It's worth asking what the value of asset tracking and inventory management for law enforcement is. Law enforcement agencies spent over $200 billion over the last year1, around $8 billion on equipment.2
Yet, out of all the law enforcement agencies we talk to, over 50% have said they either use spreadsheets, don't track assets at all, or use outdated client-server applications. That means that over the last decade, nearly $40 billion of law enforcement equipment is either not tracked or very loosely tracked. As a civil service, everything, including equipment, should be accounted for as a responsibility to the public. As a public organization, however, there are also benefits for saving time and frustration. The less time you're concerned about your equipment and inventory, the more energy you can put into policing your community or streamlining operations elsewhere.
For private security companies, the money lost on not tracking equipment is not immaterial. It affects the bottom line of the company tangibly. Unfortunately, we don't have enough data that we can use to estimate how much private security companies lost due to inventory issues. However, we know that retailers in North America lost roughly $50 billion a year due to inventory shrinkage3 (thinking you had more inventory than you do). Of course, this can happen due to theft, but poor inventory management practices can add fuel to the fire. By using a system like Armory System to track your inventory, you can rest easy knowing that you have a system of record that can help identify mistakes earlier.
As organizations evolve, they go through employee turnover, retirements, and restructuring. When vital organizational data is on decentralized files, there is a risk of creating information silos within the organization. As an employee, if you've been asked more than once about what equipment you have in your possession, you know something about information silos, the pain they create, and the time they waste. By storing data in a centralized environment, you don't have to worry about that since you have direct access to the single source of truth.
Why use an asset tracking solution that is specific to law enforcement? The quick and simple answer is so that you can access features pertinent to the job. For instance, generic asset tracking solutions typically don't have training functionality or a way to track maintenance records. In addition, they usually don't have any defined asset tracking workflow. Since we designed our system for armorers/quartermasters, we can allow you to set up assets with a “maintenance required” property. When you have that property enabled, and an asset gets returned to the armory, the asset must have a maintenance record completed before it can be reissued or given back to the owner. That's just one of many domain-specific features at the heart of the value added by a system like Armory System.
If we've piqued your interest and you want to learn more, you can explore Armory System for free for 60 days. Reach out to us and tell us how we can help.