Many schools and universities often loan out some of their IT equipment to full-time and student employees, but this often creates some logistical problems in trying to keep track of these items and monitoring their safe return.
One of the best ways of managing this particular issue is through the use of asset tracking software.
Here is a look at how to manage your loan outs and create a workable agreement that all relevant staff can sign and adhere to when they want to borrow school and university IT equipment.
One of the most important aspects of a loan agreement of this nature is to define why you are loaning the equipment and what you expect it to be used for.
The loanee needs to understand that the equipment is being provided for use both on and off school grounds and is being provided as a way of enhancing and facilitating and learning, teaching and administrative duties and functions.
It is also important to emphasise that items like laptop computers should be used for school-related business only and that any data stored on devices are subject to public record and not privately owned.
Using the Equipment
You may also want to clarify in the user agreement how and when you expect the computer equipment to be used, as part of the terms of agreeing to lend the items in the first place.
You should stipulate that the IT equipment always remains the property of the school or university and it is only provided on the basis that its intended use is the person loaning the equipment and nobody else.
You may also want to state that items like laptops need to be regularly on school premises whenever possible and that the equipment needs to be made available upon request, if any updates or anti-virus software needs to be updated or installed.
Safety and Security
The loanee also needs to be made aware of their responsibilities to keep the equipment safe to best of their ability.
This not only means taking reasonable steps to ensure that the equipment is not at risk from theft wherever possible, but it also covers the need to make sure that no unauthorized person gains access to the equipment, which increases the threat of data theft and the introduction of viruses.
Returning the Equipment
Any equipment that has been loaned out needs to be returned on an agreed date that needs to be stipulated in the user agreement.
It is often advisable to operate a fine system that encourages compliance with the equipment agreement and provides an incentive to return the items on time.
Asset Tracking Software
In addition to creating an agreement that covers all the relevant aspect of equipment rental to staff and students, it is recommended that you consider using asset tracking software to make the task of lending out a lot easier.
Using software that is designed specifically for this purpose will help the school or university keep control over their IT equipment and always allow them the ability to know at any given moment, who has their laptops or other devices and when it is due to be returned.
Patrick Young is a warehouse manager. He likes to share his insights online. His posts appear on many industrial and business websites.