Microsoft's suite of applications are widely used with a high level of familiarity, making them an excellent standalone choice for businesses. But when embedded with asset management tools, they can provide significantly enhanced functionality for your asset-related activities. Here's how Microsoft integrations could be advantageous for your asset management and asset tracking.
Benefits of Microsoft Add-Ins for asset management
Collaboration and communicationAdd-ons like Microsoft Outlook create a seamless, integrated platform for communication and collaboration . Asset managers, maintenance planners, and workshop staff can share information with a widely used tool (such as Outlook) – one they're likely already familiar with. Depending on your chosen asset management platform, you could have drag-and-drop functionality. For example, you could drag and drop maintenance jobs on Outlook calendars to share schedules and jobs. And with Microsoft Exchange integration, you could also be able to do similar drag-and-drop sharing. This supports planning, job assignment, and monitoring for asset management-related activities. You would then send, receive, and email notifications for time-sensitive items like fault reports and material/purchase requisitions. Best of all, field staff and on-site team members on site can access and view job updates in real time.
Job syncingIntegration with Microsoft Project reduces the risk of manual inputs and human error when it comes to data imports and exports. For asset management tasks like planned shutdowns, construction and operational requirements, you can sync and share data automatically, with a click of the mouse. An add-on might embed asset management functionality inside Microsoft Projects itself to enable users to pull out and enter jobs without going in and out of Microsoft Projects. You can conduct in-depth tasks like assigning resources and specify material requirement projections. For extra peace of mind, your project plan can be saved to a secure server or a backup option of your choice.
Data managementSome asset management platforms offer Excel add-ins, allowing you to use Excel for asset data preparation and manipulation. This means you get the best of both worlds: the ease of use and functionality of Excel as well as the security and safety of a commercial asset management information system (AMIS). The result could be better data integrity and conformity with industry best practice for database storage and recovery. With the right asset management integration, your team could enjoy automatic data validation and easily access database content with user-friendly context menu options. Additionally, you can extract data categories like capital replacement planning data from your asset management database and work on the data with Excel tools. This can be beneficial if you're working with more complex financial data.
Automate low-value tasks
Microsoft add-ins can support easy exporting, importing, and syncing, saving your team members from low-value tasks like repeat entry of data. Another example is using Excel templates to automatically import data and populate fields , which not only saves you from manual inputs but also rearranging data and reviewing it before presentation.
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Integrated reporting and analyticsMicrosoft-integrated asset management tools can be used to augment and streamline reporting and analytics . For example, you could consolidate your asset management data with data from Microsoft products for a single, complete view. Migrating and syncing disparate elements of data can be made easy, accurate, and fast, and you can quickly gain access to customised reports and detailed analytics for informed decision making.
Familiarity and ease of useEmployees can find staying with a product they're familiar with - whether it's Excel or Outlook - beneficial. Instead of subjecting them to a learning curve with a completely new platform, you can support their productivity and efficiency with add-ins so they can stay in the same product yet access enhanced asset management features. If they're already using the product for emails, calendars, spreadsheets, and projects, they can find it much easier to gain proficiency with an add-in for their asset management activities.
Minimise training and time to full adoptionUsing Microsoft add-ins could minimise training and reduce the time to full proficiency. Again, since your staff members are likely to be already familiar with Microsoft suite of products, they could find it relatively easy to learn to use new asset management tools within the same software platforms. Organisations opting for add-ins could reduce training costs and quickly reach full implementation.
Customise systems instantlyMicrosoft integrations are a way to further customise popular products like Outlook, Excel, and Project without costly bespoke development. You can introduce powerful asset management tools into a platform you're already using, which means you avoid the disruption associated with software upgrades and changes. By choosing different add-ins, you can, to a degree, customise your Microsoft products so they have the right asset management features your organisation needs.
Find out more about Smart Asset Microsoft Add-Ins
Given the widespread use of Microsoft products like Outlook and Excel, asset managers might do well to consider utilising add-ons from a trusted provider. By doing so, you can give your teams access to powerful asset management tools within a familiar software environment. This can make software upgrades easier to implement and shorten the time to full adoption. Smart Asset is a best in class asset management solution with a comprehensive range of mobility, functionality, reporting, and integration features. Contact us today to schedule a free demo or for a discussion about your business requirements.