As a Data Center Manager, if you’re not using a well organized and clean Data Center Inventory Spreadsheet (DCIS), you may be missing out on one of the most important inventory procedures for any business. Even though many “you should be doing this” organizations are using outdated or sometimes very complex inventory software, there are a few simple steps you can take that will make an ideal inventory tool.
One of the first steps in creating a DCIS is to first ensure you have a valid reason to create it. If you are just getting started, consider creating a DCIS because your business is still in its initial stages. Perhaps you’ve been building your IT department or are beginning to use new technologies such as Cloud computing and DevOps. Regardless of the reason for your new inventory, having a current document will allow you to easily track and present your inventory, and increase productivity and efficiency.
Another way to ensure a DCIS is an essential step to creating a Data Center Inventory Spreadsheet (DCIS). When you create your inventory, check and make sure you use a clean and organized document. Each column must be present, with no superfluous or extraneous items. Many older systems simply don’t work as efficiently when the data isn’t organized correctly.
After you have created a clean and organized Data Center Inventory Spreadsheet (DCIS), you need to ensure you are using a checkbox to separate your product types by the vendor, supplier, or service provider. In the next column, identify each product type and whether or not it is classified as a business. You may want to also group inventory based on core functions, or specific operations.
Keep in mind when you are creating the column headings, you may want to keep certain product types like networking equipment separate from others. Not all businesses can afford to have separate products because it is very difficult to categorize them. If your business is constantly changing, or special needs are changing, be sure to regroup and organize items accordingly. For example, a data center would likely use the same item types over, whereas a manufacturing firm would likely want to divide those types into functional units.
Once you have entered all-new product types, then you’ll want to identify each column for that product type. In the column header, you will identify the vendor or supplier of the item, or service, so be sure to keep that column to a minimum. Identify it as a vendor if it’s relevant, but don’t be overly concerned about showing it if it’s not. The list of suppliers or service providers would be used to fill out more columns than it’s needed.
The column containing the industry classification is the next step to take. Use this column to identify your industry classification, which may include whether you are a professional services firm, an information technology firm, a financial services firm, a logistics firm, and so on. This is used to help further organize the data and better separate companies and product types. Remember to put new product types under a vendor or supplier if applicable.
Creating a Data Center Inventory Spreadsheet (DCIS) is a great way to streamline your inventory system. Once you have a data table that clearly defines what a given product type is, and how it relates to the inventory of other types, you will find it much easier to track inventory and stay on top of your business’ inventory needs. The important thing to remember is that once you have a system that is organized and easy to use, you won’t even be thinking about changing the way inventory is displayed and tracked anymore.