Asset tracking is the mechanism that businesses use to maintain up-to-date information on their physical assets. This generally involves the use of software to store data such as location, maintenance history, ownership, and contracts relevant to each asset. When a business has a centralized system for tracking its assets, it doesn’t have to spend the manpower required to track that information manually. The benefits of asset tracking systems are abundant and can greatly improve your processes.
Which assets you should be tracking
Asset tracking systems can be used to help you collect and retain data on any item of value that your organization owns. This data includes maintenance reports, asset use, physical location, and associated downtime and costs. The assets that you should be tracking include:
- Construction equipment
- Fleet vehicles
- Machinery and manufacturing equipment
- Office supplies
- Computer hardware and peripherals
- Medical equipment
- Safety equipment
- Construction supplies
Of course, this list is abbreviated and can be more extensive. This depends mostly on the nature of the business and the industry.
Features of asset tracking systems
To understand the benefits of asset tracking systems, it’s important to understand what a good asset tracking system looks like. Be sure your system supports you in the following areas:
An asset tracking system should fit your maintenance and facility processes. Ensure the system you choose allows you to easily add your assets and equipment and report on the metrics that matter most to your organization.
A good asset tracking system will grow with your company as well as its needs and goals.
Reporting and analytics
Executives should be able to access important information on demand to help them make data-driven decisions. An asset tracking system can help them keep an eye on the most important metrics, including equipment tracking, KPIs, asset lifecycle and availability, bottlenecks, employee productivity, expenses, additional costs, and more.
The best asset tracking system will alert necessary employees when an issue involving an asset or equipment item is detected. Some systems will alert you when an asset is out of normal specs, such as a higher temperature than normal or less output than usual. You can ensure your team is reacting to these issues as soon as possible when alerts are enabled.
Users should be able to access asset data from any location on any device.
7 benefits of asset tracking systems
Any business that has accumulated valuable assets can benefit from an automated asset tracking platform. Here are seven of the most important benefits of asset tracking systems.
1. Reduced administrative costs
Without a dedicated asset tracking system, companies must rely on administrative staff to know the status of each physical item. Not only does that approach leave room for human error, which could result in loss of valuable assets, but it also costs significantly more. With automation, those staff members can focus on more mission-critical tasks.
2. Customer service improvements
When you improve your ability to track assets, you put yourself in a position to better serve your customers. Better asset tracking leads to improvements in inventory availability, efficient operations, and employees who can provide correct answers to questions about asset status. For example, a large construction company can provide more accurate project start times if they know when all the required equipment will be available.
3. Improved regulatory compliance
Regulations vary from one industry to the next. However, in many cases, asset tracking and record keeping is a requirement. For example, businesses that use potentially dangerous equipment must retain very accurate information such as the condition of that equipment, maintenance records, and related incidents.
By using an automated tracking system, you’ll find that it is significantly easier to remain in compliance because all asset information can be stored in one location and pulled up at any time. In addition to helping companies comply with government regulations, asset tracking makes it easier to comply with internal regulations too.
4. Increased accuracy
When you are able to track every detail of your assets including location, condition, and use cases, you can make business decisions with confidence. Leaders can make important strategic decisions based on key data found in asset tracking reports. Of course, this benefit depends largely on everyone in your organization adhering to asset tracking best practices.
5. Reduced costs and increased accountability
If you don’t have a centralized system to track your assets, there is a high possibility of improper asset use and poor handling. By tracking your assets carefully, you always know where each asset is, the condition it’s in, and the employee or department that is currently responsible for it. This accountability ultimately reduces costs and gives you peace of mind that your assets are working efficiently.
6. Improved ability to plan for growth
As you make plans to scale your business, you must understand how you are using the assets you currently have.
Having an asset tracking system in place can boost the growth of your business as it helps you:
- void theft or misplacement of your assets
- eliminate asset downtime
- improve asset management in complex supply chains
As you gain a clearer understanding of how your assets are being handled, it gives you valuable insights on how to improve the performance of your assets and increase your revenue. You can also use the data from an asset tracking system to recognize trends in use, and then plan for growth accordingly.
Asset tracking brings predictability and insights to all companies. By tracking maintenance performed on assets, associated costs and downtime, location, and more, your team is able to make data-driven decisions regarding your most valued assets. These may include items like when to repair an asset vs. when to replace it, or predicting when an asset is likely to fail.
When your assets are properly maintained and replaced, they are able to run more efficiently. This leads to decreased costs and time savings.
Virtually every business holds assets of value. By implementing a flexible asset tracking system, they can streamline operations, ensure assets retain value, improve customer experiences, and make informed business decisions. Learn more about how implementing asset and equipment management software into your organization can help you optimize your operations.