100% accurate IT asset management can have a significant financial impact on your business. Superior rack-level asset visibility and Smart Procurement can decrease your data center’s overall risks while improving your company's bottom line. This article explores how enhanced critical asset management accuracy saves time and money.
Every data center tries to track all its assets, but not every data center has the technology or the processes to achieve 100% asset traceability. When any percentage of critical assets is unlocatable, it leaves too much to chance—increasing financial risk.
That is where a best-in-class physical asset management solution comes into play. Not only does it reduce business risks, but it also eliminates hard costs. Best-in-class data centers invest in leading asset management hardware and software to improve asset utilization and reduce wasteful procurement spend, and can drive down energy consumption at the rack level as real-time environmental and power visibility empowers data center operators to monitor PDUs and replace the less efficient servers.
The best-performing asset management solutions employ active RFID technology to automate the collection of 100% accurate asset data and eliminate the blind spots that are common in data centers. Knowing where every asset is on-premise, whether on or off the network, is key to driving down wasteful procurement spend, eliminating time and cost-consuming audits, and maintaining real-time line of sight of every asset on the floor, at the loading dock, in inventory, or being decommissioned.
How Superior Asset Inventory Visibility Impacts a Data Center’s Bottom Line
The value of precise asset traceability should be obvious. Cameron Lord, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of RF Code, points out the importance:
“Companies with enterprise-owned data centers have an extraordinary number of servers and racks, and for many industries, it’s essential to know where everything is,” he says. Enter active RFID as a solution.
Fundamentally having 100% accurate inventory visibility improves profitability. If you know where everything is in real-time without having to consume valuable IT resources, data centers can save significant time and money. 100% asset visibility also means more efficient audit preparation and execution.
Slash Your IT Hardware Spending
100% asset visibility can drive down data center procurement expenses. We call this Smart IT Procurement. In addition to buying only what you need and not replacing what you misplaced, Smart IT Procurement can aid in negotiating better procurement terms with vendors.
Without any manual effort to capture this data, an Active RFID-based asset management solution will automatically keep you or your DCIM in the know of what assets you have, where they are, and their condition so you do not purchase redundant hardware (as data centers without 100% accurate data often do). This could cost a data center six figures each year. Dwell time—when newly procured equipment is inactive—also drops.
Similarly, round-the-clock 100% accuracy reduces the need for constant manual audits, offering massive cost savings in day-to-day operations. Manual audits are slow and expensive, and the results are soon out-of-date.
Automated full lifecycle asset management solutions curtail the need for these manual processes—instead, you can check up on any asset, anywhere in a data center, at a moment’s notice. Solutions like RF Code can feed your DCIM, BMS or ITSM systems with the most precise data so better informed decisions can be made.
How 100% Asset Visibility Leads to Better Payment Terms with Vendors
Another advantage is that IT Procurement leaders who use a complete asset lifecycle management solution like RF Code can negotiate better terms with their vendors. Vendors want to get paid sooner and are willing to give price breaks. Active RFID asset tracking sensors notify procurement in real-time of the precise tagged assets that arrived at the loading dock enabling versus a manual equipment confirmation process that can take weeks.
How does this work? RF Code active RFID sensors are installed by the equipment manufacturer or integrator before shipping. Upon arrival at the loading dock, the sensors connect to the active RFID readers in the data center and automatically update your DCIM or procurement software.
The sensors simultaneously notify the IT team that the physical assets are on site. No need to scan barcodes or manually type them into a DCIM or spreadsheet. Speedier, on-time payments make vendors more amenable to special pricing and deals in the future.
Enhanced lifecycle asset management that employs active RFID attacks the cost problem from various angles simultaneously. Fewer people. Fewer mistakes. Faster turnaround. Smart IT Procurement empowers our enterprise data center customers to save six figures each year using fewer resources.
How Smart Procurement Leads to Better IT Asset Utilization
Smart IT Procurement describes having real-time, 100% accurate location information on assets so that you only buy what is necessary. This process enables companies to spend more on profitable activities than idle IT assets. Servers go into production faster.
As noted above, the phrase also encapsulates the benefit of securing more favorable terms with vendors and resellers. With lower procurement costs and less inactive time for IT equipment, the data center improves its asset utilization.
Greater operational efficiency translates into a quick return on investment when deploying RF Code’s asset lifecycle management solutions.
Data centers can also maximize their sizable DCIM and other infrastructure investments with accurate and real-time asset information.
“All of those investments are only as good as the information that’s fed into them,” says Lord. RF Code Active RFID’s 100% accuracy lets you solve existing data integrity issues caused by using barcodes or other passive solutions.
At the heart of the matter, visibility makes active RFID stand above other options. Active RFID provides the intelligence to make smarter data-driven decisions in real time. This is a 180º turn from outdated manual procurement practices, which results in unnecessary purchases of costly hardware that hurt a company’s bottom line. Making purchase decisions based on what you can actually see is on-premise will eliminate the costly impulsive asset replacement buying mindset.
How Smart IT Procurement Improves Compliance, Audit Efficiencies & Inventory Controls
IT organizations typically face challenges in improving their inventory controls. Manual audits are labor and time intensive, often riddled with human error; worse yet, missing assets can expose the company to hefty regulatory fines.
Failing an audit can have a range of unwanted effects on your business. In mild cases, this will take IT teams off their main duties to check IT assets and reconcile any inconsistent data.
In more severe cases, you’ll be unable to find critical information due to lost hard drives. Without the data, you can’t demonstrate a chain of custody. You may struggle with business operations or have to pay significant fines (and deal with an unhappy C-Suite, board, and customers).
Data integrity problems start at the first point of data collection ... racks and servers. Manual methods like barcodes, asset discovery tools, and passive RFID are incapable of achieving 100% asset tracking visibility in dynamic environments like data centers. And if you currently use these technologies, you are feeding your DCIM, BMS, or ITSM platforms with false data, which in turn, is presenting you with misleading data that you are making decisions. How do you know if you have more or less capacity with 100% confidence? How are you supposed to make informed decisions if the data you are working from is flawed? Now extrapolate this problem to hundreds of racks and thousands of servers.
100% accurate asset data helps you avoid these sorts of costly hiccups. Procurement costs go down. Asset audits are happening in real-time automatically eliminating time and costs. And due to active RFID’s accuracy and automation, data centers can consistently comply with federal, state, and internal compliance policies.
100% Accurate IT Asset Management Minimizes Risk
In specific industries, losing assets can put your whole business at risk. For example, the healthcare and finance industries must audit with greater frequency and comply with more rigid regulations.
Fines are severe for organizations that lose equipment that stores patient health data, customer financial transactions, or other protected data. Even more than other industries, organizations dealing with sensitive information must take the necessary steps to invest in technology that automatically and consistently eliminates rack-level blindspots.
Marty Johnstone, RF Code’s Product Manager, put it the best when he discussed asset management: “...the more mindblowing part that I think about is that 85% is an industry standard. And when you think about that from a numbers standpoint, you see 85% and well, that looks really good, right? However, these are assets we’re talking about, and 85% means we're missing 15%. If we have 1000 assets, that means we have 150 of them [missing].”
The best-in-class active RFID sensors report the assets’ location from anywhere in a data center. From before you power on a piece of IT equipment until after its useful life, you’ll know exactly where each item is. No more hard drives lost during repairs or servers stolen from the loading dock—just reliable real-time information.
Completing Your IT Asset Management Program
In a data center, 100% accurate IT asset management isn't just a nice goal—it’s a necessity. Data centers will continue to slow bleed time and money employing obsolete asset tracking methods like barcodes, IT discovery tools, or other manual data collection methods such as spreadsheets. RF Code’s active RFID solution delivers better outcomes on many common data center use cases.
After deploying RF Code’s active RFID, you can say goodbye to manual audits. Given how much those audits cost, it’s already a huge return. RF Code’s asset management solution empowers your team to see and achieve more with fewer people.
This exact financial gain was clear to one global insurance provider who saved $75,000 in one year by eliminating excessive labor costs and manual audit procedures, all by implementing RF Code active RFID!
On top of that bloodletting, you risk facing lawsuits with each misplaced device. The only way to prevent these problems is to have the assets report their locations continually.
Furthermore, you can engage in Smart Procurement: using data from RF Code, it’s easy to see what hardware you need—and spend less on what you don’t need.
Achieving 100% Accurate IT Asset Lifecycle Management
The need for 100% accuracy is clear from financial, compliance, and simple operational perspectives. But how do you achieve 100% asset lifecycle management accuracy?
Active RFID from RF Code helps companies manage all their assets around the clock. This real-time system is engineered explicitly for data centers, tracking key variables, including temperature and humidity at the rack level, in addition to asset location.
Considering its utility, there are many use cases for active RFID in the data center. These uses are generally built around automation—which isn’t practical with previous technologies. In addition to digitized audits, you can automatically monitor environmental conditions to prevent mishaps and minimize cooling costs.
Using RF Code’s solution is effectively the same as conducting physical audits every minute. The system regularly sends automatic measurements of each asset’s exact location. CFO Cameron Lord succinctly summarizes this functionality's benefits: “Without active [RFID] you know where your assets were. With active [RFID], you know where they are.”
Traditional audits with passive techniques can go out of date before you’ve even finished. Data centers are dynamic environments where storage devices, servers, and other assets come and go. Having the real-time location of assets is critical.
Companies routinely think they have 95% to 100% accurate IT asset management, but physical tests reveal their accuracy at only 80% to 85%. When you’re dealing with thousands of servers, that’s simply unaffordable. Only RF Code’s active RFID solves this problem by offering 100% accurate asset locations.
Boost Your Asset Management Capabilities With RF Code
Active RFID provides valuable insights into asset utilization and usage patterns, helping companies make informed maintenance, replacement, and allocation decisions.
With the ability to track assets in real-time and generate automatic alerts, active RFID can significantly enhance asset management's overall effectiveness and efficiency.
Companies that adopt active RFID technology are better equipped to optimize their asset utilization, lower costs, and improve their financial fitness. RF Code has proven to be a powerful tool for boosting asset management capabilities and driving business success.
Schedule a discovery call with a solutions specialist to discuss your unique asset lifecycle management use case. See what 100% IT asset management accuracy looks like for your organization—and its bottom line.