We spend donor resources on valuable equipment that we will use to do our work. In order to use that equipment most effectively, we must have an accurate record of what we have and where it is. That record is our Inventory List.
We record on this list all the things we use for our work that are durable (stuff that lasts – like phones, vehicles, furniture, and computers) and worth over $50.
There are two types of items on the Inventory List.
- Items worth $5,000 or more. These are called Assets. This group also includes sets of items worth $5,000 or more (for instance, a whole computer network).
- Items that are worth less than $5,000 (but more than $50).
If the country program or region where you are working doesn’t have a template for you to use for the list, use the attached form:
There are four important pieces to Inventory Management
- Adding Things to the List
Add things to the Inventory List when they come in to the office for the first time. Adding things to the list is a step in the Receiving Procedure.
- Assigning a Location or Individual Responsibility for each item.
When we put an item on the List, we assign it:
- To a specific location in a CRS facility, or
- To an individual who will be responsible for it, with an Equipment Handover Form.
This is how we know where each item is so we can check on it later.
If the item is assigned to an individual (for example, a laptop computer), that person takes full responsibility for the item. We make sure they understand this responsibility by having them read and sign an Equipment Handover Form.
- Regularly Checking the List, Taking Inventory
We check the Inventory List against reality by finding each item on the list and inspecting it. During this check, we also update the list with any changes we must make based on what we find.
Assign someone other than the Receiving Official to schedule a morning or afternoon every month and check the Inventory List against what’s actually in the office and guest house. The faster the program is growing (the more you are purchasing, the more people there are running in, out and around), the more frequently you should do this to make sure everything is still where it should be.
- Taking Things Off the List, Disposal
When items are lost, broken, or stolen, we must update the Inventory List. We don’t take items off the list. We just update the status of the item on the list to show that we aren’t using it anymore or that it is gone.
For very expensive items that are broken, lost, or stolen, we also fill out a Disposal of Asset Form. This form requires us to explain what happened to a particular item. If the loss was due to a security incident, the people involved should also fill out a Safety and Security Incident Report.
Note: Items on the Inventory List do not include items that are in the Warehouse Ledger. We keep track of warehoused items separately. Our own equipment in our warehouse (for example, our computers and our desks that we use there) goes on the Inventory List. The material being stored in the warehouse goes in the Warehouse Ledger.