Asset tracking is the practice of recording and analyzing data on assets to ensure they are performing at their best, and asset tracking software is the computerized system that makes this possible. There are countless benefits of asset tracking, but just to name a few, asset tracking improves equipment performance, increases maintenance efficiency, and cuts down on costs.
When deciding which asset tracking software is best for your facility, start by considering what benefits of asset tracking are most important to you. A lot of these categories overlap in many ways, but knowing what your end goal is before you start evaluating software options will help you easily select the best solution for your facility.
Best asset tracking software features for improving asset performance
1. Breakdown, downtime, and maintenance tracking
Understanding how your assets are performing is crucial to making decisions that boost efficiency and cut costs later on. Tracking breakdowns, downtime, and the maintenance needed to repair each asset will help you build a time-based preventive maintenance schedule that enhances and lengthens the life of your assets.
The more you know about what makes your assets break down or wear out, the better you’ll be able to intervene and protect your assets with preventive maintenance.
2. Asset lifecycle mapping
With the data collected from breakdowns and maintenance history the best asset tracking software will compile an asset lifecycle map. Mapping an asset’s life will help you anticipate and plan for significant maintenance costs and breakdowns in your budget.
Understanding how an asset should be performing and when maintenance might be necessary will also help you to benchmark each asset’s performance and make important decisions like when to replace vs. repair.
3. Equipment effectiveness tracking
Tracking equipment’s effectiveness can be done in a couple different ways. OEE, overall equipment effectiveness, is an asset maintenance KPI that measures a piece of equipment’s actual effectiveness against its effectiveness at peak performance.
Equipment effectiveness can also be measured by comparing multiple pieces of equipment or entire facilities with one another or against industry benchmarks. Understanding your equipment’s effectiveness, and how that compares to benchmark goals, will help you plan maintenance to keep your assets in great shape.
Best asset tracking software features for increasing maintenance efficiency
4. Custom roles and employee profiles
Custom roles and employee profiles unlock a new level of organization and accountability in maintenance. When an asset is in need of maintenance, the task can be easily assigned to specific technicians, where it will instantly appear on their dashboard. This system protects against the diffusion of responsibility – when a team assumes a task will be done by someone else, so it never gets done – ensuring no work orders ever get forgotten and swept under the rug.
This also ensures each individual has access to the information they need, and restricts any information that isn’t crucial to their role. Custom roles protect sensitive information while also keeping dashboards organized and clutter-free.
5. Cloud-based and mobile accessible
The best asset tracking software is easily accessible on-the-go. Cloud-based data storage and mobile access give your technicians a range of motion that’s unattainable with a native software or pen-and-paper maintenance system. These features allow your team to access crucial information from anywhere in the facility.
Cloud-based data and mobile access also assist in increasing wrench time – time spent working in the field rather than in an office. Technicians can fill out work-orders on-the-go and don’t need to check back in to a central office space after every job for their next assignment. With less time spent on administrative and organizational tasks, and more time in the field, technicians are able to work through more work orders.
6. QR code generation and scanning
A critical aspect of effective asset tracking is organization. The ability to generate and scan custom QR codes makes it easier to store and access data on assets, making maintenance that much simpler.
For the best experience, mobile accessibility and QR tagging of all assets should be done in tandem. With these systems in place, technicians can easily scan QR codes directly on the asset and pull up the complete maintenance history from a mobile device, along with any important instructions and original manufacturer recommendations, before performing maintenance.
Best asset tracking software features for cutting costs
7. Interactive dashboards for budget planning
Even though money is a very real and very important aspect of facility management, many people find it challenging to plan and budget for something so abstract. Interactive dashboards give you the power of visualization, taking numbers in a spreadsheet and giving them value and context in graphs and charts.
These dashboards and planning tools allow you to isolate individual assets to track their expenses and repair costs over time. This feature gives you the power to make informed decisions about the maintenance costs relating to each asset, ensuring you always make the most cost effective decisions.
8. Preventive maintenance scheduling
Another important cost saving feature the best asset tracking software utilizes is preventive maintenance scheduling. As the asset tracking software collects data on your equipment it will prompt maintenance when needed. Since preventive maintenance is typically 3-9 times cheaper than reactive maintenance, using asset tracking to prompt preventive maintenance results in huge cost savings.
Cars and oil-changes are a great example of this system. The odometer is a meter-based asset tracking feature, and when your car reaches a certain mileage the tracking system prompts you to schedule an oil change with a dash light. An oil change is much simpler and cost effective than the alternative – allowing the car engine to overheat and damage itself. Using asset tracking to schedule preventive maintenance has saved the driver money.
Choose a software vendor with great technical support and customer service
Implementing new software can be tricky. For many facilities managers, getting your team on board and excited about new technology can be a challenge, even if it’s sure to make life easier for everyone in the long run. Choosing a software vendor with a great customer service team and technical support system will make your transition to a new software solution run smoothly, ensuring you get the most out of your technology.
Asset tracking software is a powerful tool for improving your facility. The best software comes with an array of features that allow you to improve your asset performance, increase the efficiency of maintenance, and decrease expenses all under one umbrella.