Depending on the company, such objects may include machinery, vehicles, tools, components, computers, or more. Any tangible item that is crucial to a business’ operations is an asset that may be worth tracking.
The Benefits of Asset Tracking
When a company invests in asset tracking, the following benefits can be achieved:
Reduced Costs - time is money and if employees are wasting time searching for tools or equipment when they need it, the company is paying for that time. Eliminating search time means employees can focus on income-producing tasks, reducing costs and increasing revenue.
Loss Prevention - with tracking devices installed on essential assets, they will never go missing. An expensive shipment cannot get lost in transit as it can always be located, saving the cost (and hassle) of replacing lost goods.
Improved Efficiency - continuous visibility into the location of each asset means the ability to better organize the physical space to accommodate the way equipment is actually used, leading to more efficient operations. In addition, the data collected by asset tracking devices can be used to analyze usage patterns and provide other information that can inform decision-making and lead to increased efficiency and productivity.
Enhanced Customer Experience - the quicker an asset can be located for a customer, the better their experience. Being able to keep customers updated on the exact location and timing of their order, for example, is a level of customer service that today’s discerning consumers expect.
How to Track Assets
There are a number of different ways that assets can be tracked using different types of technology, including:
GPS-Based Tracking - a GPS-enabled device can be used to track an item, sharing its location over cellular or wireless networks.
RFID Tags - an RFID tag is a smart label that is attached to an asset and stores descriptive and identifying information. A specific RFID reader is needed to scan the tags and obtain the information.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) - BLE beacons transmit a signal that other Bluetooth-enabled devices can detect and use to determine location.
Wi-Fi - Wi-Fi uses radio waves to share data between devices, including location information.
Ultra-Wideband (UWB) - UWB uses a wide frequency range to transmit data, allowing it to send large amounts of data over short distances.
As technology continues to advance, there are more and better ways to track assets, including Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS), that enable more accurate tracking even at larger distances. This type of solution is ideal for those in the manufacturing, shipping, and retail industries as it enables unprecedented visibility into the precise location of any asset all along the supply chain.
A RTLS (as well as some of the other types of asset tracking solutions) includes a software component that provides a consolidated and detailed view of all locations and activity of the assets being tracked. The analysis can be used to make data-driven decisions to improve business processes.