Why compare asset tracking services?
Your assets are a major part of what makes your business tick.
No matter your industry, your business assets are essential.
Asset tracking is the perfect way to make sure you know exactly where your assets are and what condition they are in at all times.
What Is Asset Tracking?
In simple terms, asset tracking is an inventory management system which uses technology such as:
This allows for an updated report on the location and condition of your asset.
What’s wrong with a good old-fashioned spreadsheet?
Well, nothing to be honest.
However, 80% of spreadsheets contain errors.
Although you might not lose $6.2 billion like J.P Morgan did back in 2012 because of a spreadsheet error, these can cost your business both money and time.
How Does Asset Tracking Work?
is part of a concept; The Internet of Things.
This is a concept that states that everything will eventually be connected by the internet. This isn’t some sort of Black Mirror dystopian fantasy either.
TV’s and cars are already connected to the internet and there are even chipped mattresses now that monitor your sleeping habits and upload that data to the cloud.
devices are already part of this futuristic reality no matter what system you pick.
This then links with the software installed on the device(s) of your choosing and displays all of the information to you in a simple and easy-to-read manner.
As everything is cloud based, any other software that you have that operates this way can work in tandem with your asset tracking software.
Installing the software is simple as most of them can be easily downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
This way you’ll be able to fully utilise this software no matter what device(s) you and your staff use.
Employees can also easily update information on the system through their devices.
They can even be assigned their own personal accounts where they can leave notes etc. about the asset pre- and post-use.
How Does Asset Tracking Software Work?
As mentioned, asset tracking software collects and stores all of the data around an asset, but how exactly does it work?
Below is an image of a typical looking asset tracking software screen.
As you can see there are multiple different tabs which all house different pieces of information generally, they will be:
These tabs are interactive which will then give you access to the information including movement history and deprecation percentage.
You and your staff can also manually include info such as; maintenance reports, asset condition and notes for any damages/faults.
Information is automatically stored on easily downloadable reports.
How Can Asset Tracking Help My Business?
Utilising asset tracking software isn’t just about what you’ve got, where it is and what state it is in.
It can also help your business in numerous other ways.
‘Ghost tools’ and long and tedious inventory takes will be a thing of the past when all information is just a barcode scan away.
Improve Your Reputation
If you’re running a business that lets tools then you will need to know what you have in stock and its exact condition.
Promising a customer something only to back track when it’s missing or giving them damaged or faulty equipment is going to have a negative impact on your reputation.
Make Audits Easier
Audits are time consuming and dull at the best of times.
With asset tracking, your downloadable reports have all the information you need at the touch of a button.
Peace Of Mind
With asset tracking, you have all reports, all logs and all information about your chosen asset at your fingertips.
No longer will you have that voice in the back of your head wondering if something is working and is where it should be.
What Type Of Tracking Is Available?
There are four main types of asset tracking available.
The type of asset tracking you will need will depend on the size of your arsenal and what it is you need to track.
Barcode Asset Tracking
The cheapest and simplest asset tracking out there.
All you have to do is stick barcodes on your assets and then scan them in and out using a barcode scanner.
To make things easier, you and your staff can download free-to-use apps that turn your phone into a bar code scanner meaning you will not need to fork out for specialist hardware.
The pros and cons of barcode asset tracking
|Less than £1,000
|Easy to implement?
What kind of assets can be tracked using barcode asset tracking?
- Easy to implement
- Helps you quickly look up tools
- You can use your mobile phone as a barcode scanner
- Barcodes stickers can rub off
- Somebarcode apps have trouble recognising barcodes
Barcode asset tracking is suitable for:
Business phones and laptops
Drills, hammers, saws etc...
RFID Asset Tracking
Radio Frequency Identification or RFID asset tracking uses radio waves in order to locate your assets.
A common example of RFID is on security tags at shops.
Once they pass through the scanners an alarm is sounded.
This is down to a remote sensor picking up the presence of radio waves which have been sent via a tracker.
There are two types of RFID tracker, Active Asset Trackers and Passive Asset Trackers.
In simple terms, an Active Asset Tracker is battery powered and has the ability to store information within itself, such as engine time and run time.
Below is a small comparison between the two.
The pros and cons of RFID Asset Tracking
|Emits radio waves
|Medium to large assets
|2 -5 years
|Small to medium assets
|1 - 2 ft
- Solutions for medium and large assets
- Active RFID trackers can store additional information
- Hardwearing and weather resistant
- You'll need to replace the batteries after two years
- Can get expensive
What assets can be tracked using passive RFID asset tracking?
Passive RFID asset tracking is suitable for:
Smaller construction equipment
Warehouse stock and equipment
GPS Asset Tracking
GPS asset tracking is made with vehicular tracking in mind.
With this information such as vehicle location, run and idle time can easily be tracked in real time.
GPS is tracked using 3g & 4g signals so if the asset is in an area with little to no signal it may be difficult to keep on top of this information.
You can also implement a geo-fencing perimeter which means you will be notified if an asset crosses a manually created virtual border. Particularly useful for security.
GPS asset tracking can also be used alongside most vehicle tracking
Bluetooth Asset Tracking
Bluetooth asset tracking also known simply as BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) works in a similar way.
Waves from a tag are received from a sensor but instead of using radio waves, Bluetooth is used.
If you are considering RFID or BLE then bare in mind that BLE can be a cheaper alternative as infrastructure set up is less expensive.
The pros and cons of Bluetooth Asset Tracking
- Infrastructure is cheaper than RFID
- Fairly good battery life
- Works over a good range
- Not as good for location tracking (sensor dependent)
- Prone to interference
What kind of assets can be tracked using Bluetooth asset tracking?
Bluetooth asset tracking is suitable for:
ManufacturingCrates, machinary etc...
Medical supplies and equipment
How Much Does Asset Tracking Cost
There is no one answer to this as there are a number of factors which come into play here.
The first and most obvious is what type of asset tracking that you likely need as each one is priced differently.
Business size and set up costs can all have an impact on the overall price.
How Can Take Advantage Of Asset Tracking?
Hopefully that's cleared up some questions that you may have regarding asset tracking and how it can help your business.
Now the last one you most likely have, is "how can I take advantage of asset tracking"? Well, the process couldn't be simpler; all you have to do is click the "Get Quote" button to start comparing prices.
This is an absolutely free service and there's no obligation to commit, so click the button, follow the prompts and get comparing now.