Property and Inventory Control Manager Jack Kelly wrote this week’s column.
Every year our laboratory must perform an inventory of sensitive assets, such as laptops and digital cameras. These are items that, regardless of cost, have a high potential for loss. There are currently about 17,000 such items for which Fermilab must account. The Property and Inventory Control Department works with all the custodians to account for these assets and is always looking for ways to make the process better. Sometimes, improvements in technology can make a difference. With help from the Core Computing Division’s Information Systems department, this year software will be used that can verify if an asset is connected to the network, giving evidence of its presence.
At 11 a.m. on March 21, the network group will verify any asset that is on the network. This electronic search and verification will update the Property Management system with a resolution for each asset found connected to the network. In response, each resolved item will be removed from the manual verification list of the responsible custodian. Custodians are still responsible for the assets but they won’t have to personally verify that they have these assets and have their supervisors verify that the assets are here at the laboratory.
After the online verification, the Property Office will mail custodians the paperwork for the remainder of the sensitive assets inventory. Because so many sensitive items are connected to the network, the new method will reduce the amount of paper generated for the inventory reports. It will also reduce the workload for the custodians, supervisors and the Property Office.