Vancouver Police Department (Washington)
The City of Vancouver (Wash.) Police Department (VPD), was experiencing organizational and regulatory changes. They had significant increased the number of acquisitions of both equipment and consumable inventory which needed to be tracked according to compliance requirements. VPD looked to find an asset tracking system to help them easily and quickly perform audits and physical inventory.
For many years, Vancouver Police tracked and assigned assets utilizing a hard copy check out-in system in combination with multiple spreadsheets without accounting for inventory values and disposition of items. They needed a barcode inventory system to track inventory consumables and fixed assets according to city and state auditor guidelines, which mandated that they were able to show asset transfers and disposal. With recent budget cuts to the department and city, the logistics department did not have the resources to routinely administer cycle counts or verify equipment issued to personnel.
“The ability to generate necessary reports or accessing information to equipment issued outside of VPD HQ was non-existent,” said an employee at VPD. “Without an automated system, equipment management was time consuming because files had to be manually pulled, filed, and entered into spreadsheets.”
FITTING THEIR NEEDS
The Vancouver Police Department needed an inventory and asset tracking system that would allow them to:
Provide up-to-date information regarding the location and cost center of each asset.
Reduce department costs by minimizing inventory losses
Reduce data entry by utilizing barcode readers
Increase accountability with built in data verification and system security.
Manage inventories to meet City and State Auditor guidelines, such as being able to show asset transfers and disposals.
Provide an automated method to track equipment that requires calibration or replacement (e.g. radars, PBT’s and bullet proof vests).
The Vancouver Police Department implemented a tracking process that helped establish a uniform system that was user-friendly to fit the overall operation of the department. Since there are a large number of asset items assigned with uniquely different numbers already, certain assets had to be distinguished between assets with auto generated barcode numbers that were created within the system. A process was set-up to differentiate between a system generated number and a preprinted number by choosing to identify system generated numbers with the letters of their agency.
Stock inventory went smooth for VPD; they took advantage of the auto generated numbering system that ASAP Systems provides, making it easier to implement items within the system. This made the labeling process easy as they were able to keep track of all items associated with stock inventory. Some additional benefits that helped VPD setup ASAP Systems’ inventory and asset tracking system include:
Great support/implementation team, ease of importing information
Learning curve for someone using the system with few instructions was quick for basic functions and the reporting feature.
Barcodes: no previous tracking or barcode system in place, so they used the auto generated barcode labels, which made it easier to assign item numbers.
“Probably one of the biggest advantages we have experienced is being able to meet grant compliance. We are able to track grant awarded items, run reports for auditing purposes, and attach documentation associated with the grant to the item all in one place.”
ASAP Systems’ Inventory System and Asset Tracking Solution made it easy to manage grant requirements by enabling grants to be centrally deposited with documented storage copies of original paperwork and it provided the usability to take pictures and tag the items in the system as being grant purchased. These features save the department from serious financial penalties and public discontent.
The Vancouver Police Department utilized the reporting feature to track grants and ultimately to see how funds are used. Because it is the public’s money that funded law enforcement equipment purchases, it is important for officials to be frugal with purchasing decisions. Now, over two hundred asset transactions are associated with grants, giving VPD the accountability they required.
Saving Money and Time
ASAP Systems’ Inventory System and Asset Tracking Solution provided Vancouver Police Department with a more automated and proficient way of keeping track of the movement and value of over 5,000 assets throughout the department with an estimated value of over $3,000,000. The wide variety of functionality that ASAP Systems provided for fixed asset management helped the Vancouver police department substantially decrease the amount of lost funds – and equipment – incurred on an annual basis.
Equipment was tracked by location and custodian throughout the asset’s lifetime. This is a key benefit to help Logistics better understand the scheduling of when equipment needs be calibrated, repaired, and replaced.
“Over the last couple of years it has helped us save money by not overstocking items or in the ability to find items that are spread out over two warehouses.”
Those in Purchasing now use money more efficiently by not overstocking items. Moreover, the system has given the power to quickly find items that were spread out over two warehouses, where stock inventory is stored.