Archive for December, 2013

Looking Back


Looking back to 1995 when Centennial Associates, Inc. first was introduced to Bar|Scan® Bar Code Asset Management software system and bar code asset inventories, it’s interesting to see how much our business plan changed regarding project staffing.


In the beginning, projects for this service were not numerous and were scattered between our consulting business projects and our business relocation projects. This meant for each new bar code inventory project we would hire new staff each time and in whatever city the project was located. I had the opportunity to hire and train many inventory specialists in our inventory process in each location, needless to say, with varying levels of success, some great, some less than great.


I’m proud to say though, each project was successfully completed. There was a lot for me as the project manager to overcome to assure the success of each. As a manager, you encounter different personnel and other problems, as you go, you learn from each experience.


Today, we have a staff of competent well trained inventory specialists to draw upon for our projects. Some have been with us nearly 10 years and have experience in a wide range of types of inventories required by our customers. In fact, we’re at the point where I may not have to go out on a project, unless I want to, and be confident the project will be completed on time, within budget and provide accurate data for the customer.


Does this sound like the type of project team that you would like to have work with your internal team to conduct your company’s asset inventories whether for Relocation Planning, Accounting, CMMS programs or developing a surplus management program? Please call 585-671-0544 for a free consultation.


Norm Mistal, President

Case Study for Cost Avoidance


I’d like to take you inside of one of our past projects where the owner immediately saved over $7,500 nearly recovering the cost of the bar code inventory project.

We were contacted and subsequently contracted to conduct an inventory in a student housing complex near SUNY Binghamton which was comprised of 8 buildings and 96 apartments. The University had been managing but had let slide to the point the owner took back and was investing considerable dollars to bring back to good living conditions for students.

I learned quickly the students were not big on housekeeping, since some time was spent on our knees bar code tagging some of the furniture items, should have issued knee pads.

While reviewing our report with the owner, he made a request for his project manager to purchase 25 additional coffee tables at the cost of $300 each for the newly renovated units. I interrupted their conversation and showed the owner where he had 30 of the new tables in storage and long forgotten. As stated, a cost avoidance of $7,500. The savings were important but what was more important to the owner was that he now had a tool, a report by building and room, which was used to hold each tenant responsible for all the contents of each room.

Each new tenant agreed and signed off on contents upon lease agreement. What was different from original agreement on departure, the student was held responsible and charged for the loss. The owner saw this as a step to prevent loss going into the future.

Now we all do not manage student housing facilities, but in your facilities position, have you purchased new items where, somewhere in your company or organization there probably are new items setting in a corner, closet or storage unused ready to be put into service? When as a facility manager at a large corporation, I was often guilty of buying new because there was no way to locate unused or underutilized equipment.

Today, Centennial Associates exists because we have developed this unique niche helping others get their ducks in a row. Find out what your company owns, where it’s located and if ready to be reused. Your cost avoidance saving could be this $7,500 or in the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss options for your company. Call 585-671-0544.

Norm Mistal, President


School Inventories


Over the years I have been asked for cost estimates to conduct an inventory of school furniture and equipment assets. Many have been from the financial aspect driven by Accounting or the District CFO and include buildings and grounds. Yes, from the stand point for insurance purposes making sure the District is accurately covered for replacement costs makes sense. However, the value of an asset inventory from the facilities view point is most often overlooked or not taken into consideration. What do I mean by that?

Once a barcode labeled inventory is completed, not only do you have, in the event of something catastrophic, a replacement cost by building, by room for insurance purposes. In addition, you also have a powerful planning tool for replacement programs and best furniture utilization by school building.

Many Districts have some type of modernization program continually going on as budgets are approved. Considerable sums of public money can be saved through proper management and cost avoidance.

As an example, we were involved with a 56 school district where we inventoried all schools but what we did different was, we categorized each individual asset by asset condition. With the data collected and summarized we determined which schools were in most need for replacement, located excess inventory that was assimilated back into use minimizing new purchases the following year and beyond. Results can be cost savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Don’t overlook the school facilities groups needs when considering or contracting for the next inventory. For a free consultation 585-671-0544.

Norm Mistal

Centennial Associates, Inc.

December, 2013

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