Collecting and maintaining accurate records of your fixed assets can be a time consuming and expensive task. The right integrated solution will put your company’s valuable equipment firmly under your control. The goal of any robust system is to maximize your asset control efficiency and minimize your equipment loss.
The right integrated asset tracking and management solution will put your company’s valuable equipment firmly under your control. You will be able to speed up your audit tasks and conduct your asset tracking in real-time by using a combination of mobile computers and asset management software. This will enable you to become more efficient in your production planning by reducing downtime. The management software will also enable you to schedule necessary maintenance or services for your equipment at appropriate times. With a complete solution that includes barcode/RFID printing technology, mobile computers and software you can manage your assets accurately and efficiently.
Asset tracking systems consist of 3 core components:
• Asset Tracking Software – Software is the backbone of any system and will determine what features and options are available. The main concerns when deciding are how detailed reporting is available and whether it supports batch or real-time updates.
• Mobile Computer – Assets are located throughout a business so a mobile device allows you to have all the needed information and make changes at the asset location. Depending on how rugged your environment is and budget, a wide range of devices can be used.
• Barcode/RFID Printer – All assets need a unique identifier on them to be properly tracked. Barcodes are the easiest and most cost-effective option but RFID tags offer added benefits with a wireless reading of the assets and the possibility of automating your whole process.
What are the Key Benefits of an Asset Tracking System?
All businesses have a collection of assets that they need to maintain. The right solution system can give you more detailed control over your assets and a greater return on your investment. The benefits include:
• Productivity – Collect data faster in greater detail.
• Accuracy – Eliminate human error.
• Compliance – Reporting flexibility with more accurate records.
• Accountability – Enforces personal responsibility and accountability for company property.
Who Benefits from Asset Management?
Companies use hundred of assets on a daily basis. Any company with assets would benefit from an asset tracking and management solution. Schools, hospitals, financial institutions, government entities, retail stores, and manufacturing plants are all examples of places where an asset tracking system is crucial. Listed below are some examples where an asset tracking and management solution has helped to accurately and efficiently track assets.
• The U.S. Army has saved over half a million dollars by implementing an asset tracking solution.
• The Brooklyn Public Library system was improved with asset tracking management by enabling librarians and staff to use mobile scanning and on-demand printing.
• The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) was able to track over 3,000 assets using asset tracking software, saving hundreds of man-hours.
• American Metal Group was able to track the whereabouts of their tools and machinery throughout a 50-acre campus, allowing them to locate items in a more efficient manner.
Determining the Right Asset Tracking System for your Company
Software is the brain behind any asset tracking and management system. It is the source of all your asset information and dictates your interaction with this information. Normally, while you are running an instance of the software on a desktop PC, your mobile devices are running a stripped down version of the software for functions needed in the field. Depending on your need for real-time or batch updates, certain software will support one or the other. The desktop instance will contain a full detailed database of assets, allow printing of labels, and will run a variety of reports.
Reporting is a very important aspect of any tracking software because it gives you greater visibility into your collection of assets. Knowing when things need to be replaced or serviced and general asset analysis is done with reporting. There are many asset tracking applications to choose from and determining the best fit for your business needs is essential to a productive, useful system.
Assets vs. Inventory
The first step in determining an asset tracking system is to distinguish your assets and inventory items. Assets are “permanent” objects that belong to a company. They are items a business uses internally, such as computers, tools, or educational material. An asset is always tracked as a unique item. Even though you may have 10 of the exact same PC, you are managing each PC as an individual item with its own unique barcode label or RFID tag. You want to ensure that you have accurate information on each specific asset’s location, condition, purchase date, value, custodian, and most recent maintenance.
Inventory tracking refers to objects that are sold, distributed, or otherwise consumed by a company. These “temporary” objects include retail items and office supplies. For example, you may have 100 boxes of staples in inventory and when you use one box the tracked quantity decreases by one. You are not concerned with what specific ox was used, but rather that 1 of 100 was removed. Ultimately, you want to know how many you have in stock and when to order more.
The chart below can help you compare your objects with the chart below to determine if you need inventory or asset tracking.
|Objects used internally, such as computers, tools, and educational materials||•|
|Track depreciation of company property||•|
|Track maintenance on company equipment||•|
|Objects are for sale or resale||•|
|Ability to track/monitor reorder levels||•|
|Objects are “temporary” and/or often replace, such a paper, pens and other consumables||•|
|Employees may check objects in and out||•||•|
Questions to Address When Determining an Asset Tracking System
When putting together an effective and suitable asset tracking system there are a few key questions to answer:
• How many assets do you need to track?
• What type of assets are you tracking?
• Where are the assets located? How many locations do you have?
• Are the assets already labeled? Will you use barcode or RFID tags?
• Do you need real-time updates or can batch collection be used?
• What type of reporting will you need from the system?
• How many users will you have? Desktop and mobile.
Call us to put your Asset Tracking System Together!
We are asset tracking specialists! We can help you configure a tracking solution no matter what industry you’re in. We will deliver a complete system that fits the specific needs of your application and budget. Our years of experience delivering complex solutions across industries mean that you will get a comprehensive solution and trouble-free implementation, guaranteed. Go ahead, give us a call!