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PERPETUAL INVENTORY – An Idea Whose Time Has Arrived


PERPETUAL INVENTORY – An Idea Whose Time Has Arrived

The Under Secretary of Defense has recently issued a directive requiring DCMA to conduct an annual audit of property management systems with greater than one hundred million dollars of government property.

Under today’s conventional approach to improving record accuracy, this may likely result in a substantial increase in use of outdated, clunky, expensive wall-wall inventory processes. The introduction of Perpetual Inventory will save the Department of Defense tens of millions as well as substantially improve the accuracy and integrity of property records. Perpetual inventory is not new – the concept of “touch inventory” or automatic inventory has been around a long time. It has never been widely adopted for several reasons, foremost of which is the fact that the typical government property system is an information silo and doesn’t communicate freely with other silos that routinely touch government owned property such as calibration, maintenance, and tooling. These other information silos in turn, often have diverse data structures and elements that prevent the efficient exchange of inventory data. For example, calibration systems often use different identification numbers, department codes, employee names, and location codes. In many cases, it’s a tower of Babel!

The solution is of course more of a holistic approach, wherein all asset related information is designed as a common set of data attributes facilitating integration and efficient interchange of both company and government status, location, and custodial information. With integrated architecture such as AssetSmart 360, user selection of automatic inventory data for moves, transfers, calibration and maintenance is easily defined in AssetSmart’s decision tables. With this approach, typically 80% of the property – both company and government – is automatically inventoried every year, greatly improving records accuracy and integrity at substantial cost savings.

The remaining 20% of the property items are efficiently verified through advanced mobility processes, such as AssetSmart’s SMART | TRAXX™ which can inventory the remaining items on Android or Apple iOS powered devices. TRAXX supports both individually identified assets as well as bulk material inventories. But there’s more! TRAXX also supports any desktop transaction such as moves, transfers, issues and returns entered from field mobile devices. An expediter for example, can enter a move or location change from a smartphone in his or her hip pocket in either a Wi-Fi mode or un-connected. The Defense Community can save hundreds of millions by moving property management into the 21st Century.

There are some built in data barriers. The widespread implementation of ERP systems often introduces competing inventory systems for fixed assets, instead of using a single common inventory system for both company and government property. ERP assigned ID numbers, locations, contract codes, often clash with standard property system attributes.

Mobile Asset Tracking

SMART | TRAXX supports much more than inventory processes. Almost any Web transaction including searches, updates, moves, checkout, receive, and transfers may be mobile enabled as well as IT helpdesk requests and calibration or maintenance updates. It operates as a mobile desktop and is role-model enabled, and enforces all security roles. Equally important, it is a vital tool for enabling perpetual inventory processes.

AssetSmart’s AM360 Integrated SMART Software Family


About AssetSmart

Founded in 1971, AssetSmart ( provides a comprehensive suite of integrated asset management, service management, and material management solutions for aerospace, defense, electronics, manufacturing, and government organizations. AssetSmart is owned by PMSC and is based at 31355 Oak Crest Drive, Suite 100, Westlake Village, CA 91361.

AssetSmart® and SMART | AMIIX® are registered trademarks of PMSC. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Android is a trademark of Google LLC. Apple and iOS are trademarks of Apple Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.