Keeping an inventory of industrial equipment is essential, and there are a variety of ways to keep a physical inventory. Many people keep an inventory that identifies the brand, manufacturer, model, and serial number of their items and this is a primary way to keep track of inventory present. However, having a photographic inventory complements this information and is valuable for a few main reasons.
Condition of Equipment
A photograph is valuable since it provides a visual representation of the condition of any industrial equipment. For companies that may rent or use industrial equipment on a regular basis, having photographs of the equipment at regular intervals, especially check-out and check-in are essential to keeping up with the equipment. If the equipment suffers any damage, managers can look through the photos and determine the approximate time when the damage took place. However, in order for this to be accurate, ensure that the photographs taken have a date stamp that cannot be changed.
Theft and Loss
When equipment is stolen, having detailed information about the equipment itself is valuable to track down the items. However, most people are visual and having a photograph provided to law enforcement can help them locate and identify any stolen goods. Specialized equipment that may not be generally known by the public should always have photographic documentation safely stored. In the case of either theft or loss, having a photo of the equipment can mean the difference between finding it or having to suffer the missing equipment.
Insurance claims may also cover equipment in certain cases, so paying attention to detail is important to file a claim and have it approved. Make sure to take photographs of items along with something to show scale. Also, the condition should be clearly shown, even if more detailed photographs are taken. The photos may either be stored digitally or printed out for records keeping. However, if the photos are printed, the printer used should be an excellent quality that does not distort the colors or images. It may also be valuable to have the photos signed by a manager on a regular basis to ensure authenticity.
Wear and Tear
Nothing lasts forever but damage tends to occur over time due to metal fatigue and normal aging. As most people know, any piece of equipment has an expected life but it’s important to track any damage over time to determine the point at which the equipment will need to be replaced. By taking regular photographs of equipment, especially potential areas of damage, it’s significantly easier to estimate at what point a piece of equipment will either need to be replaced or repaired. This information allows managers to better plan for future expenses and have a tighter grip on the company.
These are the primary reasons why business owners should keep and maintain a photographic inventory. This type of inventory can complement a list-style inventory as well as providing valuable information for a variety of purposes and can be done by an employee or you can opt to hire a commercial photography professional to do it. For greater security, consider adding regular inventory photographs to equipment records.