Asset Tracking Software is a digital tool used to improve how businesses track their physical assets. It allows for real-time tracking of equipment through the use of tags and labels such as barcodes, QR codes, RFID tags, and GPS trackers. Providing asset managers with accurate data and increased asset visibility.
Asset tracking solutions are popular in equipment-heavy industries such as construction, retail, healthcare, and churches. It is also used to improve asset maintenance planning and life cycle management and reduces the use of spreadsheets.
What Is Asset Tracking Software?
Asset Tracking Software enables you to track, manage, and analyse asset visibility data in one place. It provides the tools to build accurate asset registers that can be accessed anywhere at any time via a cloud-based mobile app. That includes asset name, exact location, site location, previous user, reservation information, and more.
Real-time asset data is easily stored in an asset tracking system with the use of tags, labels, and sensors. These include Barcodes, QR Codes, NFC tags, GPS trackers, and RFID tags.
Asset Tracking Software allows businesses to:
- Track and manage assets in real-time
- Gain visibility of fixed and current assets
- Reduce replacement costs for lost and stolen assets
- Build an accurate cloud-based asset register
- Provide users with asset data as and when they need it
Typically, asset tracking is accustomed to answering the question: "how many (product) do I have?". But, modern tools have enabled tracking solutions to capture even more detailed data.
An asset tracking system provides businesses with data regarding their most valuable assets. Helping to improve inventory management, maintenance planning, asset life cycle management, and other key areas such as:
Create a Detailed Asset Register
An asset register is a detailed database of data that helps businesses to easily log, track, access, and update asset information. Particularly useful for businesses with a large number of assets, an asset register exists in digital form. Giving employees access to an asset’s location, date of purchase, procurement costs, maintenance history, and last known users.
Creating an asset register is key to improving the visibility of a business’s entire asset repository. An asset register’s main objective is to ensure data accuracy and to provide real-time information. This helps businesses to:
- Keep assets compliant
- Monitor depreciation value of assets
- Schedule and plan for maintenance
- Reduce costs associated with loss and theft of assets
Use Tags and Labels to Track Assets
With an asset tracking system, businesses have a choice of using a range of asset tags and labels. These include barcodes, RFID tags, QR codes, NFC tags, and GPS trackers. Each tagging option has its benefits and suits different tracking environments.
By affixing tags and labels, businesses can ensure the accurate tracking of their equipment. Whether that be tracking inventory throughout warehouses. Or tracking the location of tools on a construction site. Asset tags can provide valuable asset data such as real-time location and users.
Build a Check-in/Check-Out System for Equipment
Businesses that rely on equipment rental require an effective asset booking system. Particularly in industries such as education and construction. Asset Tracking Software allows users to easily reserve, book, and check out equipment. As well as see equipment availability and receive alerts when equipment is ready.
Checkout systems enable users to book equipment in advance. Helping to reduce the risk of double-booking. It also makes it easier for businesses to follow up on overdue returns. As well as displaying what assets are available to employees via a shared calendar.
Plan and Schedule Asset Maintenance
With the use of an asset register, all asset maintenance plans are displayed in one place. This includes planned maintenance, preventative maintenance schedules, and previous plans. Having this data helps asset managers to understand when an asset will be unavailable. As well as knowing when equipment is due for repairs.
Access Asset Data on Mobile Devices
With mobile access, Asset Tracking Software tools are available at any time from anywhere. This allows off-site users to access an asset register and access data instantly. All through the use of a dedicated cloud-based asset tracking mobile app.
Mobile devices with built-in scanners for QR codes and Barcodes can also update data on the go. Eliminating the need to carry around expensive hardware such as scanners.
Track Equipment, Vehicles, and Employees in Real-Time
The use of GPS trackers allows businesses to get real-time location updates through an RTLS. This is useful for large movable assets such as vehicles and machinery. Trackers are physically attached to a device and emit signals back to an asset tracking system. As well as handheld devices and smartphones.
RTLS tracking benefits several industries including postal and courier services. Enabling owners to track their drivers and delivery routes.
Why Tracking and Managing Assets Is Important
Tracking and managing assets with Asset Tracking Software provides several benefits for businesses. Including building asset registers, reducing replacements costs, and improving inventory management. The ability to track assets has become an essential and easy process for asset-intensive companies. Particularly with the advancements in IoT devices, tracking tags, and cloud-based software. The global market share is estimated to be worth $36.3 billion by 2025.
For asset-intensive businesses that rely on assets to generate revenue, asset management is crucial. Whether that be stock, equipment, vehicles, or produce. Without it, businesses risk being left behind by more advanced-thinking competitors. The key to good asset management is having constant visibility of assets. When it comes to maximising asset visibility, Asset Tracking Software is essential.
How Does Asset Tracking Work?
The basis of tracking assets is through the use of tagging tools combined with Asset Tracking Software. These tools come in the form of RFID tags, barcodes, QR codes, GPS trackers, and NFC tags. The way each tagging tool operates vary, but they all ultimately have the same outcome. Each tag assigns an asset with a unique identification code. The process is then broken down into four stages:
- Record fixed assets into an Asset Tracking Software solution
- Attach relevant data
- Tag assets with tagging technology
- Monitor and track assets in real-time
Asset tracking tools can be used in various ways for a multitude of different processes. Small businesses such as brick and mortar retailers will use tools for stock control. Whereas manufacturers utilise a tracking system to monitor their supply chain.
5 Key Benefits of Using Asset Tracking Software
Asset tracking tools are used to increase the efficiency of a business’s asset management efforts. Collecting accurate asset data has a range of benefits for businesses of all types and sizes.
1. Eliminate Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets can be a great resource when first starting to collect asset data. But, as a business scales, so does its assets. Meaning there is a lot more data to track and manage.
Spreadsheets can then start to become a hindrance to a business’s asset tracking processes. They’re tough to share between users, they lack features, and they’re susceptible to errors. With 88% of spreadsheets containing an error.
2. Improve Inventory Management
By combing tagging tools and asset registers, businesses can set custom triggers for inventory levels. These can be notifications or alerts that are sent to a team member’s mobile device. The most productive use of this is for stock control.
Asset management systems can be set up to alert inventory managers when stock is running low. As well as providing instant access to supplier details when it comes time to replenish stock.
3. Track Assets in One Place
Having data stored in one accessible asset register makes tracking assets much easier. As opposed to having multiple asset profiles saved across multiple spreadsheets. An asset's unique profile provides data such as warranties, location, and purchase orders. As well as allowing asset managers to see who is using an asset and when it is due back.
4. Access Data Anytime, Anywhere
Accessing an asset register from anywhere at any time is revolutionary. By using mobile apps and Asset Tracking Software, users can access asset data whenever they need it. Including from when equipment is scanned on arrival, to when it leaves the workplace.
Anytime access is also helpful for providing users with data when they’re not on-site. Including asset availability through check-in and check-out systems. As well as inventory and stock management information.
5. Reduce Misplaced, Stolen, and Lost Assets
Having access to real-time location data means the number of assets that are lost or stolen is reduced. This, in turn, helps to reduce the unplanned expenditure of replacing lost equipment. Tracking the location of assets can also be useful if an item has been detached from a batch order. Helping to save significant manpower and time.
Types of Tags and Labels for Tracking Assets
Asset tagging forms the basis for Asset Tracking Software. It is the process of attaching identification tags and labels to equipment. This initiates the process of tracking fixed assets throughout the workplace. Each asset tag and label has similar benefits, including:
- Simplifying the tracking of high-value assets
- Replacing the need for manual data entry
- Speeding up the collecting of real-time data
- Building a real-time location system
- Tracking asset life cycle management
- Reducing costs associated with loss and theft
Barcodes are a cheap and easy-to-use tagging solution for businesses with multiple assets. In particular, they're useful for inventory tracking tasks. The black and white parallel lines of a barcode are readable by both scanners and mobile devices.
In terms of using barcodes to track assets, the process works by entering an asset’s data into a system. The system then generates a unique and printable barcode for that asset. So, when the barcode is scanned, the system will show a read-out of that asset’s data. This data can be current location, purchase date, and even maintenance schedules.
Barcodes can be effective for two reasons:
- You can edit data without having to generate another barcode
- Barcodes can be a cost-efficient way to track assets as opposed to RFID and Bluetooth - Especially with the use of durable and weather-proof barcode labels that can increase longevity.
As well as cost-efficiency, there are many other benefits of barcodes. Including the ability to instantly obtain asset data and simplify recorded-keeping.
But, somewhat seen as a major advantage of tracking assets with barcodes, is the reduction in data errors through manual input. Not only can errors produce false data, but they can prove costly to a business in the long term. The typical error rate for manual data entry is 1 per 300 characters. Whereas, the error rate of a barcode scanner can be as accurate as 1 error in 36 trillion characters.
RFID tags are built with a chip that is ‘woken’ by the radio signal of an RFID reader. A tracker reads the data stored on an RFID tag, via an antenna. It then transmits the data to an Asset Tracking Software tool. Thus completing the process of RFID asset management.
There are three different types of RFID tags; Active, Passive and Semi-passive. As well as various frequency types depending on how the tags will be used; low, high, and ultra-high.
- Active Tags: Battery-powered asset tags that send a continuous signal for a receiver to capture
- Passive Tags: Have no battery and only respond to a receiver once a signal has been sent out
- Semi-Passive Tags: A hybrid of the two; battery-powered and no continuous signal
RFID tags have larger storage capacities when compared to other solutions such as barcodes. As well as offering a greater read range (from a few centimetres to 1500 feet), which needs to be in the line of sight. Although an RFID asset tracking system can be more expensive, it can also be more beneficial.
For instance, Active RFID tags are tough, durable and weather-proof. This means they won’t need replacing as often as a paper barcode. This also makes them ideal for being used in different temperatures and for tracking larger assets such as vehicles and shipping containers.
Similar to barcodes, QR codes are printable labels that can store a large amount of asset data. Using QR codes to track assets is cheap, especially as data can be updated on a mobile device. This makes the process of QR code asset tracking relatively easy to use. While also helping to streamline asset tracking processes.
As a newer form of tracking tech, Near Field Communication (NFC) is a subset of RFID and operates at a high-frequency range. But, unlike its technological parent, NFC works only at a very short distance and requires two devices to be within a specific range of each other - typically 4 centimetres.
In terms of using it to track current assets and inventory, NFC technology is an affordable and easy-to-use tool. Whereas other management systems can be time-consuming and complicated, the steps needed to implement NFC for tracking assets are simple:
- Assign an NFC tag to an asset
- Attach the NFC tag to the assigned asset
- Scan the tag with an NFC-enabled mobile
- Read, update, and edit the data that shows up on the mobile
The use of NFC technology has several benefits for tracking physical assets, including:
- Providing a fixed and precise location
- Can be used with smartphones - No need for specific and expensive hardware
- It's easy to edit and update an NFC tag’s data
- NFC tags are quick to scan
- NFC technology is small and inexpensive
- They're durable and don’t require batteries
GPS trackers are found in most modern-day tools such as smartphones and satellite navigation. They work by communicating with satellites that orbit the earth to triangulate an exact position. These battery-powered trackers can be attached to assets to build a real-time location system. Making GPS ideal for businesses that have a lot of high value moving assets. Such as tracking equipment across construction sites and monitoring a vehicle fleet.
One main benefactor of using GPS technology to track assets is the ability to receive real-time location updates. This can usually be achieved with the use of a small tracking device. These devices are physically attached to an asset, usually a large piece of equipment, and emit a signal to a receiver - either a designated handheld device, smartphone or computer.
For example, a company that rents out cars may attach a tracking device to one of its vehicles before handing it over to a customer. This way, in case this car is lost or stolen, the company will have an exact live location of where the car is.
GPS asset tracking systems are usually adopted by organisations that have moving valuable assets, such as airports or local councils. Whereas other businesses, such as a clothes retail store or IT centre, would opt for alternative tracking options to manage its assets - like Barcode and RFID tracking.
What Industries Need Asset Tracking Software?
Asset Tracking Software is a tool that can be used by any business or operation. If a business is reliant on the use of its assets, then keeping track of those assets is essential.
Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
Medical equipment in healthcare and hospital facilities has significant value. This is one main reason why implementing an asset tracking system in healthcare is vital. Medical assets include machinery, medication, medical waste, PPE, and documents. Healthcare Asset Tracking Software reduces spending on missing or stolen equipment. As well as helping to reduce patient wait-time and improve the efficiency of operations.
Schools and Educational Facilities
Primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities all consist of thousands of assets. From expensive IT assets like computers to small assets such as library books. But, having to work within a limited budget means the replacement of lost or stolen assets can be costly. Which is where a school asset tracking system can offer a solution.
By providing technologies such as QR codes and RFID tags, school asset managers can keep track of their most valuable assets. While also being able to collect all asset data in one comprehensive system that is available to all teachers, department heads and administrators.
Other benefits of using asset management tools in schools include:
- Operating an asset booking system with a check-in/check-out program
- Generate asset reports from each school department
- Use IoT devices to track assets in real-time
- Sharing forecasts with authorities such as local districts and MATs
Tracking assets across multiple sites can be near impossible without the use of asset tracking tools. Asset Tracking Software enables site managers to gain visibility of assets both on-site and off-site. As well as reducing equipment delays to speed up crucial projects. Tracking construction assets also helps to reduce equipment theft and loss.
Church Asset Tracking
Churches consist of assets that are essential to ensuring ceremonies go ahead without delay. Access to equipment booking features allow church assets to be rented out to the community. As well as providing visibility as to when an asset was checked out and when it is due back.
Brick and Mortar Shops/Retailers
Enhancing the overall customer and POS experience is vital for businesses in the retail industry. Not only can this be achievable through help desk and service desk solutions, but also with a retail asset tracking tool.
One main advantage of implementing retail asset tracking is to take control of your inventory. By storing inventory procurement, disposals and sales in one central system you’re able to gain insight and accuracy into your stock levels. This is achieved most effectively by using IoT devices such as RFID tags and QR/Barcode scanners.
Other advantages include:
- Minimising stolen and lost assets in a bid to reduce shrinking
- Accessing real-time data such as location, condition and quantity
- Alerting managers and staff when an asset has been removed without being scanned
What Are The Top 10 Best Asset Tracking Software Products?
Assetcloud by Waspbarcode
Waspbarcode provides a suite of Asset Tracking Software products to support a variety of uses such as warehouse management, stock room management, equipment and tool tracking, and manufacturing process management. These systems have been successfully implemented within a wide range of industries including Construction, Emergency Services, Manufacturing, Retail, and Healthcare.
Assettrac's system is designed to solve the challenges of tracking fixed assets and revenue-generating assets. It has been successfully implemented in a wide variety of industries including Education, Healthcare, Logistics, and Retail. Assettrac Asset Tracking Software includes RFID, QR Codes, and Barcode technology. The scanning technology is independent of the scanner and third-party scanners can be used, too. Assettrac has completed projects with Air Liquide, Ofcom, BMW, Southwark Borough Council, and Amnesty International. As well as over 1,000 other organisations worldwide.
CoreRFID provides advanced RFID-based Asset Tracking Software with applications in industries such as Manufacturing, Heavy Lifting, and Logistics. CoreRFID also supplies a wide variety of RFID tags and RFID scanning hardware to meet an increasingly large range of tracking and tracing requirements. It works with both small and large companies alike and is pleased to include Ocado, BAE Systems, Vaillant, London Underground, Costain, and Ainscough Crane Hire among its customers.
Real Asset Management Series 5000
Real Asset Management (RAM) was founded in 1981 and has grown to become a leading supplier of Asset Tracking Software and maintenance management software to both the public and private sectors.
FMIS Asset Tracking System
Financial and Management Information Systems - or FMIS - was founded in 1986, and specialises in finance-aware enterprise asset management systems for use with any size of an organisation, in any industry. Their unique, all-in-one approach allows users to build a system from a set of highly flexible modules providing tracking, financial, and ERP system integration, as well as a host of other features such as stock and inventory control, equipment maintenance, and lease accounting.
EZ Office Inventory
EZOffice Inventory is a simple to use, web-based asset tracking system. Starting at $35 per month, it suits businesses that are looking to move away from spreadsheets or paper-based methods. The product supports RFID, QR Code, and Barcode. EZOffice Inventory has a mobile app for iOS and Android users. With a team of 21 people, EZOffice Inventory offers comprehensive support to use their asset tracking software system.
Hilti’s Asset Tracking Software is made by construction workers for construction workers. Hilti has leveraged its construction expertise of over 75 years to build its asset management software. The system is designed to solve asset visibility and tracking issues for the construction teams. Hilti’s support to get your software up and running as well as use it is one of its core differentiators. Hilti offers onsite consultation to help you choose the right tracking tags for your use. The tags and the software, both are built to perform in dusty and muddy construction conditions.
itemit is an Asset Tracking Software solution that has been designed and built for busy business owners who want a simple solution to their tracking needs. Whether it's a home business, a company with an office, or an organisation with multiple sites; itemit's asset tracking system aims to help customers get organised. With capabilities such as historical logging and offline access, itemit’s asset management tool is appealing to companies with field employees. Other features that deem this system as a high-quality tracking solution include location and mapping, QR and RFID asset tags, instant reports, and assisting to produce maintenance schedules. Businesses can even set reminders and notifications for expired licenses and overdue insurance payments.
Hardcat Asset Tracking System
Hardcat offers an easy-to-install and scalable system that makes the process of tracking assets more accessible and convenient through a cloud-based setup. Other deployment options also include web and mobile, offering applications for iOS, Android, and Windows. Their asset tracking software also utilises the use of hardware tracking equipment, such as barcode and RFID, to better manage assets. Hardcat’s experience in asset control has proved crucial in the implementation of its asset management system for over 2000 organisations. Featuring in industries such as law enforcement, education, healthcare and hospitality.
Assetspire was launched in 2008 with an aim to provide accurate and scalable Asset Tracking Software to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Based in Norwich, UK, the team has experience working across a variety of industries including Gaming, Professional Services, Government, and Financial Services. Working with small and large businesses alike, Assetspire boasts Santander, Betfair, Capita, and Bank of England among the users of its asset tracking system.