Think about all of your physical assets. You may have more than you realised, and if you do, then you need to enhance your asset tracking practices. Asset tracking sometimes referred to as asset management, is the method you use to track your physical assets, whether you scan barcode labels attached to them or you use GPS or RFID tags that broadcast their location. Asset tracking is just as important as managing your inventory because you need to know the location, status, maintenance schedule, and other important information about your organisation's physical assets. Indeed, asset tracking is important to your organisation's bottom line and compliance, as you are responsible for locating and replacing lost or missing physical assets, as well as those that have come to the end of their lifecycle.
Asset tracking is about capturing up-to-date information on your most valuable equipment. It's a way of recording location and usage information to ensure your items are safe. However, good asset tracking software also forms the basis of effective business processes, as well as informing operational decision-making.
What Is Asset Tracking?
Asset Tracking is the process of capturing vital information on the status and location of assets using scanners to detect barcodes or RFID tags for asset verification. As an alternative to scanning, data can be entered manually into a central asset register. The register should offer fully-customisable fields for recording valuable asset data.
Organisations carry out asset Tracking with the aim of improving the usage and security of valuable items. Additionally, routine physical audits are mandated by auditors to ensure that finance departments can verify the existence of assets that are listed on the balance sheet. Organisations that fail to track assets correctly could be losing vast sums of money on an annual basis.
Asset Tracking differs from Inventory tracking; the former is the process of monitoring the value of items owned by the business along with useful information about location, ownership, associated documents, etc.. In contrast, the latter describes keeping an accurate record of items that are held in stock for sale to customers.
Asset tracking is the process of recording and managing valuable items that a business owns. It involves logging every piece of equipment so you can record daily use and other key details in one centralised system. The aim is not only to ensure you know where your key assets are but that they're cost-effective business tools that are also being properly maintained.
At a basic level, asset tracking systems provide a procedure for staff to log when they use the equipment and where they take it. However, they can also be used to keep track of your assets in a large warehouse environment so that staff can locate items quickly. You might also record details such as model and make, when maintenance is due or how much use the item has had.
By logging this type of information in one centralised system, anyone can access it whenever they need to, which keeps your business operations moving 24/7. Employees can locate the equipment they need quickly and avoid unnecessary project delays. Administrators can access data reports to ensure that they send machinery for maintenance as required, order spare parts and deal with lease renewals on time.
Methods of Asset Tracking
While asset tracking can be time-consuming and expensive; there are methods of asset tracking that can save your organisation time and money. The goal of any asset tracking system, therefore, is to maximise asset control efficiency and minimise equipment loss. Through the use of mobile computers, barcode labels, handheld barcode scanners, and asset management software, you can track your assets in real-time, resulting in more efficient production planning and reduced downtime. The proper management software also enables organisations to schedule necessary maintenance or service, or even preventive maintenance. Complete asset tracking solutions include barcode technology, enabling organisations to scan their fixed assets to track them accurately and efficiently.
Barcodes are the standard for data collection and asset tracking, giving each asset a unique identifier so that they may be individually recognised and tracked. Barcodes include information that is critical to the business, such as project name, asset category, and more. Barcode scanners read each barcode, allowing organisations to count assets more quickly and accurately without the risk of introducing human error.
Benefits of Asset Tracking
The benefits of asset tracking are numerous, and nearly all contribute to a healthier bottom line for the organisations that properly implement effective asset management processes. We highlight some of the most beneficial advantages of employing asset tracking here:
- Improve efficiency and trim costs
- Adjust company records as the equipment is reassigned between departments, and use the updated information when calculating taxes and costs for each department Benefits of Asset Tracking
- Quickly and easily locate assets at any time, and in real-time
- Conduct asset tracking using fewer resources, with the aid of an asset tracking system
- Lower administrative costs, since administrators do not need to track or locate assets manually
- Track and reduce asset loss and utilise assets more effectively
- Grow your company and scale your asset tracking as necessary
- Improve customer service through improved asset tracking and management practices
- Ensure accountability and accuracy with asset loss and management
- Immediately know where your assets have been allocated
- Proper asset tracking is required for regulatory compliance in certain industries
- Increase the efficiency and organisation of your company's physical space by identifying which items are accessed together and creating a better structure of your physical system
- Get real-time reports on the position of each asset and increase the accuracy of your asset management
What does asset tracking software do?
Because using spreadsheets for asset management is time-consuming and inefficient, more organisations are implementing asset tracking software.
Asset tracking software is a digital, centralised system that allows your organisation to track important details about each asset in real-time.
This decreases administrative costs, improves service, and gives your organisation greater visibility into asset utilisation, costs, and maintenance. That makes it easy to see where all your assets live within your space, check maintenance records and more. With asset tracking software, you can:
The new FASB lease accounting standards require companies to maintain detailed records of each leased asset. With asset tracking software, your company can track any number of assets in one place. Each asset contains a detailed profile that illustrates everything you need to know about that asset, including pictures, product guides, key contacts, and contract terms.
Access information anywhere
Asset tracking solutions come equipped with a mobile app that allows managers to validate asset information wherever they are, even if they're away from the office. You can search by owner, location, type, or serial number, edit files (to correct owner or location information if needed), take pictures of an asset, scan asset information via a barcode scanner, and more — all from the convenience of a mobile device.
Create customised reports
With asset tracking software, you can quickly and easily generate reports, including asset location, utilisation and cost reports. Managers can also include contract terms, lease or maintenance information in the reports and set contract expiration notifications.
Who needs asset tracking software?
Asset tracking software is important to all types of organisations, but especially within companies that rely heavily on assets for operations. Airlines, construction companies, fleet companies, and manufacturers, for instance, all need to track and maintain complex equipment. In these industries, equipment downtime results in lost productivity, revenue, and potential damage to customer relationships.
However, even companies in less equipment-heavy industries still need to manage asset performance. For instance, a large financial services company has dozens of buildings that all need to be properly maintained to ensure the safety and comfort of employees and customers. Less visible assets, such as HVAC systems, water heaters, and sprinkler systems for fire protection are no less important. If one of these assets stops working, you could be putting your building occupants' health and safety in jeopardy.
IT assets, such as servers and firewalls, are also critical when it comes to protecting your customers' data.
Asset tracking isn't just for maintenance personnel, facilities managers, and IT leaders. It's also important to accounting and purchasing managers responsible for tracking inventory.
As business is starting, the concept of asset tracking isn't usually top of mind. Many businesses may even ask the question, what is asset tracking? So let's drill down to the bare basics of asset tracking and what it is and how it can benefit any company in any industry.
Asset tracking, in its simplest definition, is the method used to track a company's physical assets either by scanning barcode labels attached to the assets or by using tags using GPS or RFID, which broadcast their location. Asset tracking provides real-time, accurate data on what a company owns, how an asset is used (or in some cases, not used) and its contribution to the bottom line.
Before we go too much further into asset tracking and how it works, it's important to understand what an asset is. An asset is an item that is considered a resource owned by a company and has economic value that can be measured and expressed in dollars. There are two main categories of assets: 1) tangible assets, which include items like computers, furniture, vehicles, camera equipment, mobile phones and tablets; and 2) intangible assets, which are comprised of items like contracts, software licenses, patents.
Assets are commonly confused with "inventory" in business. Inventory is an asset that is intended to be sold, consumed or distributed in some way in the ordinary course of business.
Asset Tracking differs from inventory tracking in that asset tracking is the process of monitoring the value of items owned by a business, along with pertinent details on each item regarding its location, ownership, maintenance schedule. In contrast, inventory tracking is associated with keeping an accurate record of items that are held in stock for sale to customers.
On a daily basis, a company's assets pass through multiple sets of hands both internally, among employees as well as externally, among service providers, which means the opportunity for lost or mismanaged assets is a big risk. Years ago, asset tracking involved manual procedures in entering data such as handwritten ledgers and online spreadsheets. Eventually came the addition of expensive hardware, like handheld scanners, which needed frequent maintenance and updates and were not conducive to staying on top of constantly moving assets among a growing workforce.
Today's asset tracking technology is much easier to use and understand. Many programs are now cloud-based systems that sync with mobile apps and come with a mobile barcode scanner that can be used with an employee's own smartphone or tablet. From the palm of their hand, authorised employees have round-the-clock access to the entire lifecycle of each of their company's assets – from where it is, the check-in/check-out status, maintenance reports and even financial data on if it's a benefit for the task it's responsible for.
The benefits of employing an asset tracking system are plentiful. Employees can manage equipment, update licenses or software agreements, confirm inspections and report on all relevant maintenance activities from the moment an asset arrives on site until it's no longer deemed usable. Many companies are reaping the cost savings afforded to them from asset tracking in that they keep better tabs on all their assets, which can be quite costly if an item is lost or stolen. Employees are better able to use their time for their day-to-day jobs instead of looking for misplaced assets or trying to track down an item that isn't where it's supposed to be on a certain day. Businesses have been able to reduce the number of duplicate purchases by confirming what has already been purchased through real-time data that can be fully customised for a company's individual reporting needs.
And one of the most important aspects of asset tracking is that it improves accuracy in a company, which is very important no matter the size. Having a real understanding of what assets a company owns, where they are at any given time, how they are being used and what is necessary to make the asset a relevant part of the company's success is vital. When a company is aware of what assets they possess, there's no need to guess anymore. And guessing in business is always a huge risk for everyone involved.
Reasons for Tracking Your Company Assets with GPS
Are you thinking of hooking up your assets with a GPS tracker? Gone are the days when GPS tracking technology was only used for national security as the field of GPS has improved drastically over the last years. GPS trackers have surely become more affordable and easily available, which makes it possible to tag your assets with GPS units.
All asset tracking devices make use of a GPS tracking software which is extremely powerful and user-friendly. The asset GPS trackers are worth investment of your business regardless of its size. We will further explain how asset tracking devices help businesses with the most common known five reasons to use them. Just check out the list and make sure to buy a quality Fleet Tracking system or a GPS tracking solution for your business as soon as possible.
Recover Your Stolen Assets Immediately
On many occasions, recovering stolen assets or equipment makes it hard to carry out business operations successfully. The situation becomes a lot more critical if the stolen equipment is used in day-to-day operations. When you attach a GPS tracking device to a piece of valuable equipment, it will allow the authorities to recover it quickly and get your business on track.
Better utilisation of assets
When you are not using your assets, they will not generate any profit for your business. GPS tracking systems help in identifying which assets are underused so that you can either put them to work or sell them. An asset tracking system will boost the overall utilisation of your assets resulting in increased profit.
Less Insurance Investment
Installing a GPS tracking system allows you to get a discount on monthly payments from the insurance companies. The asset tracker is mostly treated as an anti-theft device and will help in reducing the insurance costs. On the other hand, when you can recover the lost equipment yourself, there is no need to file any claims resulting in a reduction in insurance premium and other additional costs.
Have you ever thought of enjoying price billing with GPS trackers? The use of tracking software will help in finding out the exact number of hours the asset has been used. When you are able to monitor the actual use of the asset, you can easily prepare accurate and precise billing. Precise billing is the unique but effective application of GPS tracker which should be used by the business owners.
Asset tracking systems can help manage a business by helping managers gain access to real-time reports along with location and status updates. These updates are best suited for effective management of jobs. Dispatchers can locate assets quickly when a job requires a specific asset and arrange the delivery of the equipment with the help tracking software.
There are plenty more reasons which can justify the importance of GPS tracking of assets. Managing a business is a challenging task in today's competitive world, and it is important to take care of assets and use them properly in order to grow and prosper.