University of Reading Halves Equipment Insurance Premiums with Asset4000

London, United Kingdom, August 09, 2007 --( The University of Reading (UoR), a higher education institute widely renowned for its expertise in the areas of agriculture, meteorology and business, is successfully using Asset4000 to manage its growing accountability in the areas of compliance, cost efficiencies, risk management and resource planning.

Established in 1926, the University of Reading is one of the UK’s top 10 research intensive universities. With a turnover of £150 million, the UoR contributes over £220 million every year to the economy of the region.

Prior to implementing Asset4000, the UoR used spreadsheets to manage its assets, which, with a growing number was becoming increasingly more cumbersome. In particular, both month-end and year-end closure procedures were proving laborious. “We realised the importance of re-addressing our approach to the management and tracking of assets and inventory items and went in search for a specialist fixed asset system which could be implemented centrally and used remotely by all departments across the university,” commented Simon Mealor, Capital Accountant at the UoR.

The decision to select Asset4000 was easy as it far exceeded the alternatives on all key factors including price, functionality, flexibility and scalability. Used alongside the UoR’s general ledger package, Agresso, Asset4000 has proved to be invaluable and has demonstrated true return on investment.

The most noticeable benefit received from the system is the 49% saving in equipment insurance premiums for 2006/2007. “By having a true picture of all asset and inventory item values, the university no longer has to over insure its equipment and can obtain an insurance premium based on a more realistic estimate of current cost,” added Mealor.

Asset4000 is also enabling the university to comply confidently with internal and external auditor requirements. “We have the ability to provide auditors with a full audit history for our asset base, together with the facility to produce detailed reports highlighting an array of information including actual and projected asset values, locations and ownership of assets/inventory items. In addition, we are looking to become more pro-active in dealing with the latest waste disposal directives (WEEE) as we are armed with up-to-date records of electrical equipment requiring disposal.”

The university is using Asset4000 to record assets both above and below the capitalisation threshold ensuring all items are accounted for. By capturing details for both assets and inventory items under £10,000, the UoR has achieved a truer visibility of its thousands of items used across all departments in the university. With regards to the capitalised assets, depreciation can now be posted at individual asset level and all related capital grants are recorded on the one system, enabling easy analysis and reporting at month-end.

The growing issue of risk management has also been addressed with the introduction of the asset register. With disasters including the Southampton University fire and the Buncefield Oil Depot explosion being a critical concern, the use of Asset 4000 complements Reading’s existing comprehensive major incident plan.“ The merit of holding the data on a central system is apparent when you think of the importance of disaster recovery”, comments Mealor. “We back-up all the information from the central databases on a daily basis and then send it off site as part of our normal data protection procedures. If there was a significant disruption to our operations, we would have a means of establishing from offsite what our departments have.”

It is envisaged that the sharing of asset information will in the future enable department heads to take ownership of their resources and work towards eliminating their duplication and under utilisation.

The UoR has impressive growth plans over the next couple of years which will see the continued use of Asset4000. A number of major projects are planned across the campus including the building of a £24.5 million business school, due to open in 2009. “In a drive to increase efficiency and accountability across the university, we are exploring the possibility of bar-coding our asset and inventory items and potentially adopting a smart tagging solution within our science areas which contain a variety of chemicals,” declared Mealor. “We feel confident that we can build on the tremendous successes achieved to date with RAM.”

“We are continually finding that many organisations are overpaying for their insurance premiums, and the UoR is a good example of how efficient asset management can rectify this,” commented Keith Dolby, MD of Real Asset Management. “With less than 40% of assets on the register easily identified during a physical audit and an estimated 20% no longer in existence, organisations are hardly getting value for money from expensive insurance premiums,” continued Dolby. RAM’s commitment to research and development together with its experience gained across implementations in more than 70 educational establishments ensures that customers are equipped with the technology required to attain true return on investment.
Real Asset Management PLC
Nicola Byers
0203 861 7100