What is Asset Tracking? Examples, Best Practices & More

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What is Asset Tracking and How Can It Help your Company?

Asset tracking is the process by which you document all the items that your business owns. Assets can include equipment, buildings that you own or lease, IT systems, and, in some industries, raw materials or products. In addition to documenting and keeping records on your assets, you can also physically track them by giving each one an identifying marker.

Keeping All Information in One Easily-Accessible System

You can use asset tracking software to keep all the information in one place. In some industries, this aspect of asset management involves keeping detailed records of property and equipment, tracking lifecycles, and ensuring that every asset receives proper maintenance and gets replaced on time when needed.

A quality asset tracking system, which can be a part of a more extensive asset management software suite, can serve as much more than a detailed and centralized record of your equipment and inventory.

It can use barcode data to provide updates about the location and usage of assets. Modern asset tracking systems can also rely on radio-frequency identification tags, commonly shortened to RFID tags, to give detailed data about the exact location of an asset. In production facilities, such as auto factories, RFID tags can help managers track the progress of a vehicle as it moves along the assembly line.

Asset Tracking Tools Can Do Even More

You can use them to store information about each piece of property that your company owns. For example, in an office setting, your asset tracking system may include information about a desktop computer. It can consist of the price, age, lifecycle information, and schedule of security and software updates.

You can use the asset tracking system to call up warranty information, find the contact information for tech support, and get details about the vendor who sold your company the computer. You could also include product manuals and other relevant resources. In short, every piece of information that you could need about that particular computer is available via your asset tracking software.

Taking Asset Tracking Out of the Office

As you can see, these systems can be invaluable for property managers, office managers, procurement specialists, and others in administrative or inventory positions in a company. Modern asset tracking software systems are not just for office personnel. Employees, managers, and decision-makers can access quality asset tracking systems via mobile apps no matter where they are.

Since these systems can be cloud-based, you can get access to all the relevant information that you need through a mobile app. You can also access information such as manuals, use history, and lifecycle data by scanning a barcode or QR code on the asset.

These Software Systems Can Reduce Administrative Costs

Since all this data is right at your fingertips, you can create a customized report, spreadsheet, or work order with just a few clicks, swipes, or keystrokes. You will not have to spend time or hire employees to handle tedious data-entry and typing tasks. Also, the automated tools, such as barcode scanning, RFID tags, and financial data will eliminate the problems associated with human error, which are inevitable when it comes to manual data entry, filing, and spreadsheet-creation tasks.

Asset Tracking Data Can Lead to Significant Cost Savings

Another critical aspect of asset tracking involves recording usage information. This type of data can be beneficial for streamlining operating budgets.

An example can best illustrate this particular benefit. Let’s say a warehouse has five forklifts, but the data shows that only three of them are in use at any one time. You could sell two of the forklift without changing your operational efficiency.

Not only would you get money from the sale, but you would also save money associated with maintenance, insurance, and storage of the two redundant forklifts. Ideally, an asset tracking system would also have information about these maintenance costs, so you would be able to figure out exactly how much you would save.

Asset Tracking Systems Are Scalable

Many companies manage assets on a much larger scale. You can see how useful software that gave you real-time usage data would be for a company with a fleet of hundreds of vehicles, multiple leased or owned properties, or office operations in different locations around the country or even the world.

At the same time, good asset tracking software can help small businesses and smaller organizations too. Because it limits administrative costs, these tools can help small to medium sized businesses save money. Also, they can operate more independently and have all the information that they need to make day-to-day decisions about business operations. Furthermore, you can set up your asset tracking software to interface with accounting systems and other record-keeping systems.

Getting quality asset management software can make sense for businesses of all sizes.

Automation Can Make Your Job Much More Straightforward

There are two different types of automated asset tracking systems. As we have already discussed, one method for tracking assets uses barcodes. Usually, you use barcodes for fixed assets. For example, if you have desktop computers in an office setting, they are fixed assets.

The same applies to other types of office equipment. Fixed assets can also be equipment in a warehouse or manufacturing setting, or things such as rooftop HVAC equipment on a corporate office building, campus building or hospital. Anything that will remain in one location for its lifecycle is a fixed asset.

Movable assets are vehicles, furniture, outdoor equipment, or other assets that are not going to remain in one place. If the asset remains within a specified area, you may be able to use an RFID tag to track its location and progress. However, in the case of fleet vehicles or construction equipment, you need to use a GPS tracking device, which can transmit exact location data to a central computer system using satellites.

With So Much Data, Decisions Will Not Require Guesswork

The most significant advantage of this software is that it can take the guesswork out of budget, operational, and procurement decisions. Up-to-date data will drive your operational and strategic decisions. If you want to reduce operating expenses and administrative costs, you may want to invest in a quality asset tracking system.

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