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Auditing is the gathering of all the information that describes the characteristics and the exact condition of each IT asset. The client modules of the Aiken WorkBench automatically detect the specifications of PCs, Macs, Android/iOS smartphones/tablets, monitors, printers and other devices, and provides a systematic way to enter the information that cannot be obtained automatically, such as cosmetic defects. The Workbench suite also includes an Android app to take pictures of those defects and store them into the database for further use, along with the auditing information.

Retrieving the information as it is returned by the hardware is useful, but it is not enough. Experienced ITAD technicians know that hardware manufacturers do not always store information in a consistent way. The Aiken Workbench code has been tweaked with the input of real working environments over various years, so as to deal with the idiosyncrasies of specific computer models, devices and components. It may, among others:

  • Move information from one field to another
  • Replace model numbers with commercial model names
  • Convert units of measurement
  • Remove non-relevant words and characters
  • Merge fields and change the order of field parts

The ultimate purpose of this normalization effort is to get consistent information for all the assets, so it can be automatically used in reports and data processing (export to ERPs, etc) without further human intervention.

All the auditing information is stored in MySQL, an industrial-strength database. The information can be accessed in real time, both locally and remotely, by using the Workbench Manager application, available for Windows, Mac and Linux. ITAD companies can also distribute this application to their customers or suppliers for free, so they can follow remotely the work in progress, print their own reports and erasure certificates and export the information to files in their own custom formats.

In addition to using the reporting and exporting capabilities built into the Aiken WorkBench product, the auditing data can also be accessed by using the hundreds of commercial or open source tools available for MySQL and ODBC-compliant databases, or by writing custom programs. Integration with in-house ERP systems at the data level should be straightforward in most cases.

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