Lift the lid on your asset utilisation with centralised data

Data is a vital asset for all modern businesses. It provides insights for strategic decision-making, analytics on performance, and uncovers problem areas that need addressing. Despite sitting on this gold mine of valuable information, many businesses can’t access their data, don’t collect it or make use of their data to its full potential. Gartner recently found that 87% of organisations have “low Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics maturity”.

The reason is that many businesses have siloed data systems and overlapping records, which require workarounds to bring sources together to craft a 360-degree view of the business. This can result in poor data accuracy and limits the full breadth of information needed to guide important business decisions. By failing to integrate multiple data sources, businesses limit their ability to dig deep for insights and gain a business-wide understanding. This, in turn, can lead to missed opportunities for essential growth and profitability.

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and businesses fall behind by failing to update their technology stack. A common excuse is ‘if it’s not broken, why fix it?’

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Why centralise your business data?

Several issues arise by not having all your business data in one place. Firstly, it can be hard to develop an in-depth understanding of your business operations when collections of data are isolated from each other.

Secondly, cutting edge business tools that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning has significant analytical potential but is made impotent by not having all the data complete and in one place.

Centralised data, however, taps into the concept of a ‘data lake’, which provides a single source of truth. Unlike isolated data silos in individual departments, a data lake stores all business data, so you can have all your bookings, resources and asset performance in a single repository. This gives a single ‘master’ source for analysis, which delivers a deeper level of insights and automation that wouldn't be possible with separate systems.

Applying centralised data to asset management

One area of untapped potential for many businesses is through asset tracking and management. A study conducted by Telsyte for Telstra in 2019 found that on average, businesses spend at least 55 hours a year searching for lost physical assets that don’t have a tracker attached. A sophisticated asset tracking platform, however, enables businesses to stay connected to every type of asset from non-powered assets such as trailers and bins, to industrial equipment, vehicles and even people. With real-time tracking companies can accurately track their assets wherever they move, know when they’re idle and even receive alerts if they leave a geofenced location. Eliminating silos and centralising this data into a single source enables businesses to get the most out of their assets - especially if you’re in an industry that manages high-value assets such as mining and construction.

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With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and AI, businesses can extract the maximum value from their assets. This additional layer of intelligence and technology grunt makes it possible to set real-time alerts, predict threats and respond to risks before it’s too late. It’s now much quicker and easier to gather, analyse, visualise and share key data across your business and with stakeholders using technology, instead of a team of expensive data experts.

What can centralised data do for your business?

1. Automate business processes

AI and machine learning deliver insights faster and help automate cumbersome manual asset tracking processes. They’re getting smarter every day too. On-demand visibility of your assets provides instant data for your business to act on.

For example, the automation of data transfers, reconciliations and document extractions provide a great return on investment by improving internal operations. This gives you and your team back valuable time that can be spent on more value-add tasks that only a human can do well.

2. Improve insights through data analysis

Described as ‘analytics on steroids’ by Harvard Business Review, AI can detect patterns in vast amounts of data and interpret its meaning – a process either unattainable by humans or too laborious in the past. Managers can use AI to fine-tune the utilisation of businesses assets and resources, especially in areas where there is historically poor visibility.

One practical business example is being able to get greater insight into the right size of a fleet of assets, such as vehicles. Accurate asset tracking and analysis enables you to see which vehicles in your fleet aren't being used optimally, so you can either improve their utilisation or dispose of them.

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3. Provide greater engagement with customers and employees

Integrated data can create smart automation to lift your customer experience. For example, if a customer had previously recorded a negative experience, you could prioritise their next order to ensure they have a better interaction.

Setting up AI to provide these smarts gives employees useful and timely information, increases their productivity and lifts the level of customer service. Employees responsible for asset management will immediately slash the amount of time spent locating assets and optimising their use, meaning more tasks get done each day.

How Forum can help

Forum Connect is our suite of IoT solutions, which is designed to help you unlock more value from your assets by providing increased visibility and connectivity, through integrated data and machine learning. Whether you’re looking to improve the utilisation rate of your assets, reduce the administration workload required to locate them, or comply with regulations, Forum Connect can help.

Connecting asset data to that from other sources, such as ERP and CRM systems, helps your business gain a deeper understanding of your operations. This opens up opportunities to improve productivity and better manage risk, all while providing better service and communication with customers.

Forum Connect offers end-to-end asset tracking that provides your business with real-time data. Accurate reporting surfaces reliable data so you can optimise your services, maximise asset utilisation and make smarter business decisions.

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