Every school, university and conservatorium would have an asset register for the instruments they own and hold. These instruments are generally loaned to students for a term, semester or year, and are returned to the inventory pool upon completion of the loan period.
Using instruments for multiple students over a number of years is an extremely beneficial service for all involved, but how do we ensure that the instruments are kept in healthy shape, and then replaced when needed? Servicing and repairs evidently assist the inventory pool remain low-cost and viable over the long-term, however, what is the plan on how to replace instruments when needed?
When do you know when to rollover instruments?
Should instruments remain in use until they are well and truly past their lifespan, or should they be replaced upon the beginning of their downturn in viability and useability?
Steps for instrument asset maintenance and replacement:
For example, here is Education Queensland’s outlines:
Equipment Management Procedure: https://ppr.qed.qld.gov.au/attachment/equipment-management-for-schools-procedure.pdf
Resource Replacement Scheme Procedure:
Your inventory list should include:
- year of purchase
- place of purchase
- a record all repairs and servicing costs over its lifespan (or begin to start the process if this hasn’t occurred as yet).
This ensures that the school has a register of the cost of the asset over a certain number of years, and also allows them to depreciate the asset over a certain period.
From here, you are empowered to make a bid of sorts to your leadership and finance managers.
The story of not having enough budget to cover costs such as a replacement instrument, along with normal running costs of a program, is an all-too-common one.
However, these documents are where you can work with the schemes in place by your Department/school to negotiate with your finance manager regarding your asset replacement scheme, and how much budget you realistically require to maintain your instrument assets as well as turn them over when they are no longer needed or viable for use.
Eg. If general assets over $2,000.00, such as a computer, are to be depreciated and replaced after five years, why should an instrument such as a cello or double bass not be included in this scheme? As an instrument is a business asset, owned by the institution, it therefore qualifies to the same principles.
This leads to the all-important question:
“Does my school’s asset guidelines impact my current budget negatively (ie. my budget is not enough to cover maintenance/replacement costs), or should my budget reflect the guidelines?”
You may be thinking ‘Where do I start?!’ This is where our Education Sales & Services team comes in.
We often create bespoke plans for schools for instrument asset rollover and other costs and needs, including:
- full physical and structural assessment of your current instrument inventory
- full detailing of all instruments of current inventory including age, condition and repair or servicing needs, with photos.
- a recommendation plan for each instrument for lifespan, replacement or maintenance, along with recommended budgeted spendings per year for each instrument.
- all information presented in PDF and video ‘walk-through’ form for the school and staff to hold on file.
From here, if your budget is impacted negatively, you have a strong case to present to your leadership and finance teams to look at options to cover expenses, as well as creating a contingency budget for repairs and replacements, and also a general plan for the costs of maintenance over the long-term. We can also assist with a ‘marketing’ plan to spread the word regarding investing into your program long-term from your leadership team to the students, parents, and wider community.
If your budget is healthy enough already to cover costs, you could perhaps begin with something as simple as working towards having a contingency budget in place before beginning to expand your program. From here, you can start looking at rolling over your instruments to upgrade instrument quality across your program, upgrade strings, and upgrade other accessories such as music stands and performance equipment, or purchase new tutor books or items for your stores cupboard.
For more information about how to manage your program's assets effectively, or anything education related, get in touch with our friendly Education Sales & Services team today on 1300 739 293.