suite of software products that include Stockroom (inventory management), Toolroom (tool and equipment tracking), JobData (job costing) and Documents (document tracking).