Your Department’s Guide to Streamlined PPE Inventory Management

Law enforcement officers, first responders, and emergency management personnel have used Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased that need, as well as the resulting demand. Your supply and your ability to manage that supply is critical to the safety of your team. From budgeting to procurement to inventory management, the ability to provide and track PPE assets in real time is now one of any department’s top priorities. Most operations still rely on spreadsheets and manual/visual processes, which ultimately leads to gaps in coverage and unnecessary risks to be taken. The best option, however, is to utilize software applications specifically designed for emergency management and law enforcement to completely manage and track these critical assets.

Managing mission-critical equipment and supplies got more complicated with the pandemic, however, with the advent of inventory management software, the job has actually become easier.   Implementing an asset management software will:

  1. Provide a Centralized system for managing your PPE

The best way to ensure that your team has the PPE they need, when they need it is to track it in a centralized system. By integrating the management of fixed assets, inventory assets, and employees, you will be able to understand what each officer or employee has as well as forecast and manage future supply needs. Fixed assets include items that are purchased for long-term use, and are likely to be repaired instead of replaced — giving an extra level of management needed in order to track ongoing maintenance, warranties, certification, and expiration dates.  Inventory assets include things like turnout gear and other PPE that are used until retirement and require strict management of inventory levels to be both operational and cost-effective. To maintain the life of PPE and avoid harmful contamination to team members, strict daily inspections and maintenance requirements — including cleaning instructions — should be logged in order to mitigate risk.

  1. Create Custom and adhoc reports for compliance

As the pandemic continues, government compliance committees will likely increase scrutiny and requirements for organizations to prove they are properly protecting employees. If you use a modern inventory management system to manage your PPE inventory, such reports can be customized and generated easily. Show supervisors, health department officials and community stakeholders exactly how you are keeping your employees safe at any given time.

  1. Integrate Bar code scanning for seamless Inventory management

By adding scanning hardware and enabling barcoding capability, the process of tracking your PPE inventory becomes even more streamlined. Integration of barcode scanners allows you to track items quickly and efficiently, keeping your records up-to-date and your stock levels in check without taking valuable time away from all of the other tasks for which you’re responsible.

  1. Alert you to Low Stock and expiration Dates

Be proactive and easily set minimum inventory thresholds and receive alerts when your stock of a given item is low or items in stock are reaching expiration dates. The right inventory management software can ensure that you don’t run out of mission-critical equipment and supplies. For accountability, employees should be able to easily e-sign in or out items using a signature pad, as well as quickly determine which items they already have assigned to them.

  1. Track inventory tied to grants

If your PPE was purchased using a grant, your asset management software should help you track this easily and enable you to pull reports on purchases made, amounts expended and usage making compliance easier than ever. Your software should give you confidence in your department’s compliance with grant requirements.

In addition to tracking for safety and inventory reasons, when it comes time for an audit, you’ll want to have a more comprehensive solution that guarantees accuracy while allowing your personnel time to devote to other aspects of your organization. Tight budgets and a lack of robust software options have caused many law enforcement agencies to take on the task of tracking PPE manually by using spreadsheets or handwritten ledgers. These outdated forms of tracking don’t offer the flexibility and accuracy that is required in today’s fast-paced environment.

If you’re using long and complicated manual processes to track your equipment, you aren’t alone. Working with limited budgets and fewer resources than you need is common among administration teams in all types of law enforcement agencies. Collective Data has a proven solution that can help you streamline your process while saving you valuable time and money.

Collective Data provides high-performing fleet and asset management software that has supported private companies and government agencies for more than 20 years. Our signature products: collectiveFleet®, collectiveQuartermaster® and collectiveFusion are used by hundreds of organizations that value intuitive, productive software. The ability to add modules and configure features of our base products as well as to integrate with other software and hardware sets us apart from our competition and provides our customers with a best-in-class solution that integrates seamlessly into their workflows resulting in measurable time and cost savings.

Download our free Ultimate Asset Guide for Law Enforcement or schedule a demo of our software solution to see why other departments rely on our comprehensive inventory management to streamline their tracking and ensure accuracy.