The inventory process is important because it allows long-lasting goods belonging to EPFL to be located, to ensure better equipment sharing, to enable proper equipment renewal planning and to avoid purchasing equipment that we might already have. Thanks to a well-defined process, EPFL assets can be kept under control and our legal obligations, such as Ordinance of the ETH Board on accounting in the EPF Domain, fulfilled.

The inventory application

The inventory application is accessible through the Sesame portal.

Inventory control

Find here the instructions and useful information for the inventory control

Key figures

icone inventaire
Switzerland Franc - What the Logo?


Equipment (belonging to different categories)

957 millions

Total purchase value



Does it apply to me ?

The inventory is a subject that applies to all EPFL staff.



How is the inventory useful for financial unit heads, institute heads, college directors and deans ?

The inventory management process allows:

  • Equipment to be located.
  • Enable better equipment sharing within EPFL as a whole.
  • Financial resources to be used more efficiently.
  • Theft risk to be reduced.
  • Equipment renewal budgets to be established more efficiently.
  • EPFL legal obligations to be fulfilled.


Roles and responsibilities

  1. You are responsible for maintaining the inventory of your Unit and for the quality of the data recorded.
  2. You need to appoint the Inventory Coordinator.
  3. You need to validate the inventory check.
  4. You need to validate all requests from the Inventory Coordinator to remove and transfer equipment from the inventory.
  1. You are responsible for the inventory of equipment in accordance with the rules laid out.
  2. You need to conduct the inventory check.
  3. You need to handle all requests relating to the Unit inventory.

VPF organize et supervise the monitoring of EPFL inventory process.
The EPFL Inventory Coordinator is Bruno Riccini.

  1. Provides inventory training to inventory coordinators.
  2. Is responsible for continuous improvement of the inventory application.
  3. Organizes and supervises the inventory control or all requested checks.
  4. Provides support for the roles listed above and answers questions or requests for support concerning the inventory.
  5. Is responsible for inventory data quality.
  6. Provides inventory statistics for Unit heads, intitute heads, college directors and deans.


What goes in the inventory and thresholds that apply

Equipment that is purchased, received for free and internally built needs to be entered in the inventory application. Equipment that is in lease or borrowed for more than a year need to be registered in the inventory as well.

  • Scientific machines and equipment
  • IT, audio-visual and reprographic machines and equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Machine tools
  • Stewardship and real estate equipment
  • Scientific and technical infrastructures
  • Software purchased or developed internally
  • Works of art
  • CFC3 equipment acquired during the construction or renovation of buildings.
  • Intangible assets arising from rights of use.
  • Buildings
  • Patents, copyrights and licences
  • Mobile phones (these are not subject to another directive, LEX 7.3.1)


Mandatory thresholds

The threshold above which it becomes mandatory for an equipment to be registered in the inventory has been modified so that it is in line with the fixed asset accounting threshold. Please refer to the inventory directive (LEX 5.9.1) for more details.

General notes

The purchase value corresponds to the amount specified on the purchase order (or to the invoice if the amount differs to the purchase order). VAT, rebates, installation fees, delivery fees and customs fees need to be included.

The rules that apply when multiple identical equipments are ordered or for equipments which are composed of several items have been specified in the inventory directive (LEX 5.9.1).

If a component with a value equal to or exceeding CHF 10’000 needs to be replaced on an equipment, and this component increases the value of the equipment or alters its operating life, the EPFL Inventory Coordinator needs to be contacted.

In the case of a major overhaul for equipment (i.e. if the costs of the overhaul exceed CHF 100’000, routine services excluded), the EPFL Inventory Coordinator needs to be contacted.

If the value of consumable stock exceeds CHF 100’000, a stock valuation must be completed once per year and communicated to the Accounting Department.


The importance of inventory write-off

Often neglected, an inventory write-off is a crucial step in the inventory process. The follow-up on inventory data and the potential write-off of an equipment is just as important as registering equipment in the inventory.

In the Directive on Inventories (LEX 5.9.1), the inventory write-off procedure, including the approval steps, have been specified.


The importance of inventory management authorization census

Every year, VPF conducts a review of inventory management rights, providing a range of crucial benefits, in addition to meeting a fundamental requirement of the institution :

  • Compliance Maintenance: An annual inventory management authorization census ensures that inventory management authorizations are compliant with current policies and regulations, thereby avoiding non-compliance risks.
  • Access Control: It verifies and updates user authorizations, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to inventory systems and sensitive data.
  • Enhanced Security: By identifying outdated or unauthorized authorizations, the census helps strengthen security by reducing the risks of unauthorized access and data breaches.
  • Better Risk Management: By identifying gaps and potential weaknesses in authorizations, the census allows for corrective actions to reduce the risks of fraud, loss, or mismanagement of assets.
  • Improved Auditability: Regular authorization censuses facilitate internal and external audits by providing up-to-date documentation on access rights and security controls.
  • Standards Compliance: It helps the School comply with standards and best practices in access management and data control, enhancing its reputation and credibility.
  • Training Needs Identification: By identifying gaps in users’ skills and knowledge, the census allows for the identification of training needs and the provision of targeted training to improve user competence and compliance.

In summary, an annual inventory management authorization census offers significant benefits to EPFL in terms of compliance, security, operational efficiency, and risk management.


The inventory exchange platform

The exchange platform allows EPFL units to make certain categories of equipment available to other units of the School. These items are still usable and, in case of interest, they will be reassigned to the unit that makes a request.

After 2 months of publication of an item on the exchange platform without expression of internal interest at EPFL, the item will be published on this webpage and freely accessible online. Priority will be given to Swiss public institutions.

List of available equipment



Inventory training

A tutorial and a user-guide are available below. Online training courses are also available (check the “useful documents” section).

Useful documents

The Directive on Inventories (LEX 5.9.1)


User manual for the inventory application

Tutorial for the inventory application

Short film explaining what the inventory is about

Purchasing your IT equipment

Order yellow labels

Contacts / Questions

Here are the contact details you can use in case you have a technical issue, a question or a suggestion: [email protected]