Maximizing Efficiency and Profits: How Asset Tracking Enhances Operations and Boosts ROI
- Asset Tracking
- Digital Transformation
Asset tracking has become an essential aspect of managing a business. For companies with a large number of tangible fixed assets, such as those in manufacturing, the food and beverage industry, oil & gas, government, and public utilities, managing equipment and spare parts over a large area can be challenging.
Effective oversight of resources requires reliable insights into asset locations, quantities, and statuses. Inaccurate data in any of these areas can leave field technicians scrambling while critical equipment is down or lagging in maintenance. Downtime and missing parts can directly impact the bottom line.
To avoid inefficient tracking of assets, companies are turning to mobile asset tracking software designed to optimize operations and cost with a fast return on investment (ROI).
In this article, we will explore how more efficient asset tracking can boost ROI and performance to improve business health and give you a competitive edge in the market.
The Basics of Asset Tracking
Asset tracking is the process of monitoring and managing the location, status, and condition of physical assets (aka “fixed assets”) in real time. Fixed assets can include machinery, equipment, vehicles, and high-value parts.
They may consist of anything from parts required for work orders in a factory to computers located in offices at remote locations.
Manual Asset Tracking
Traditionally, organizations keep tabs on assets with paper checklists or spreadsheets. Larger businesses may use an ERP platform as well. However, alone, each of these methods leaves large gaps in visibility.
Technicians can’t be confident that the parts they need to make crucial repairs will be available where they need them, or in the amount they require. Thousands or millions of dollars in lost, misplaced, or stolen fixed assets vanish every year.
Technologies Used in Asset Tracking
To improve asset management, companies implement technology solutions that enhance visibility. Common asset tracking technologies include:
- Barcode scanning
- Mobile software
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
- Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Internet of Things (IoT) sensors
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons
A blend of one or more of these technologies can be combined to create seamless, end-to-end visibility across multiple locations.
How to Achieve Real-Time Tracking for Fixed Assets: A Brief GuideDOWNLOAD NOW »
Asset Tracking Software vs Asset Management Solutions
Large enterprises can afford to implement heavyweight asset management solutions like IBM Maximo. Powerful in its own right, for many operations such a solution is overkill—not to mention prohibitively costly.
For businesses that want the ability to monitor, store, and issue fixed assets, asset tracking software offers a more cost-friendly alternative. Asset tracking software equips you with the ability to manage fixed assets across the supply chain with the same level of visibility and control as traditional warehouse inventory.
A mobile asset tracking solution provides provide additional benefits, giving employees on-demand access to work order information at minimal cost, greatly accelerating ROI.
Benefits of Asset Tracking
The benefits of improved asset tracking are numerous. Benefits include:
- Enhanced visibility and control
- Better operational efficiency
- Reduced asset downtime
- Lower maintenance costs
- Improved regulatory compliance
- Optimized asset utilization
- Enhanced decision-making
In particular, leveraging an automated data collection platform provides even further benefits. By removing data errors, visibility increases, leading to fewer interruptions in productivity and better coordination, all of which result in higher efficiency and lower costs.
The Role of Asset Tracking in Streamlining Operations
Improved Inventory Management
Asset tracking enables real-time monitoring of inventory levels, minimizing stockouts and overstocking. This leads to enhanced demand forecasting and optimized inventory turnover.
As with managing other types of inventory, heightened control ensures downstream stages will operate smoothly.
For manufacturers, better management ensures the availability of inputs for production—and that machinery won’t break down.
Efficient Maintenance Management
Implementing asset tracking systems facilitates predictive and preventive maintenance, reducing downtime and lowering maintenance costs. Staying on top of maintenance is a critical component of enterprise asset management (EAM) best practices.
When an unexpected maintenance issue occurs, trustworthy data guides personnel to the right location for mission-critical parts.
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Real-time asset tracking reduces manual tracking efforts. Digital records help improve employee accountability, streamline workflows, and accelerate response times to operational issues.
Instant access to work orders and maintenance documentation enables staff to complete jobs faster and more efficiently. For instance, many RFgen users experience a 40% increase in technician productivity.
Optimized Asset Utilization
Effective asset allocation, minimized asset idle time, maximized asset lifespan, and reduction in asset redundancy are all common outcomes of utilizing asset tracking systems.
Improved Compliance and Risk Management
Asset tracking software makes monitoring regulatory compliance easier, enables faster incident reporting, enhances security, and lowers the risk of theft and loss.
The Role of Asset Tracking Software in Improving ROI
How does asset tracking software create ROI? Asset tracking solutions can deliver quick ROI starting immediately and in a number of areas:
- Cost Reduction: Reduces inventory carrying costs, maintenance expenses, minimizes asset loss and theft, and decreases labor expenditures.
- Revenue Enhancement: Improves customer satisfaction, brand reputation, equipment uptime, drives sales opportunities and growth.
- Investment Optimization: Enhance decision-making regarding fixed assets, improve asset disposal effectiveness, inform capital and work allocation, and enhances financial forecasting.
Companies across multiple industries have experienced significant benefits from asset tracking software.
Food and Beverage Industry: Blue Bell Creameries
Challenge: Faced with new challenges in tracing food ingredients and products, ice cream manufacturer Blue Bell needed a better way to track equipment and spare parts. Old-fashioned paper tracking wasn’t working.
Results: After implementing RFgen mobile barcoding, Blue Bell could seamlessly track inventory of all types, from raw ingredients to finished products and fixed assets. Over 800 truck drivers could help accurately manage assets with mobile devices as they visited thousands of branch and customer sites.
How Blue Bell created end-to-end traceability and asset tracking.READ NOW »
Energy Sector: California Utility Company
Challenge: A large public utility company covering 50,000 square miles struggled to track inventory and assets with paper processes. The organization needed an effective tool to track materials movements for light-duty and heavy-duty drivers.
Results: Implementing a mobile solution to track inventory and assets—even while offline in the field—transformed the utility company’s operations. Benefits included monitoring of trucks and deliveries, reduced losses from missing inventory, and fewer scheduling mistakes on costly repairs.
This California Utility Company gained asset visibility across 50,000 square miles!READ NOW »
It’s Time for ROI with Asset Tracking Software
Asset tracking software plays a crucial role in streamlining operations and improving ROI across multiple industries. Not having effective asset tracking practices in place could be impacting your bottom line in ways you may not realize.
By utilizing mobile asset tracking solutions, companies can enhance inventory management, optimize maintenance processes, increase productivity, and improve compliance and risk management.
Blue Bell and the California Utility Company highlight the tangible benefits of asset tracking software with built-in offline capabilities.
If you’re one of the many businesses not already using mobile technology for asset tracking, then today is the day to transform your operational capabilities and drive ROI.