April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
06 May 2015

Why Not Just Keep Up?

BeAheadA common comment from business owners goes something like this: “I know my business – been doing it for years –  but I don’t have much success anymore.”

An immediate thought might be that the economy is bad, or he isn’t trying hard enough, or people just don’t need her service or product; it’s run it’s course. However, when you take the time to really listen – really listen –  you’ll understand what the issue is. These business owners know their business, but lose touch with the business environment or their own industry.

The business environment

Major advancements in technology are mind-boggling. It seems that new software is being introduced daily. Computers become more powerful. CRM systems are doing so much more than they used to to keep track of your clients. Fax machines are out; scanning and emailing are in. Oh – wait – now you don’t need to scan and email, just put the document in Google Drive or Dropbox. Knowing how to utilize your time and accommodate your customers and vendors can be a job in itself!

Customer expectations have changed. Have you asked your customers lately what they think of your service? Knowing what they are thinking is a key in knowing how to improve your service.

Social media plays a large part in marketing plans. Which ones should you join? Is it acceptable to promote your business on that platform? How can you do it properly? You can learn about Social Media for Business here.

Unfortunately, many business owners haven’t kept up with the changes, advancements, and new opportunities – with the new ways of doing business. Years ago, staying in the office, “minding the store” as they used to say, was expected and also was enough. Times have changed. The ways to do business have changed. Business owners who keep up with these advancements are the ones who will stay ahead of those who continue to do things as they always have.

The industry

Conferring with others in your industry is essential. Think “co-opertition” instead of “competition” and work together to grow the industry. Learn about a new trend that might crop up in one area of the country – it will most likely enter your region soon. Is there a new opportunity for your service or product that wasn’t even considered a year ago? By being involved in your industry, instead of just your own business, will enable you to become and remain successful.

Join the asset inventory industry organizations. The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) offers online, self-directed continuing education courses and a certification (the only one recognized in the industry). The Inventory Institute provides many services, including coaching, seminars, webinars, industry update conference calls, referrals, project management services, and so much more.

Be aware. Be involved. Be a leader. Just keeping up with what you’ve always done will not keep you ahead.

22 Oct 2014

Certified Inventory Specialist Certification Program Improvements

certified RedDeveloped by the National Inventory Certification Association and operated in conjunction with the Inventory Institute, these two professional organizations have established a checks and balances to ensure an ethically developed and managed certification program. This is accomplished by the Inventory Institute assigning the prerequisites to achieve certification. NICA creates the education courses to meet those needs. Having one organization determine designation requirements, while another creates the education components with the CEU values assigned, helps ensure integrity in the program.

The purpose of these requirements for certification indicate that the certified professional has shown a proficiency of the knowledge and skills deemed important to the benefit of both the industry and the professional.

Certified Inventory Specialist

In line with association industry standards, a member of NICA can achieve certification as a Certified Inventory Specialist by earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through experience, education, military experience, Continuing Education Courses, and more. When the determined number of CEUs are earned, the candidate can apply for certification to achieve this level of professionalism.

Non-members can also apply for and achieve their CIS designation.

Renewing certification designation

Remaining within the guidelines of association industry standards, Certified Members will have CEU requirements to maintain/renew certification every two (2) years. Full details regarding the number of CEUs (and the various options) for Certification and Renewal are included on both the Inventory Institute and NICA websites.

This improved program was launched on October 1, 2014, and we are pleased with the favorable response we have received from our members. Having a more comprehensive certification program provides our members with a designation of which they can be proud.

15 Oct 2014

Introducing Continuing Professional Education

The Nationceual Inventory Certification Association and the Inventory Institute have co-created the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) program, and are diligently working on additional courses. Designed to help you achieve your NICA certification, and to enhance your knowledge through continued professional development, Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provides options to achieve a depth and/or breadth of the asset inventory industry.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Continuing Education Units are values placed on specific types of knowledge gained through various methods – industry experience, courses, formal education, etc. The CEUs assigned to each will be tabulated toward your efforts to achieve certification.

The NICA courses offered will have assigned CEU values. Four industry-specific courses are currently available:

  • Inventory 101
  • Code of Ethics
  • Residential Inventory
  • Business Inventory

Time Management, a non-industry course recently was recently released. Additional courses are currently being written and will be added to the curriculum soon.

A survey distributed to inventory industry professionals was beneficial, because their responses have helped determine the subjects as well as the order in which these education modules will be developed. All courses are presented in an online self-paced format so you can fit these key instructional courses into your busy lifestyle.

Course integrity

Courses provided in the Continuing Professional Education program are written by industry professionals who have experience and proven knowledge in their topic area. To ensure integrity of your Certified Inventory Specialist™ designation, all continuing education course exams are created and/or edited by instructional design or education professionals.

All NICA members receive the benefit of a 50% discount off all Continuing Education Courses and the Certification Exam offered through our website.


25 Jun 2014

Who Are Your Teammates?

baseballWhen you hear the word team, most people think of sports. I remember playing baseball when I was young. All the kids in the neighborhood played, and we kept the same teams all summer long.  We knew that we would all get better if we continued to play with the same teammates – we would learn their strengths and weaknesses, which developed a stronger team.

The camaraderie that developed made for months of summer fun. We played hard and wanted desperately to win. We’d encourage our teammates when they did well. We also congratulated the winners of each game, and at the end of the day, we all remained friends.

Our team

In the business world, team is also a term that applies. The National Inventory Certification Association has a great team; without them, the association would not have accomplished what we have in such a short time.  This team of players are not rookies – they have experience in their specific industries, each bringing MVP quality to the association.

Members – fans are pertinent for a sports team to thrive. The same is true with the association. Without members, there is no need for an association. We have received a lot of great feedback from our members and will continue to look for their input so the association provides the services they want and need. They are solid professionals, realizing the value of continuing education.

Directors – our two directors have over 30 years each holding management positions in various corporate levels and 10 years as owners of their own home and business inventory service company.

Content writers – all courses are written by those with experience in their fields, as well as a firm knowledge of the asset inventory industry.

Editors – they are either professional writers or have years of experience in copy writing. Helping to ensure we have quality, well-written courses is a top priority.

Instructional design professionals – knowing the importance of creating the correct type of questions for exams, these team members either have a degree in education, have successfully completed instructional design courses, or both.

Webmaster – we have  put a lot of pressure on our webmaster, owner of Internet Tech Specialists, and she takes the ball and runs with it. In addition to developing our website and maintaining it, her company has tested and helped us determine the software that would be best for the continuing professional education courses, certification, and membership management. This software enables us to offer online self-paced courses for our busy inventory professionals. Her guidance and expertise makes her an all-star!

The Inventory Institute – NICA is the designated education and certification organization by the Inventory Institute, to the point that they have made us an Exclusive Business Partner. Our continued collaboration on the needs of the industry, how we can help each other’s organizations meet members’ needs, and play as a team rather than look at each other as opponents, has helped us, together, establish industry standards and a code of ethics, and work together so each member of this industry wins.

As you can see, we have a great team. If you’re a professional home inventory provider, we welcome you to join us. It’s a large playing field, so there is plenty of room for everyone!

01 Mar 2014

Survey Responses – Winner Announced

Business Inventory CoverA recent survey was distributed to asset inventory professionals throughout the United States. The purpose of requesting this information was to gain insight from those who offer this service. Knowing the needs of these business owners will help The Inventory Institute and the National Inventory Certification Association serve them individually, as well as the industry as a whole.

Some chose to skip questions. That was fine, as we value all responses, and appreciate everyone’s input. We did offer a gift to one person who completed all questions. A drawing was held; we are pleased to announce that Patty Kreifels, of Picture This Asset Inventory Service, in Lincoln, Nebraska, is the winner! She received a book titled, “A Business Guide to Asset Inventory – Protecting Your Company Assets,” which contains tips on how to complete a commercial inventory.

The survey results are being tabulated and and the information will be shared soon on this news page as well as on the LinkedIn Asset Inventory Group Discussion Board.