The key to good asset management is to have constant visibility of your assets, and to do that, you need to track them. Tracking your assets, whether it’s your inventory, equipment, or vehicles, can help you improve your asset life cycle maintenance, protect against theft, and reduce replacement costs.
So, how can you track your assets effectively?
The answer is by using asset tracking software. But before discussing the ins and outs of asset tracking software, it’s important to cover a few of the basics.
What is asset tracking?
Asset tracking enables you to identify where a physical asset is and what it is doing at any given time. It’s all about giving you better visibility on your assets so you can improve asset utilization and reduce maintenance costs.
There are several different ways that you can track your assets, but whatever system you choose to use, the aim is the same: capture accurate data you can leverage into smoother workflows and better decisions.
What is asset tracking software?
Asset tracking software is a digital tool that makes it easier to track and manage your assets. It uses tracking tools such as barcodes, RFID tags, and GPS trackers to track your assets and collect data from them. That data is then stored on a centralized system that can be a vital source of information and insights.
Traditionally, asset tracking was all about answering the question “How many assets do I have?” But now, asset tracking software allows you to go much further. It can provide you with data that helps you improve your maintenance planning, track inventory throughout a warehouse, better understand your utilization rates, and make your assets more secure.
What are the different types of asset tracking?
Asset tracking software allows you to track the location of assets that you have physically tagged. It also stores asset information and inventory data. The type of asset tracking that’s best for you depends on your industry and the type of assets you own.
One of the most common types of asset tracking is barcode scanning. All you have to do is stick a barcode to each of your assets so you can scan them in and out. This is a cheap and easy way to keep track of smaller assets, such as tools and laptops, and you can even download an app that turns your mobile device into a bar code scanner. Barcode asset tracking is easy to get up and running, and if you need something more robust than a paper sticker, you can buy durable barcodes that are made of plastic or metal.
Another common way to track your assets is to use radio frequency identification tags (RFID). You can use an RFID reader to track the data stored on those tags, which is automatically transmitted to your asset tracking software. As an example, if one of your techs takes a tool out of a room, the sensor will register that the tool has been removed. One of the benefits of RFID tags over barcodes is that you can store much more information on them. For example, a tag could also tell you an asset’s engine run time or time-critical service information. That makes them a good fit for medium to large assets. However, RFID tags and scanners are a lot more expensive than barcode equipment. If you have a lot of tags or scanners broadcasting at the same time, there’s also the risk that the radio signals can collide and become difficult to read.
GPS asset tracking systems are a great fit for fleet managers and facility managers with high-value moving assets, as they allow you to see where all of your vehicles are in real time. GPS trackers also collect information such as run time and idle time and can even enable you to set up geofencing, which alerts you every time an asset passes through a virtual barrier to keep your remote sites more secure. However, costly installation and set-up, the ongoing costs, and the logistical issues associated with moving the equipment from vehicle to vehicle can be a drawback.
What are the benefits of asset tracking software?
Using asset tracking software to give you better visibility of your physical assets comes with some great benefits.
Centralize asset data
Using a centralized asset tracking solution that integrates with your existing systems enables you to create and build a fixed register of all of the assets that are tied to your business. That allows you and your asset management team to access real-time data on demand, whether it’s maintenance plans, current location, utilization rates, or depreciation value. That register is stored in the cloud, so you can access it anytime and from anywhere while removing the need for time-consuming and error-prone spreadsheets.
Increase asset utilization
Having a centralized source of asset information can help you take steps to improve asset utilization. It allows you to see what assets are being used, how often, and in what geographic location. You can then make more informed decisions about where assets are deployed and whether you may need to sell underperforming assets or buy additional assets based on their utilization rates.
Improve asset life cycle maintenance
Asset tracking software can help you improve the accuracy and efficiency of your asset maintenance by providing insights about usage in real time. Asset utilization metrics such as engine hours and downtime can help you decide when to perform preventive maintenance and routine fixes so you can keep your assets running efficiently. You can also set up alerts for when parts need replacing so you can avoid costly breakdowns.
Make important assets more secure
Given the cost of replacing important assets and the very real risk of theft in some industries, you should always look for better ways to secure your assets. Asset tracking software can send you notifications when an asset is operated or moved at an unauthorized time and without permission to help you prevent theft. GPS tracking can also help you recover lost and stolen assets more quickly.
Improve inventory management
You can use asset tracking software to send notifications and alerts to an inventory manager’s mobile device when stock levels are running low. Your central asset register can also provide the inventory manager with the supplier’s details so they can efficiently replenish stock.
What’s the best asset tracking software for you?
Asset tracking software can be an important tool for your business if you are reliant on the use of your assets and want to keep better track of them. And importantly, you do not have to manage thousands of assets across multiple locations to benefit from asset tracking software. Even small businesses with a handful of physical assets can use asset tracking software to improve their operations.
Modern solutions include asset tracking capabilities to help you make your assets work for you. Your technicians can use their mobile devices to scan barcodes on assets to give them instant access to critical data. That can help you with everything from finding the right asset to maintain to checking for open preventive maintenance work orders and making sure the work gets done.
You can also keep on top of what you have with seamless inventory tracking that updates your inventory levels in real time. Just set up your software with customizable min/max levels to warn you when you’re running low and need to reorder.
Set up a call with one of our experts to discuss the advantages of implementing asset tracking software .
Asset tracking enables you to identify where a physical asset is and what it is doing at any given time. There are many different ways you can track your assets, from pen and paper systems to barcodes, RFID tags, and GPS trackers. Whatever system you use, the aim is the same: to generate accurate data on what you own, how you use it, and its contribution to your bottom line.
Asset tracking software is a digital tool that makes it easier to track and manage your assets. It can help you generate data that enables you to improve your maintenance planning, track inventory throughout a warehouse, better understand your utilization rates, and make your assets more secure.
It’s not just large organizations such as schools, hospitals, and construction businesses that can benefit. Asset tracking software is a good fit for any business that’s reliant on the use of its assets. Even if you run a small business with just a handful of physical assets, you can still improve your operations by using modern asset tracking software.
About the author
Nathan is a long-serving freelance copywriter with a specialism in B2B software. When he's not busy writing transformative content, he likes to spend his time trying to get some sleep.