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.
75000 equipments (belonging to different categories)
total purchase value (in CHF)
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
- You are responsible for maintaining the inventory of your Unit and for the quality of the data recorded.
- You need to appoint the Inventory Coordinator.
- You need to validate the annual inventory check.
- You need to validate all requests from the Inventory Coordinator to remove equipment from the inventory.
- You are responsible for the inventory of equipment in accordance with the rules laid out.
- You need to conduct the annual inventory check.
- You need to handle all requests relating to the Unit inventory.
- Provides inventory training to inventory coordinators.
- Is responsible for continuous improvement of the inventory application.
- Organizes and supervises the annual check of the inventory or all requested checks.
- Provides support for the roles listed above and answers questions or requests for support concerning the inventory.
- Is responsible for inventory data quality.
- 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
- Machine tools
- Stewardship and real estate equipment
- Scientific and technical infrastructures
- Software purchased or developed internally
- Works of art
- Patents, copyrights and licences
- Mobile phones (these are not subject to another directive, LEX 7.3.1)
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.
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 an item of 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 an 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.
A tutorial, a user-guide and a flyer are available below (under “useful documents”). If you have a specific question, you can contact the inventory support team by sending an email to [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Classroom format trainings are also available if you wish. The dates at which these trainings take place are accessible by clicking here. You can register for a training by sending an email to [email protected] and specifying the date at which you would like to come.
Contacts / Questions
Here are the contact details you can use in case you have a technical issue, a question or a suggestion.
Technical contact point
|For technical issues related to the inventory application||[email protected]|
Business contact point
The EPFL Inventory Coordinator
|For any other question (or if you are not sure who to contact)||Bruno Riccini|