In our previous blog we covered the value of a Calibration Lab providing its customers the functionality of a Calibration Asset Management Tool. In summary, the tool helps the person responsible for instrument calibration to schedule, implement and track the histories of each instrument in a fast, easy and accurate manner.
What are the critical components of a Calibration Asset Management Tool?
Traceability of Assets throughout the Calibration Process
The person responsible for keeping their company’s instruments measuring accurately within standard tolerance ranges should be able to see on their computer – via a digital customer portal – the status of every instrument as it goes through the calibration process: received, calibration in process, awaiting quality control (QC), outsourced (if applicable), in storage (if applicable), notification of out of tolerance, notification of repair or replacement needed, calibration reports available.
The Calibration Asset Management Tool should be customizable to your requirements. For example, specifying the technician (and his or her email address) assigned to the instrument in the database facilitates sending notices of calibration due. This ensures technicians complete tests and the equipment is ready to be sent in, prior to the calibration due date.
Automatic Notifications that Call to Action
A calibration management tool should notify you when action is required. This includes notification that certain equipment is due to be calibrated and notification that an instrument has been calibrated and the status of that calibration.
The Calibration tool is interactive and allows you to alert the Calibration Service provider of any special needs you have for particular instruments, when you require a rush job, authorize a repair or replacement, or request a quote for additional instrument calibrations.
Import, Export and Search
Companies have lists of assets that need to be calibrated, as well as those assets’ calibration histories. A Calibration Asset Management Tool should be able to electronically import existing data to eliminate the need to manually input the list and histories. Conversely, an asset management tool should be able to export a newly generated and updated list to a customer for his or her internal use.
A search function in the Calibration Asset Management tool can help locate an individual asset on any parameter in the database – segregate, asset number, technician, location, serial number, manufacturer, and model.
Should You Develop an Asset Management Tool Internally or rely on an Outside Service Provider?
Should a company requiring instrument calibration develop its own Calibration Asset Management Tool internally? Or rely on an experienced service provider? What about data security, the reliability of the system, etc.? In our next blog we will examine the pros and cons of internal developing versus externally existing Calibration Asset Management tools. We will also explore the options of sending instruments out to a lab, having the calibration service technician calibrate on site or a combination of both.