Free equipment inventory template for Excel and Google Sheets
Excel or Google Sheet is a good starting point for equipment management, especially in small organisations. When you have only a limited number of employees and the amount of equipment is not large, you can easily create an equipment inventory in Excel or in Google Sheet. To get started, you can download a free equipment inventory template for Excel and Google Sheet from the link below:
Benefits of an Excel inventory sheet
Excel is a versatile piece of software that can easily be used as a tool for managing equipment inventories. Its greatest benefits are:
- Easy to implement
- Simple to use
- Collects equipment data in one centralised location
Excel is probably the most common equipment management method. It is simple to use, and it allows you to share the equipment data for the whole organisation. If your equipment inventory is currently stored in employees' memory or on paper, you would benefit greatly from collecting the information to an Excel file or a Google Sheet.
Since your company is most likely already using Excel or Google Sheets for other purposes, it is natural to expand it to cover the equipment inventory as well. The additional benefit is that it doesn't require any extra investment.
You can also customise excel sheets to meet your needs. Obviously, the customisation possibilities are limited (for example, creating a notification functionality for excel might be easier said than done). Still, you can modify the sheets without any deeper understanding of software development. Adding new columns for important dates, for example, is easy.
Excel and Google Sheets have their limitations, though. They work as static equipment registers. After you have been using Excel as an equipment inventory tool for a while, you might find yourself looking for more equipment management features.
When considering the best practices of asset management it becomes painfully clear that Excel cannot solve all the requirements of efficient equipment management.
Excel's biggest limitations as an equipment inventory system are:
- Requires manual work
- Problems with multiple users
- No notifications
- Hard to integrate with equipment labels
- Lacks crucial equipment management features
When you create an Excel equipment inventory sheet, you probably notice that it is quite rigid. Everything needs to be written by hand. If you move an item from one place to another, you need to write down the new location.
The same applies to other basic equipment management features. For example, if you have executed a maintenance for an item, you should add the date manually to the excel sheet. Or if your company tracks equipment reservations, each reservation needs to be written manually in the Excel sheet. And you will not receive notifications for any of these actions. You still need to constantly check the maintenance dates and reservations statuses.
It is a common practice to label your equipment with equipment labels (QR-codes, barcodes, RFIDs, or NFC tags). You can obviously add the label string to the corresponding item's row in excel, but actually using the label with excel is not a simple task. The label's idea is to connect the physical item with its digital item information. And excel will not provide you with such a feature.
Even if you are satisfied with just an equipment register, you might find out that having multiple users using one Excel file might result in chaos. If somebody accidentally deletes crucial information, it might be lost forever. Also conflict documents are way too common when multiple users are using a shared excel sheets.
So, when you have gotten started with an excel equipment inventory, and are looking for an improvement to the equipment management, you might want to check out an equipment management system
Who should make an equipment inventory in Excel
Creating an equipment inventory sheet to Excel is a good option for small and new companies. When you have only a small number of items and employees, Excel sheet is quite enough for keeping an up-to-date register of your assets. Especially, if you don't have a lot of different actions you want to do to the equipment. These actions include, for example, equipment reservations and equipment maintenances.
Given its limitations, Excel will not suit all equipment management needs. Especially larger organisations and companies who need to keep a detailed record of maintenances or equipment reservations would benefit more from an equipment management system with all the crucial equipment management features.
To sum up, Excel is a great equipment inventory tool if you are looking for a basic item register with no additional features and are willing to keep it manually updated. To get started, you can download a free equipment inventory template for Excel or Google Sheets below. Since the sheet is only a template, you can modify it by adding more columns for logging, for example, last maintenance dates or current user or whatever information you deem necessary.