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Top 10 Benefits of Smart Inventory Management

by | May 1, 2024 | T.E.M. Thought Leadership

Keeping tabs on your IT inventory is no easy feat these days. And with technology evolving at warp speed, you’ve got to stay nimble, especially when moving from aging systems like POTS (plain old telephone service lines), to more modern communication technologies.

But effective IT inventory management isn’t only about keeping up with the times; it can seriously move the needle for your bottom line. According to the Flexera 2023 State of ITAM Report, respondents reported a staggering 36% underutilization or wasted spending on desktop software alone—33% for data center software, 32% for SaaS, and 32% for IaaS/PaaS.

Plus, 56% of organizations don’t have accurate IT asset inventories. That leads to unnecessary purchases, maintenance costs, and license compliance issues. In other words, smart inventory management matters.

Keep reading to learn about the top 10 benefits and what you can do as a first step in managing your inventory and expenses.

Benefit 1. Cost Savings

One of the biggest benefits of inventory management is the cost savings it can bring to your business. Keeping a close eye on what you have helps avoid overspending on products you don’t need or running out of high-demand items. This is especially true when transitioning from older systems, like POTS lines, to newer digital solutions.

For example, let’s say you want to upgrade your company’s phone system. Good inventory management lets you easily see how many POTS lines you currently have, what they’re costing you, and where you can switch to digital to save money. With this information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions that affect your bottom line without wasting resources on outdated technology.

Benefit 2: Enhanced Visibility

Cloud-based inventory audits can significantly improve visibility into your IT assets. This is particularly important when research shows 32% of cloud spending was wasted in 2023, up from 30% the previous year.

With ongoing, real-time tracking and reporting, you can easily monitor your hardware and software inventory, allowing you to know what you have, where it is, and when it needs to be updated or replaced. This enhanced visibility helps you make informed decisions about your IT infrastructure, reducing the risk of unexpected downtime or compatibility issues.

Benefit 3: Optimized Spending

Inventory reviews and management can help you refine and optimize your technology tools and control spending. Overall, the proactive approach ensures you have the right balance of hardware and software to meet your business needs. By analyzing usage data and forecasting future demands with an eye on the future, you can avoid overbuying or underbuying. In essence, it will save money.

Case in point: An inventory review might discover certain software licenses are underutilized. This guides you to reduce your subscription costs without affecting productivity.

Benefit 4: Streamlined Processes

Integrating an inventory management system with other IT tools can streamline your processes and reduce manual effort.

For instance, by connecting your inventory system with your help desk software, you can automatically track hardware issues and ensure that replacement parts are readily available. This integration can also help you standardize your IT procurement process so it’s easier to manage vendor relationships and ensure compliance with company policies.

Benefit 5: Data-Driven Decision Making

Advanced inventory management systems often include analytics and AI capabilities that provide valuable insights into your technology and IT operations. These tools help you make data-driven decisions about your tech strategy by analyzing data on hardware performance, software usage, and user behavior.

For example, an inventory review and ongoing management help identify opportunities to consolidate hardware infrastructure or optimize your software licensing based on actual usage patterns.

Benefit 6: Improved Efficiency

Automation is a key benefit of modern inventory management systems. It helps improve operational efficiency and reduce the risk of human error.

By automating tasks like asset tracking, software license management, and purchase order processing, you can free up your IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. This improved efficiency can also help you respond more quickly to changing business needs so that your IT infrastructure always aligns with your goals.

Benefit 7: Proactive Asset Management

Effective inventory management includes proactive review and lifecycle management of your IT assets.

Tracking your hardware and software’s age, condition, and performance can help you plan for timely upgrades and replacements. Doing so can help avoid the risks and costs associated with unexpected failures. It can also help you optimize your IT budget by ensuring you get the most value out of your assets before they need to be retired.

Benefit 8: Compliance and Risk Management

Inventory management is critical in ensuring compliance with various regulations and standards, such as software licensing agreements, data privacy laws, and industry-specific requirements.

Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of your IT assets can help you demonstrate compliance during audits and avoid costly penalties. Effective inventory management can also help you identify and mitigate potential security risks, like unauthorized software installations or missing hardware.

Benefit 9: Scalability

Cloud-based inventory management systems offer the scalability and flexibility needed to support your business as it grows and evolves. With the ability to easily add new users, locations, and assets to your inventory system, you can ensure that your IT infrastructure keeps pace with your expanding operations.

They also offer the benefits of automatic updates and backups. Cloud-based systems reduce the burden on your IT staff and ensure that your inventory data is always secure and up-to-date.

Benefit 10: Competitive Advantage

Real-time visibility into your IT assets can give you a significant competitive advantage. With advanced inventory management systems, you can quickly respond to changing market conditions, customer demands, and technological advancements.

For example, if a new security vulnerability is identified, you can quickly assess your exposure and take action to mitigate the risk. And by staying agile and informed, you can make better decisions, drive innovation, and ultimately stay ahead of the competition.

Get a Handle on Your Tech Inventory with SpyGlass

From cost savings and enhanced visibility, to streamlined processes and data-driven decision-making, the advantages of a well-managed inventory system are clear. Implementing digital tools, automation, and advanced analytics can transform your operations. It can drive efficiency, scalability, and a competitive edge in your industry.

If you have outdated inventory management practices or are dealing with legacy systems, like POTS, don’t let them hold your business back. Understanding your inventory and associated costs is essential for making informed decisions and ensuring a smooth transition.

DeSoto Parish Schools’ success story is a testament to the power of an effective inventory review with a technology expense management audit. Partnering with SpyGlass, DeSoto Parish consolidated and optimized expenses to meet the district’s complex technology needs. Ty McCutcheon, Certified Louisiana School Business Official (CLSBO) and Accounting Manager for DeSoto Parish shares:

“We have nine school locations and six facilities with each having numerous phone lines serving over 5,000 students. I can’t spend hours trying to find the best rates from our provider who was impossible to get on the phone. The SnapShot Audit streamlined everything and saved us over $36,000 annually to put back into our budget.”

Consult with our experts at SpyGlass to take the first step toward optimizing your technology expenses and unlocking your full potential. Our industry-leading SnapShot Audit is a proven TEM solution that has helped over 14,000 clients throughout the U.S. and Canada identify and implement long-term savings across various tech service costs.

Don’t wait until inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses drain your resources.

Start a SnapShot Audit as part of your inventory management strategy.

Contact SpyGlass to inquire about a no-costs-up-front SnapShot Audit.