Your top asset tracking questions answered
Whether you’re looking to replace a manual, paper-based asset tracking system, or you need a new solution to better suit your business, we’re here to answer some key questions to help you understand the pros and cons of asset tracking software.
Asset tracking can present many challenges, particularly when working with a range of equipment and vehicles across multiple worksites. The mass of digital and manually collated information can fast become a swamp of information that becomes hard to analyse. Human error is also a common occurrence when businesses rely on manually tracking assets.
Decisions based on manual processes can become costly and compromise the safety of staff and the assets they use.
New technology means this doesn’t have to be the case. We've seen an incredible uptake on asset tracking in the last few years as it has become more accessible and affordable and business owners and managers realise its potential to transform their operation.
Below we discuss how new asset tracking tools can streamline the management of your assets and reduce costs, creating a more effective and efficient business operation.
What is asset tracking?
Asset tracking is the practice of managing, tracking and reporting on physical assets. This helps manage your fleet by using data to ensure assets are where they should be and that the correct safety and maintenance processes are happening. This reduces downtime and increases productivity, positively impacting your business’s bottom line.
What assets should you be tracking?
The latest range of compact trackers and smart sensors can track almost every type of asset, including:
- non-powered assets
- industrial assets
- High-value equipment and hardware
- shipping containers
Having the ability to track every asset doesn’t mean you need to track every asset. Which assets you track can be determined by many factors, including the asset value, size and use, including assets that may be vulnerable to misuse or theft.
What information and data does asset tracking capture?
A range of trackers, including those using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, can provide real-time data on many measures. These include:
- Asset’s location
- Idle time
- Route efficiency
- Fuel usage
- Driver behaviour
- Unsafe driving incidents
- Vehicle diagnostics (such as tire pressure, engine temp)
- Geofence breaches
- Asset utilisation
- And much more
The latest asset tracking software also has forms and checklists built in to streamline and collect pre-start safety data and other information. The benefits of having this data on a central platform include the ability to integrate it with other ERP data, order systems and CRM to provide a complete and accurate overview of what’s going on in your business.
And, when artificial intelligence (AI) is combined with this data, you can even predict threats and make accurate data-driven decisions to manage your business.
What is the risk of an asset-related disaster?
It’s higher than you may think. Tracking assets is incredibly important, as $4.3b in business assets are lost every year, mainly due to human error and theft. According to the National Equipment Register (NER) Annual Theft Report, contributing factors to the low recovery rate of stolen construction equipment include delays in discovering and reporting of thefts, non-existent or inaccurate records, and confusing equipment identification systems.
Lack of asset maintenance is one of the oldest issues that affect many industries. A machine coming to a sudden halt and disrupting a workflow in full swing happens far too often; the classic case of an unexpected breakdown.
Poor asset maintenance and not having robust safety and compliance safety processes in place can also leave your business exposed to legal and financial risks, especially in high compliance industries. Without a solution that enables you to properly manage your assets and ensure safety, the risk of disaster is high.
How can I reduce downtime and ensure safety and compliance with asset tracking?
All assets require a prescribed amount of maintenance in their lifetime, but managing this can vary greatly. Choosing preventive and routine maintenance of your assets can reduce downtime and business closures from unexpected equipment failures. It can also help avoid financial loss and protect your business reputation.
Inspecting, repairing and caring for your business assets increases their useful life expectancy, meaning you spend less money replacing assets over the long term. This can be done on a recurring schedule - either when they’re not in use after a set number of operating hours or distance travelled - to comply with relevant safety guidelines and laws.
When equipment is running optimally, it also requires less energy, meaning lower energy costs and utility bills.
Access to real-time data to support optimum maintenance keeps your business running smoothly and saves you time and money.
What can I do with the data collected from an asset tracking solution?
Asset tracking data can be used to highlight areas of improvement in your management and operational processes. Data analysis can identify where small changes can have a big impact, including in the following areas:
- Right-sizing your fleet of vehicles and assets
- Route optimisation
- Mitigate the risk of asset loss or non-compliance
- Ensure driver safety
- Increase customer satisfaction by improving speed to deliver services
Over time, these highlighted improvements can result in significant savings in both time and money and reduce preventable accidents; you can literally save people’s lives.
How do asset tracking and fleet management help me with my return on investment?
Understanding how different pieces of equipment are used (for example, when and how often) across geographic locations lets you make more informed asset management decisions.
Using precise metrics can help identify underperforming and under-utilised assets. They can also tell you how often and how long a piece of equipment runs on a particular day or over a certain period. Under-utilised assets identified in this way could then be rented, sold or used elsewhere where they can provide greater value to your business.
Asset tracking data presents you with opportunities to improve. More cost-effective and efficient assets will give your business’ bottom line a big boost.
Get in touch with Forum
Forum Connect is Forum Group’s asset tracking solution. It can transform the way you manage your assets and save your business money by ensuring you’re getting the best possible return on your equipment.
Complete the form below to hear more from our team about the benefits of asset tracking in your businesses.
Discover the employee and technology trends of the modern workplace
We can no longer expect our traditional office structures, equipment and processes to bring out the best in our employees. Discover the trends that are shaping 2021 and beyond!