Have You Ever Lost a Piano?

Believe it or not, this is not a random or ridiculous question; there are numerous news stories on You Tube you can view anytime. It turns out that school districts lose track of all sorts of assets: furniture, band instruments, science lab equipment, uniforms, weight machines, lawn tractors, textbooks, video equipment and now mobile computer devices.

Large school districts often lose hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars in lost assets. Small districts also have losses. One district in the Northeast found a piano, several tubas and approximately $5,000 of other assets when they implemented a district-wide resource management program. Historically, most schools have used spreadsheets to manage their assets. Tech savvy schools have kept their assets in a FileMaker Pro or Access database. But very few districts have an integrated asset management system that allows them to manage assets efficiently.

The tipping point of change has been the flood of laptop and tablet devices into schools. The significant investment that these devices represent highlights the need to have a centralized system. With constrained budgets, it is critical for districts to effectively deploy their resources to support instruction and learning. Essentially, it is about getting the right assets to the right student at the right time.

Some schools are surprised to learn that they already have a tool in their district that can be used to manage all district assets. Destiny Resource Manager is a part of Destiny; an integrated software platform that also includes textbook, library materials, and media management systems. It’s common for schools to use Destiny as their library management system. So, it’s a simple matter for them to adopt Destiny to manage other assets such as textbooks and mobile devices.

Scott Smith, chief technology officer in North Carolina’s Mooresville school district, reports that they use Destiny to keep track of more than 6,000 mobile devices. “Destiny is vitally important to use to keep up with where the device is and who it belongs to. Knowing where the device is allows us to be fiscally responsible.”

Effective resource management can result in cost savings that can be redirected to other district priorities. And these savings are supplemented by the decrease in staff time required to manage a centralized, internet browser-based program.

Here is a short list of why districts should consider an asset management system. It allows them the opportunity to:

• Centralize information and reduce costs.
• Support instructional goals with efficient resource deployment.
• Respond to district and state audits.
• Create transparency for spending of public funds.
• Reduce redundant purchases.
• Reallocate savings to other district needs.

The good news is that by implementing such a system, it’s unlikely your district will lose track of any pianos!