The ultimate guide to asset tracking
Assets build and sustain businesses.
Whether you’re an energy company, a transport or construction company, a business hiring out equipment or maintaining parks, a trade organisation or someone in a large industry – you require equipment, tools and vehicles to conduct daily operations.
That’s why it’s important to ensure all assets are fully utilised and monitored to prevent misplacement, losses, or damages which can disrupt or delay your service delivery.
Asset tracking is a solution that allows you to minimise these problems from occurring while supporting your business’ growth.
Here is a complete guide to asset tracking and management to provide you with everything you need to know.
- The importance of asset tracking
- Asset tracking technology
- Benefits of an asset tracking system
a. What is asset tracking?
Asset tracking is a business practice used to monitor the status, improve the usage, and secure the location of an organisation’s assets.
The objective of asset tracking is to ensure that a business has key information about their assets at all times for smarter decision making, as well as improved asset productivity and efficiency.
Operations can run more effectively when a business knows where their assets are, who they are assigned to, what project they're on and what condition they’re in.
b. What is asset management?
The terms ‘asset tracking’ and ‘asset management’ are often used interchangeably. But do they mean the same thing?
Asset management refers to the process of organising and maintaining assets from their procurement until the final disposal phase. Asset management aims to improve the overall quality of tools, equipment and vehicles to prolong their life and get the best out of each unit.
Asset tracking, on the other hand, is an aspect of asset management. It focuses on identifying an asset’s location, condition, state and whose responsibility it is to handle the equipment.
Since most asset tracking solutions today encompass all functions of managing assets - from monitoring, regulating maintenance and getting accurate data – it’s common for asset tracking and asset management to be defined as the same thing.
c. Inventory tracking vs. asset tracking
The difference between inventory tracking and asset tracking is determined by the items being tracked, the process of tracking and the timeframe the item is being used for.
Inventory tracking is about keeping tabs on stock levels of non-unique items such as parts, sellable stock and consumable products. Tracked through part numbers and quantities, inventory tracking is conducted for a relatively short time because inventory is no longer a concern for the company once these units are sold. For example: tiles, bricks, plants, panes of glass, wood, and so on.
On the other hand, asset tracking refers to monitoring unique physical or fixed assets that are used on an ongoing basis by the organisation, such as equipment, trailers, cages, storage bins and vehicles – these assets are not sold, but used to deliver the service. Asset tracking involves using unique serial numbers or tags to monitor the movement of these assets, which are continuously used for longer periods of time.
II. The importance of asset tracking
Aside from counting and listing of all your equipment, asset tracking offers advantages that can improve your business operations significantly.
Here are the reasons why asset tracking is a must for your business:
a. Improved asset practice
In the busy movement of every day, assets can tend to get lost, be poorly handled or misplaced, especially when they are deployed across multiple job sites. Through the establishment of asset tracking, teams can follow a systemised process to easily identify and log the whereabouts of tools, equipment and vehicles, as well as where to correctly store them.
b. Physical location of assets
Most asset tracking software solutions have geofencing features that enable businesses to coordinate asset location in real-time. Using desktop computers or mobile devices, asset tracking software like EROAD Where provide full visibility by giving you the option to monitor assets in either table or map view.
c. Accessible asset information
Asset tracking solutions provide one centralised database which allows information, such as type, colour, weight, height and so on, to be stored, readily available and accessible to your team. If your asset tracking software is hosted in The Cloud, it also allows asset data to be secure, live and mobile.
d. Status and maintenance of assets
Another advantage asset tracking offers is the ability to know the condition of all of your assets. Understanding which resources require maintenance, repair or replacement will prevent your business from suffering delays and increased costs due to unexpected damage.
e. Assigning and usage of assets
Having an asset tracking system in place ensures no equipment is underutilised. Through generated reports, you can easily identify which assets are currently in your internal depot, in transit, at customer sites and which ones are unidentified, ensuring your business is operating at its full potential.
f. Allocation and availability
Asset management has been become easier and more streamlined due to software-based asset tracking solutions.
They provide full visibility over which equipment or vehicles are currently being utilised, loaned, returned and delivered to specific work locations. This prevents the double-booking of assets and allows your team to determine which assets are best used where.
By reducing the time wasted manually locating and repositioning tools, equipment and vehicles, asset tracking software like EROAD Where enhances your productivity.
III. Asset tracking technology
Asset tracking has come a long way since pen and paper or manual tracking via spreadsheets - which were both used in the past. These methods are inefficient and inaccurate, especially when asset tracking software is so readily available today.
Through advancements in technology, businesses now have access to improved asset tracking solutions that are suitable for all kinds of operational requirements.
Barcodes can be attached to an asset. By directly scanning these barcodes, you can access the available information or update the necessary data on a device.
b. RFID/Active tags
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) captures asset information even at a distance. Through RFID tags attached to items, batches of assets can be scanned at the same time.
c. Bluetooth scanning
Bluetooth is a low-energy technology that is used to exchange data using short-wavelength radio waves.
Devices like smartphones, tablets and desktop computers installed with Bluetooth capabilities can scan and display information from other devices with Bluetooth technology signals – allowing you to receive asset data from Bluetooth beacons or asset tag transmitters attached in your equipment, tools or vehicles.
d. GPS active tags and last time scanned
GPS active tags enable your business to track the real-time location of assets. One of its advantages is that asset data can be transmitted without manual scanning. However, it can also work by reviewing the GPS coordinates from a mobile device utilised in scanning assets.
e. Rugged devices
Rugged devices are durable asset tag hardware attached to assets that allow for easy tracking and monitoring.
An example of these are the EROAD Where Bluetooth asset tracking tags. Dust and water-resistant, these rugged devices are designed to survive even the most extreme conditions while providing asset information.
Smartphones play an integral role in asset tracking technology. They are regularly used for barcode and Bluetooth scanning, as well as GPS tracking because they’re very convenient and everyone has a device with them.
Asset tracking software can be also installed in mobile devices so that full monitoring, asset reporting and management of equipment and vehicles are possible anytime and anywhere.
IV. Benefits of an asset tracking system
Implementing an asset tracking system equips your business with solutions that drive efficiency and improve productivity with a smarter use of assets.
Through better management and utilisation of tools, equipment and vehicles, your business can deliver quality services to clients and streamline procedures for your staff.
Here are the benefits of asset tracking for your overall business.
a. Business benefits of an asset tracking system
Implementing an asset tracking system minimises your business’ risk of experiencing downtime and project delays due to missing equipment or asset problems.
Asset tracking software also allows you to generate accurate data that can be utilised in forecasting, budgeting, and planning.
b. Increase asset utilisation
A software-based asset tracking system guarantees all tools, equipment and vehicles are optimised to their fullest potential to grow your business.
It can also help you eliminate duplicate or miscounted “ghost assets” from your inventory lists that unnecessarily add to your taxes and maintenance fees.
c. Buying fewer unnecessary assets
Asset tracking provides you with full asset visibility that prevents wasting money on buying new and additional assets, just because a particular piece of equipment can’t be found when needed.
Asset tracking software also gives information about which resources need repair and maintenance. This means you can proactively forecast regular maintenance and address possible problems, minimising avoidable expenses.
d. Better asset efficiency
With software-based asset tracking, your business can benefit from multiple features that help you get the most out of your assets. For example, storing data in The Cloud allows you to monitor and manage asset data quickly and easily from anywhere.
Asset tracking software like EROAD Where is also tailored to integrate with your other business’ software, allowing you to seamlessly operate across your functions and systems, from tax depreciation and accounting all the way to booking systems, sales and marketing.
Expanding your business means that the dependence on assets and the range of assets your team uses also increases.
Aside from properly employing assets in multiple job sites, asset tracking and management solutions help businesses like yours utilise your wider scope of assets more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Investing in asset tracking software like EROAD Where can provide your business with an edge to overcome challenges, differentiate from your competitors and accelerate your success.
Make smart assets decisions now and take advantage of the benefits asset tracking software offers.
Want to learn more about EROAD Where’s asset tracking solution?
Experience the benefits of an effective asset management solution with EROAD Where.
EROAD Where modernises asset tracking and asset management by replacing outdated paper-based systems and manual excel sheets with easy-to-use asset tracking software.
The Where solution meets your compliance and operational needs - helping you achieve greater asset productivity and efficiency while you focus on managing your business.
Purchase your first box of EROAD Where trackers today and see it in action for yourself.