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Pick the Right Software | Asset Tracking or Inventory Control?

Customers constantly ask us which software they need—asset tracking or inventory control. The bottom-line answer is, “It depends.” To help them select the right tracking solution, we ask customers questions, such as:

  • What is the business issue you’re trying to resolve?
  • Do you need to track items that depreciate over time?
    asset tracking or inventory control

    To determine whether you need asset tracking or inventory control software, consider the business issue you’re trying to resolve. For example, do you need to track items that depreciate over time or funding sources for things like grants?

  • Are you required to know the exact location and history of an item that’s been checked out?
  • Are you experiencing costly overstocks or downtime due to missing or unavailable parts, materials, or products?
  • Do you want easy access to historical data so you can make educated buying decisions?
  • Is it important to track funding sources to comply with requirements?

Knowing the answers to these questions is important, as is understanding the difference between assets and inventory.

What are assets?

Assets are items of value that you want to closely track. There are two types of assets: fixed and current.

  • Fixed assets—also known as hard assets—are items that depreciate (lose value) over time. They include things like equipment, furniture, machinery, real estate, and buildings.
  • Current assets—also known as liquid assets—are items that are typically consumed or sold within 12 months.  The biggest percentage of assets in small businesses consists of cash and inventory.

The most common asset management issues organizations face are wasted time and money searching for and unnecessarily replacing lost or missing fixed assets.

What is inventory?

Inventory—also referred to as consumables—is a type of current asset because it includes items that are expected to be sold or used within 12 months. Examples include raw materials, parts, office supplies, government securities, and perishables.

Inventory management is challenging because it’s tough to find the balance between having too much or too little stock on hand. Excess inventory is costly, while low inventory levels lead to downtime, which reduces productivity and angers customers. 

Which software is right for you—asset tracking or inventory control?

The table below compares asset tracking and inventory control solutions to ensure you pick the right software for your needs. Doing so will prevent costly mistakes, unnecessary expenses, and diminished profitability.


Asset Tracking

Inventory Control


Automates the asset management process by identifying and tracking fixed assets, which depreciate over time

Automates the inventory management process by identifying and tracking inventory that is typically consumed or sold within 12 months


  • Eliminates time spent searching for lost, misplaced, or checked-out assets
  • Reduces unnecessary replacement expenses
  • Manages assets purchased with specific funding sources
  • Tracks assets’ cost, depreciation, and maintenance
  • Enables easy audits
  • Improves profitability
  • Ensures accurate inventory counts
  • Reduces inventory write-offs
  • Prevents costly downtime
  • Enables educated buying decisions
  • Increases customer satisfaction
  • Simplifies audits


  • Instantly locates assets by serial number from any location using PCs, mobile computers, and iOS and Android mobile devices
  • Captures assets’ locations, funding sources, and check-in/check-out statuses
  • Monitors due dates, maintenance schedules, and histories
  • Proactively sends due-date alerts
  • Imports important information such as warranties, purchase orders, invoices, user manuals, and photos
  • Tracks assets’ book values
  • Creates asset tags, location labels, and employee badges
  • Manages inventory from receiving through shipping at multiple sites and locations
  • Checks inventory in and out to customers and employees
  • Tracks items by site, location, serial number, lot, date, or pallet
  • Immediately updates inventory data in real time
  • Proactively sends notifications when inventory levels are low and items are expiring
  • Enables accurate forecasting based on pending pick and purchase orders
  • Tracks non-inventory items, including suppliers


  • IT
  • Healthcare providers
  • Educational institutions
  • Government agencies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Legal and accounting firms
  • Warehouses
  • Light manufacturing
  • Distribution centers
  • Retailers
  • Stock rooms and supply closets
  • Installation contractors and other businesses that buy, stock, and sell parts and products




Need help selecting the right solution?

Contact System ID for expert advice and a free, online demo of asset tracking or inventory control software.

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Jay Schofield

Jay Schofield’s passion is numbers. For more than 10 years, he has been turning facts and figures into actionable business intelligence for System ID. When he’s not researching, analyzing, and planning for the “next big thing,” Jay can be spotted on the lake with family and friends.

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