All businesses with large inventories have provisions and measures to track as they monitor their assets. Business assets include inventory, equipment, cash, vehicles, properties, and investments. Intangible assets include brand value, goodwill, and intellectual property.
Asset tracking is the tracking of a business’s physical assets via barcode scanning or through RFID and GPS tags to ascertain their location. It’s an essential part of EAM(enterprise asset management). Even though the technique is restricted to physical business assets, the influence of effective asset tracking will be felt on intangible business assets as well.
This post highlights everything you need to know about physical assets and how asset tracking can help you monitor them.
A recent Global Industry Analysts, INC, report indicates that the market for inventory management and asset tracking services is projected to be worth $34.83B by 2026.
Nevertheless, many organizations use the word “inventory” as a substitute for “assets.” But inventory tracking is different from asset tracking since the latter involves monitoring asset value and keeping records of important data like location, maintenance records, and item ownership. On the other hand, inventory tracking involves keeping an account of assets available for sale.
Technologies Used in Asset Tracking
Everywhere you go these days, you will see a barcode. At the same time, this part of passive technology was first used commercially in the 70s, and it’s still widely used today. This validates its adaptability.
These technologies are must-haves in the industry of asset monitoring for returnability. Even though barcodes are an older concept, improvements in portable scanning technology have gained popularity. More than 90 percent of all individuals in property-intensive businesses rely on barcodes for asset tracking.
The benefits of barcode technology include
● Low Cost
Barcodes offer the best value in terms of costs versus capabilities because of their lower recurring prices. Since they cost a few dollars per piece, making them cheaper to use in larger quantities. It also makes them an ideal option for tracking low-value assets that are not cost-effective to track using other techniques.
Barcodes can be scanned with numerous scanners, letting you depend less on one technology. Portable and rugged scanners or smartphone cams can read them.
Barcodes are easier and faster to use. Remove the adhesive backing off, stick it down and repeat the process. You can attach them to any asset type.
Barcodes capture data digitally. This makes the information more accurate than manual records.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking is the process of sending and receiving alerts from asset tracking tags operating at certain frequencies. It transmits data about the product to a receiver using tags or radio frequency chips. Even though they are more advanced than barcodes and have many benefits, they’re not the most efficient option.
● Remote scanning
Radio Frequency Identification lets you obtain data while staying far from the item. This is helpful in scenarios where you can’t access the item easily. It also saves time by not letting you reorient the scanner for all items.
● Scanning several items
RFID lets you scan several items at once; something barcodes don’t allow. This helps you speed up the data collection procedure.
● Great flexibility
Deploying barcodes with RFID offers you great insight into deciding which asset tracking technique is suitable for your company.
GPS asset tracking is utilized to track products that have left the company and have been delivered to client sites on trucks, even those sent to far-off nations. The GPS tag can be easily tracked to and from the far-off area with a stable internet connection. Here are its benefits:
● Near real-time location
Active GPS tags are used to trace the exact location in real time. You will know where your assets are at all times. It’s possible to detect where the operator scanned the assets. Besides, you can track whether the items were picked up or delivered.
● Simple and cost-effective
There’s no extra expense for using the technology. It’s used with any smartphone device with GPS tracking abilities. The GPS tag or tracker doesn’t require any extra effort from the operator to maintain it.
● Passive technology and motion alerts
This type of tracking is designed to alert you if the position of your assets has altered. Active GPS tracking doesn’t require manual scanning, and the tracker sends all the details directly.
Automating Asset Tracking
While RFID, GPS, and barcodes offer some level of automation, they involve some kind of manual work. Asset tracking units offer an ideal option to these semi-automated asset tracking alternatives by merging the advantages of the three technologies.
The asset data is recorded in the monitoring platform’s online asset register. The items are assigned a scanning system or barcode to link them to the system information. GPS tracking gadgets are used to track the location of assets.
Assets are connected to the tracking system’s online reservation unit for the business. Workers can require assets to be transferred online. Any manager who wants to assess the usage and performance of the assets on the register will find the tool useful.
Using an asset tracking platform has several advantages for your company. They include:
- Asset recovery and GPS positioning: when an organization deals with many assets, tracking one that gets separated from a large batch can be hard. You will waste time and money tracing the asset. An asset tracking system helps you avoid such by tracking asset location via GPS.
- Improved productivity and lessened labor wastage: Asset tracking tools keep track of items in the inventory and throughout your business. This allows you to compute asset lifespans. For instance, assets that have RFID tags can be scanned automatically, and this saves time.
- Automated asset trackers save workers effort and time by letting them concentrate on vital business aspects.
- Improved asset lifecycle: With an asset tracking system, you will have visibility into the performance and state of all assets, and whether they need to be replaced or repaired.
A continuous and updated condition of your assets will provide a new world of useful data from your PC. Asset tracing makes it easy and fast to get this data, leading to a faster response to all asset-related opportunities and challenges.