Enterprises invest significant sums of money in physical assets that enable employees to complete their work. They sometimes get lost, misplaced, damaged, or destroyed, resulting in lost productivity and revenue. The Internet of Things (IoT) enables corporations to manage their equipment proactively rather than reactively.
Apparatus enables employees to move items, get from place to place, deliver energy, maintain systems, create products, and access computer systems. In some cases, these tools are small and relatively inexpensive, such as laptops. In other instances, they are large and cost millions of dollars, for example, an excavator.
Daily, employees check corporate assets in and out, so the landscape constantly changes. Typically, corporations have limited and in some cases no visibility into what is happening with these tools. In many cases, they track usage and condition with spreadsheets, log sheets, and Sticky Notes, which results in several shortcomings
Poor Stocking: Maintaining assets requires a Goldilocks-like balance. Not having enough equipment results in work delays, missed opportunities, and lower employee productivity, and too much material means overspending and unnecessary overhead expenses. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to get it just right.
Device Breakdowns: Equipment ages as it is used, so it needs to be maintained or retired and replaced. Unfortunately, corporations often wait until a tool shows signs of wear and tear, before addressing the problem – an approach that can have serious and negative consequences. When a device breaks down, workflow ceases until it’s been repaired. Given the supply chain problems that arose during the pandemic, downtime can be significant, and losses pile up.
Asset Unavailability: Devices are not always available for a variety of reasons. Some tools break down after too much use, and sometimes, equipment is misplaced. Corporations have faith in their employees, but unfortunately, it sometimes proves to be misplaced, as asset theft isn’t uncommon and occurs in every industry.
Different circumstances can negatively affect an enterprise, especially when project deadlines need to be extended. Employees sit idle and are unable to complete their work. Employers lose tens of millions of dollars annually due to poor asset security.
What is Asset Tracking? To combat the many problems mentioned, corporates implement modern physical asset management solutions. Thanks to recent technological advancements, specifically IoT, physical asset tracking has become easier, less expensive, and more robust. By pairing IoT sensors with IoT networks, companies track the location, usage, and maintenance history, of assets such as machinery, vehicles, containers, and office equipment. They monitor their resources in real-time, which benefits the company in many ways.
Minimize Equipment Downtime: By tracking equipment usage and maintenance history, businesses identify potential problems before they cause a breakdown. This proactive approach lowers equipment downtime, which typically results in lost productivity and revenue.
Improve Asset Utilisation: Businesses more easily identify underutilised equipment and redistribute resources. Because the enterprise better uses its existing assets, it extends product lifecycles and reduces the need to purchase new equipment.
Streamline Inventory Management: Organisations manage inventory more efficiently. By tracking inventory levels and usage patterns, businesses optimise their inventory levels, reducing waste and ensuring that employees always have the right products on hand to get the job done.
Maximise Support Staff Productivity: Corporations have teams of individuals whose jobs are to monitor and maintain company equipment. Traditionally, they spent a great deal of time identifying where assets are, and determining how to get them to where they need to be. An asset management system takes on that work, so these employees have more time to tune equipment.
Lower Theft: Firms monitor the location of their assets and quickly identify if they are missing. This visibility helps businesses prevent and recover stolen assets more quickly and reduces the financial impact of theft or other loss.
Streamline Management Processes: Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems automate processes, such as alert generation, this was previously done by individuals. Traditionally, technicians at terminals monitored items such as response times; and searched for anomalies. AI solutions examine the data, recognise any changes in set patterns, create alerts, and automatically send them to the appropriate department. Therefore, productivity rises, and maintenance personnel can spend more time troubleshooting and fixing problems.
- Asset Tracking Use Cases: Virtually, every business has physical assets that need to be monitored. Illustrating the market’s vast potential, the bulk is not managed with an asset management system. However, those that are, represent more than $112 trillion worth of corporate equipment. The value of the devices overseen, Global Assets under Management (AuM), grew 12% last year. Following is how a few vertical industries can benefit from these systems.
- Healthcare: With an IoT asset tracking system, medical centres reduce wait times for equipment and medicine. Doctors and nurses accurately know medical device whereabouts, current conditions, and future use, which enable them to better plan their day. Such information ensures that quality care increases, and operating costs drop.
- Airports: At airports complex objects are constantly shifted, it could refer to large aircraft, as well as smaller objects, such as wheelchairs to get passengers to their gates. Asset management tools enable employees to know where the closest items may be, improving workflow. Cargo handling is a prime use case for airport physical asset tracking and location systems. Tracking asset status in real-time helps to ensure that everything is ready for departure. The tools also monitor cargo movement, identify faster routes, and eliminate delays.
- Warehouses: With IoT asset tracking solutions, warehouse personnel monitor and manage inventory, machinery, warehouse pallets, storage bins, and other valuable equipment. The tools depict item locations within a warehouse and outline the fastest paths for moving the equipment, which boosts productivity and increases inventory turns.
As they grow, enterprises become owners of large volumes of expensive, dispersed equipment. Traditionally, these items were managed in a haphazard manner, and the ground staff needed to be aware of where items were located to be able to access them. New IoT asset management solutions enable businesses to more intelligently oversee their equipment, and boost equipment lifetimes, enhance work efficiency, reduce expenditures, and increase productivity.
Conclusion: In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, efficiently managing physical assets has become crucial for enterprises to maintain productivity and profitability. The traditional approaches of tracking and managing assets with manual methods have proven to be inefficient and prone to errors, leading to significant challenges such as poor stocking, device breakdowns, and asset unavailability. However, the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) technology has revolutionized asset tracking, offering corporations a proactive and comprehensive solution to tackle these issues.
By leveraging IoT businesses can now monitor the location, usage, and maintenance history of their assets in real-time. This allows for a more holistic approach to asset management, yielding numerous benefits that contribute to corporate efficiency.