How Does An Asset Tracking System Work?
What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear assets?
Typically, most people consider assets to be the most valuable possessions, like some investments or land and houses. However, for business, assets mean more than that – it involves vehicles and equipment too. Plus, these assets prove to be of immense value to the organization in the long run.
It’s no big deal to purchase an asset, but efficiently handling the task of asset tracking can be daunting, especially when you’re a startup.
So, What Do You Really Mean By Asset Tracking?
If your business owns tangible assets like computers, vehicles, or other equipment, you can keep track of them via modern tracking solutions. The asset tracking process involves the effective and efficient storage of data like ownership, location, etc.
An asset tracking solution not only helps in efficiently and effectively managing and retaining assets in their best condition but also cuts down costs of extra manual labor that’s otherwise needed to execute these tasks.
Asset Tracking System: How Does It Work?
Asset tracking systems are excellent solutions to ensure greater visibility and transparency into asset maintenance and utilization of any business. This system lets you monitor and control vital aspects and details of your business assets in real-time.
To be precise, asset tracking utilizes software, connectivity methods, and tracking devices to ensure IoT-based remote management and monitoring of your assets. You can track fixed assets with tagging tools, which assign a unique identification code to every asset.
Businesses can choose from various asset tagging tools, which IoT network connectivity to choose depends on the business criteria and requirements.
Criteria crucial to delivering the project like the number of assets getting tracked down, range, scalability, accuracy, costs, data transfer rates, and risks associated with asset misplacement determine the type of connectivity you’ll need.
An asset tracking system works with the help of the following technologies:
1. Barcode Tags
The barcode technology is widely popular in plenty of industries for unique identification. This widely scalable and affordable technology solution comes with QR codes or barcode tags that stay attached to the assets or equipment items.
It enables quick and seamless scanning of the asset item with any scanner or smartphone to automatically update the software data. If your business has low-value assets, it’s best to use this asset-tracking technology.
2. Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)
Despite being a bit conventional, RFID is still considered prominent for its extensive use among multiple companies. This technology works by leveraging the principle of electromagnetic tags and readers that consists of identification data, which can be read via portable stationary or interrogators.
In this reading process, the tags can provide data after getting scanned. For instance, it will provide data on the current location and specific time when the tag gets scanned. So, when it comes to inventory management processes and security checks, RFID solutions stand out to be the best option.
RFID tags are of low, high, and ultra-high frequency. The one you’ll need depends on the range from which you want to scan the tags. For wide-scale asset management operations, it’s best to go for ultra-frequency RFID tags.
3. GPS Tracking Systems
It allows fleet businesses to enjoy a high level of access and authority over their fleet. GPS technology leverages the in-orbit satellites to send signals to receivers and ensure precise reliability and positioning.
Although GPS involves low infrastructure costs, most GPS devices require high energy (power) due to the constant need to stay connected with rechargeable batteries or some power source, as large distances result in quick battery drainage. Although accuracy is limited, this technology is ideal enough for moving outside.
Compared to RFID technology, GPS provides more possibilities to businesses as GPS transmits satellite signals and sends them to a receiver anywhere in the world within five seconds. On the other hand, RFID technology needs a hand-held reader to send data.
4. Bluetooth Technology (BLE)
Bluetooth Technology stands out from other options like GPS with less power consumption capability. When it comes to indoor positioning applications, there’s nothing better than BLE. For instance, it’s ideal for collecting location data in hospitals or shopping malls.
These systems may be expensive due to the requirement of a high number of networked devices. Despite its ability to integrate with typical consumer devices, which is a great benefit, it faces obstacles in precise functioning around some particular environments like reflective or metal surfaces.
5. Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC or Near Field Communication shares almost the same functionalities and features as the RFID technology. What makes them unique from one another is the NFC tag, which must stay in close proximity to the reader. However, you’ll have to keep the scanner focused on the tag, which could be on either side of the asset item.
Unlike QR code or barcode scanning, the notable benefit of NFC is its speed. It alleviates the need for inventory managers to stop and accurately check and scan each item. With NFC, these things can be done on the go. Furthermore, you won’t have to purchase any specialized hardware to implement the NFC solution.
Final Thoughts: What To Conclude
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to look after your workspace management for more modern and better ways to improve and implement tracking of assets. Probably, it’s one of the most crucial aspects of your business as effective and efficient management of your expensive assets can cut down costs, increase returns, optimize resource utilization, and, lastly, enhance your customers’ experience.
Having proper insight into your certain asset’s location at a specified time frame and its usage pattern is of immense benefit. It will help you protect them from inefficient usage, theft, or misplacement. Plus, your asset tracking will become one of your actionable resources with the help of connected devices to extract insights required to improve your overall business performance.
However, businesses are still facing connectivity issues, which makes them judicious about the effectiveness of asset tracking devices and technologies. Given that, it’s crucial to hire an IoT company that ensures reliable data via these devices.