The Unique Inventory and Asset Tracking Challenges of Police Departments

government inventoryAny large enterprise faces massive challenges in tracking their assets, but public agencies face those same challenges and then some. And that’s doubly true for police departments — especially in the political climate of 2017. Over the last two decades, many organizations have transitioned from a hard copy check out, check in system for assets to more sophisticated government inventory management software.

Of course, not all government software is written equally, nor is it optimized for the challenges of the modern police department.

So what, exactly, are those challenges?

1. Stricter Regulations
Not only do police departments have to grapple with a high level of public scrutiny, but they must also contend with a stricter and stricter regulatory environment. Every asset, every vehicle, every piece of equipment must be tracked and accounted for, and without the right inventory tracking software, this job becomes almost impossible.

2. Tighter Budgets
After the Great Recession, municipalities across the country started slashing their budgets. While the economy has slowly improved since the recession ended in 2009, city budgets haven’t risen accordingly. And when budgets fall, stress inevitably rises. That means police departments need to find new ways to do more with less, and streamlining property inventory and asset tracking is one way to do it.

One study by Total Logistics Solutions, Inc. found that the costs of carrying inventory can decrease by 27% in automated environments.

3. The 1033 Program
Since 1997, the 1033 program has allowed U.S. police departments to purchase excess equipment, vehicles, and weapons from the military. While this has been a boon to many departments in need of an upgrade for the 21st century, it’s also upped the ante. It’s become more important to keep a close eye on all department assets.

4. Equipment Replacement
Part of the reason police officers have welcomed the 1033 program is because it’s allowed them to replace outdated equipment. From dashboard cameras to bulletproof vests, the average department relies on an incredible amount of equipment that must be regularly upgraded, repaired, and replaced. Documenting the location, history, and costs of all of these assets poses a massive logistical nightmare, which is where government software comes into play.

With the right government inventory management software, police departments can start to resolve these complicated issues. On top of that, government software that automates processes like inventory tracking save money.

To learn how to save money, prepare for audits, and keep better track of your government assets, contact us today to learn more.