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A Guide to Asset Tracking Software & Finding the Right System

Buyer's guide

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:

  1. Record fixed assets into an Asset Tracking Software solution
  2. Attach relevant data
  3. Tag assets with tagging technology
  4. 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

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:

  1. You can edit data without having to generate another barcode
  2. 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

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.

QR Codes

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.

NFC Tags

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:

  1. Assign an NFC tag to an asset
  2. Attach the NFC tag to the assigned asset
  3. Scan the tag with an NFC-enabled mobile
  4. 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

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

Construction

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

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 solution

Assettrac

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

CoreRFID

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 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 software

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

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 ON!Track

Hilti ON!Track

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

itemit

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 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 asset tracking software

Assetspire

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.

Helpful Guides for Asset Tracking Software Users

What Is RFID Asset Tracking & How Does It Work?

30th Nov 2020

As companies continue to strive for complete management of their revenue-critical assets, RFID asset tracking has proven itself as a ‘go-to’ technology. With benefits that include reduced labour time and real-time location tracking, it’s no surprise.

Barcode Asset Tracking: What Is It & How Does It Work?

26th Feb 2021

There aren’t many technologies available that are as accurate, error-free, quick, and cheap as Barcodes. Learn about printing unique codes, using barcode scanners, and even downloading iPhone scanning applications that work with asset management software.

Why Cloud Based Asset Tracking Is Preferred By 90% of Users

19th Feb 2020

It’s true that 90% of Comparesoft users prefer a cloud-based solution for managing physical assets such as desktops, Macs, iPhones, and tablets. But, why? And what does a cloud-based asset tracking system offer in comparison to other setups?

How and Why You Should Utilise Google Maps for Tracking Assets

24th Nov 2021

A key part of asset management software is being able to track assets in real-time, and there’s not many better platforms than Google Maps to help achieve this. In fact, it utilises GPS to provide real-time information for 99% of the world.

Why GPS Trackers Are the Key to Efficient Fleet Management

11th Nov 2019

As with any organisation managing a vehicle fleet, you’ll want to collect data about every vehicle and driver including real-time location. Discover why a GPS asset tracking system is the preferred technology to track fleet assets and the many advantages it provides to all types of businesses.

Barcode and QR Code: Which Is the Best Asset Tracking Solution?

5th Mar 2021

Barcode and QR code asset tracking solutions are both cost-effective, reliable, and reduce manual error rates. But, what's the difference between the two? Which one is better when it comes to tracking assets in the workplace?

How Bluetooth Asset Tracking Can Enhance Tracking in the Workplace

10th Dec 2019

Along with Barcode, RFID, GPS, and WI-FI, a Bluetooth tracking system aims to enhance your asset management processes. From inventory and staff tracking to providing real-time location data, learn all the capabilities of Bluetooth and how it operates in the workplace.

Tracking Aviation Assets in Airports With Asset Tracking Tools

21st Jan 2020

An airport is one of the busiest workplaces in the world, with thousands of assets and visitors. In fact, London Heathrow welcomed 88.1 million people in 2018 alone. Find out just how important it is for these huge organisations to deploy an asset management system and track their aviation inventory while also keeping on top of maintenance schedules.

RFID in Retail: Why Retailers Choose RFID & How to Benefit From It

25th Feb 2020

Noticeable as a tag on a pair of jeans or when an alarm system is activated, RFID is ever-present in retail stores. From River Island’s 28% increase in stock accuracy to a 5.5% increase in sales for Marks and Spencer, discover how powerful using RFID in retail organisations can be.

Retail Asset Tracking: Achieving Greater Stock Control & Customer Service

25th Feb 2020

Discover how the implementation of an effective asset tracking system can help achieve greater customer service satisfaction levels within the busy retail industry.

The Benefits of Asset Tracking Tools for Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

10th Jul 2020

From tracking hospital equipment to dental chairs, learn how asset management systems are utilised in the healthcare sector to help reduce patient wait-times. As well as minimise excessive spending on replacing lost or stolen medical equipment.

The Benefits & Uses of Deploying an IoT Asset Tracking System

16th Sep 2020

With over 10 billion devices worldwide connected to the internet, the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in businesses is rising - including the use of tracking devices and cloud-based software in the workplace.

What Is Asset Tagging & Why It’s Essential for Asset-Intensive Businesses

17th May 2021

Tagging assets is an important step to gaining complete visibility of mission-critical assets. But what is the asset tagging process?

3 Asset Tracking Case Studies that Small Businesses can Adopt

30th Sep 2018

Asset Tracking remains a critical avenue for most small and medium businesses to operate safely and maintain better margins. In this post, we’ll identify 3 Asset Tracking Case Studies that can be adopted and implemented into any business types.

Active RFID vs. Passive RFID: Which Tags to Choose and When to Use Them

25th Aug 2021

For decades, asset-heavy businesses have used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to monitor and track their assets. Yet, the indecisiveness of choosing either an active RFID tag or a passive RFID tag has remained.

Speed and Visibility: Why QR Codes Should Be used for Tracking Assets

3rd Aug 2022

Choosing QR code asset tracking tools gives businesses a quick, convenient, and affordable way to monitor their assets and inventory.

Why NFC Tags Should Be Considered for Asset & Inventory Tracking

3rd Dec 2021

NFC is just one of many tagging technologies to use for tracking assets, but it's also one that offers convenience and security at low costs.

Equipment Checkout Systems, The Easy Way to Book & Check Assets

6th Jan 2022

An equipment checkout system offers a detailed and easy way to book and check assets. It provides real-time visibility to reduce the loss of equipment. As well as enabling advanced booking of assets in a calendar format.

Faq’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Q A

How Much Does Asset Tracking Software Cost?

Entry-Level/Starter Solution: From £15 to £50 per month per user

Mid-Market/Professional Solution: From £50 to £150 per month per user

Enterprise Solution: From £150 to £300 per user per month

Asset Tracking Software vendors will typically offer a product on a monthly subscription plan with some upfront costs included. The most common price range for Asset Tracking Software is between £15 to £100 per user per month. With premium services costing up to £300 per month per user.

Prices can vary depending on:

  • Number of assets: Vendors can charge a limit on assets, such as up to 1000 items

  • Number of users: Vendors will charge you for how many users can access the system at once

  • Desired features: Some cheaper products will only include basic features, whereas features such as mobile apps and extra hardware can incur higher prices

  • Level of support: Support ranges from free online resources for cheaper plans to 24/7 support for more premium services

Q A

Who Is Asset Tracking Software Used By?

Asset Managers: Asset managers require a complete overview of a company’s asset profile. An asset tracking system allows all asset data to be viewed, edited, and uploaded from one central database. Meaning asset managers have total access from anywhere at any time. Whereas without a catalogued system, they would be relying on access to multiple spreadsheets or notes.

Financial Teams: Accountants and finance teams are using Asset Tracking Software to keep track of asset deprecation and values. They can access operational and maintenance data instantly, giving them a better understanding of an asset’s TCO and helping to put forward decisions on asset renewals.

Field Workers: Using an asset tracking system allows technicians and engineers who’re working off-site to access accurate inventory data. As opposed to phoning back to the office and asking for a stock update. This lets them know if the right tools and spare parts are available to complete a job.

Q A

Why Do Businesses Use Asset Tracking Software to Track Assets?

Whether you’re a small business with a handful of physical assets or a much larger organisation with thousands of assets spread across multiple locations, the ability to track assets can be crucial for business operations.

Among other benefits, an asset tracking system allows you to create a comprehensive directory. This directory can include any data you wish to input about your assets, including current working conditions and real-time locations.

As well as having all data in one accessible directory, there are many other advantages to implementing an asset tracking system. Including lower admin costs, improved efficiency and accuracy, improved customer service, and better cost savings by reducing the rate of lost or stolen assets.

For a business that relies heavily on its assets, such as a coffee shop needing its coffee machines to operate at peak asset performance, asset tracking is essential. And there are many different ways a company can track its assets.

These include GPS tracking, Barcode labels, RFID hardware, Bluetooth receivers and WIFI. But, depending on how a business operates, some tracking solutions will be more beneficial than others.

For example, a van hire company would have more joy using a real-time GPS location system, as opposed to using barcode labels to track its fleet vehicles. Whereas the use of printed barcodes and a handheld tracking device can be more beneficial for a business wanting to track its stock inventory.

Q A

How Can Tagging Assets Improve Inventory Management?

Although a business’s stock may be limited to just a few hundred assets, preserving and utilising each one is essential to generating revenue. This is why good inventory management is critical for all companies, whether large or small.

With an effective asset tracking system in place, businesses can benefit reap the many benefits of inventory management. Including:

  • Reducing the time it takes to look for assets with real-time tracking

  • Reducing the cost of replacing lost, stolen, or misplaced inventory

  • Preventing spare part shortages

  • Accessing inventory data on mobile devices

  • Tracking stock as it moves between warehouses and stores

  • Accessing stock from point-of-sale (POS) tools

Implementing an asset tracking tool to improve inventory management is important for all types of businesses that rely on their assets. But, choosing the right tracking solution depends on the size of a company and the resources available.

For instance, a large organisation needing to monitor hundreds-of-thousands of expensive assets may choose to opt for a top-of-the-line RFID asset tagging solution. Enabling them to track and monitor multiple assets at once. Whereas a small business may be better implementing a less-expensive barcode label system. As well as choosing a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product with a low-cost monthly subscription payment model.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Asset Tracking Solution

As well as costs, there are other factors for business owners to consider when choosing an asset tracking system. Such as:

  • Ease-of-use for all employees

  • Minimal system training requirements

  • In-expensive tracking hardware and asset tags

  • Access on multiple mobile devices

Once convinced that an asset tracking system is the best way for a business to improve its inventory management, they’ll then have to decide on the right asset tagging technology. Each form of tracking device has advantages and disadvantages depending on the business size. Different forms of asset tracking technology include:

  • Barcodes

  • QR codes

  • RFID

  • GPS

  • Bluetooth LE

  • NFC

Q A

Can Assets Be Tracked With a Mobile Device?

The capabilities of a modern smartphone can seem endless. Features include high-level security identification, huge banks of memory, and faster graphic processors than a Microsoft Xbox 360 games console. In fact, the smartphone in your pocket most likely has more computing power than Nasa’s Orion spaceship that launched in 2014.

With all of this power, it comes at no surprise that businesses incorporate smartphones into their operations. As of 2014, 60% of employees use mobile devices for work-related activity.

In terms of using a mobile device to track assets, this can be achieved in a few ways.

With built-in radio antennas, one possible tracking solution is Bluetooth. As seen in features like Apple’s “AirDrop”, mobile devices can generate a two-way connection between it and another device through Bluetooth. This means, for example, a phone can be configured to act as a receiver and track the signal of a transmitter.

Another example is GPS. With a GPS-enabled tracker, employees can locate trackers in real-time. This can be beneficial for managing a fleet of vehicles or for tracking a postal delivery. Mobile devices themselves can also be tracked via an already-implanted GPS chip.

Smartphones are also capable of using their cameras to scan codes. This makes them an extremely useful tool when using Barcodes. By scanning a code, employees can read and update the data that is associated with that unique code.

The benefits are vast for tracking assets with a smartphone. Including the ability to quickly build an accurate asset register. And, helping to reduce data errors with less need for manual input. But one main advantage is the ease of accessing data for employees in the field. By having instant access to a company's asset register, field employees can read and update data anywhere at any time.

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Every Asset Tracking Software Looks the Same - What Is the Best Way to Compare Them?

It may come to a point when, after days or weeks of research, all asset management systems options look the same. But, with our software comparison tool, we can provide you with a list of software solutions that best match your requirements - within minutes.

By answering a few questions, we can gauge exactly what you need. This short questionnaire asks what assets you need to track, what operations you want to track, how many assets need to be tracked and what industry your business is in.

We then provide a list of the UK’s best software vendors and systems that match your questions and meet your tracking requirements.

As well as this, you are then able to shortlist your favoured choices and compare features, reviews and prices of each one.

To ensure that the products we recommend feature the best quality standards, we ask every software vendor to demo their product to us. This allows you to see all of the strengths and differentiators of each product. We also rank and recommend each product based on verifiable data and feedback from past customers who have used the product.

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Can Asset Tracking Software Help Eliminate Ghost Assets?

Ghost Assets are assets listed on a company’s register that can not be physically accounted for. Although this could be for a number of reasons, inevitably the asset is either missing or unusable. And, if the system has not been updated to show this, a Ghost Asset is created.

Although it seems unfeasible for a missing asset to appear on a register, Ghost Assets can form from a number of errors. Including unrecorded trade-ins, mismanaged disposals, and inventory re-arrangement. On average, in 2012, 65% of fixed asset data was incomplete, inaccurate, or missing.

As well as adding to an in-accurate register, Ghost Assets also prove harmful to costs and productivity. This includes paying unnecessary taxes. For example, if a company can not account for 20% of its assets then it will pay more tax than it needs to. The same theory can be applied to insurance premiums.

With this in mind, it is best to act quickly and eliminate Ghost Assets. This is done by reviewing the current list of assets and then performing a physical audit to compare the two sets of data. Once identified, the Ghost Asset’s data can be edited to match its current state. And, as a bonus, this process can be instantaneous if using a mobile or handheld device.

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How Can a Real-Time Location System Help Improve Asset Tracking?

The ultimate purpose of tracking assets is to know an asset’s exact location and to understand how each one is being utilised. By using a Real-Time Location System (RTLS), businesses can improve their overall asset management. As well as calculating a more accurate return on investment (ROI) for each asset.

Mostly associated with location tracking, an RTLS provides much more key data regarding physical assets. It lets you know when an asset was last used, and how frequent, and how long it was active during a working day. Effectively letting you build a complete lifecycle from acquisition to disposal.

An RTLS is embedded into a device that emits a signal. This signal, along with all the data attached to it, is then received by a reader. By implementing this type of system, businesses are then able to track all assets operating in the workplace. As well as stationary assets, like inventory, to locate them throughout the day.

Modern RTLS solutions can be found in wireless technologies such as RFID and Bluetooth, in the form of asset tags. They are also used in GPS trackers, which can be handy for a business managing its own vehicle fleet.

As a result, you’ll be able to manage assets with greater accuracy. Other benefits of implementing an RTLS include a reduction in lost and stolen assets. As well as being able to produce a more time-effective maintenance and repair schedule.

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Can Asset Tracking Software Replace Spreadsheets?

Although cheap and easy-to-use, spreadsheets can prove costly to business operations. This is shown by the regularity of input errors and data duplications. As reported in 2015, human error was one factor in costing UK businesses an estimated £98.6 billion a year.

Spreadsheets, mostly associated with small businesses, are commonly used to manage inventory and track stock. In fact, these operations are so common that specific templates can be found online and downloaded within minutes. But, albeit a step-up from pen and paper, spreadsheets can actually do more harm than good to business operations.

As a company grows, so does the number of its assets. This requires large amounts of data to be manually imported into spreadsheets. But, with this data input, comes inevitable errors. And, even worse, these errors can be undetectable in such a large quantity of data. Eventually filling the spreadsheet with false information and rendering it useless.

Other disadvantages of using spreadsheets to track assets include the lack of usability and accessibility. A spreadsheet will give no indication that more than one user is editing data at the same time. There is also no audit trail, making it difficult to keep accurate counts of inventory.

However, there is a spreadsheet alternative that offers much more reliability; Asset Tracking Software. With a software solution, the quality and accuracy of asset data is significantly increased. This is made possible with features such as cloud and mobile access for multiple users, customised audit reports, and real-time management.

With access to real-time data, businesses are able to track and manage assets much more effectively. For example, by using GPS and RFID tags, managers can be alerted to the change of an asset's location. This information is then automatically updating in the system's centralised database. Unlike a spreadsheet, which would need to be updated manually resulting in the likelihood of an error.

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What Is the Difference Between Cloud-based and On-premise Asset Tracking Systems?

There are two types of asset management systems most commonly used in business; on-premise and cloud-based. The former hosts all asset data on local servers. Whereas a cloud-based platform stores data on a provider’s servers and is accessed via the web. The need for fast data solutions has led to an increase in demand for cloud-based software. So much so that, as of 2014, 82% of providers built their applications specifically for cloud delivery.

On-premise systems are solely operated at the site of a business and installed only on their computers. This allows for greater control and security, having data stored in-house and on their own servers. However, this privilege can be expensive. An on-premise solution requires a large area of land, an on-site IT maintenance team, and server hardware. All of which can result in huge upfront costs.

A cloud-based asset tracking solution, on the other hand, requires no investment in servers or operating systems. This means it has very minimal start-up costs and is usually acquired on a subscription-based model. Being accessible via the web, cloud systems can also be implemented and deployed instantly. All that is usually required is an internet connection. This also means operations are not restricted to the workplace, as data can be accessed from anywhere.

With greater accessibility, cloud platforms can be efficiently utilised by field workers. Employees can access and update data from any location with a laptop, tablet or smartphone. This makes it particularly helpful for updating maintenance requirements, for example, on a construction site. Unlike an on-premise system that would require employees to use the software on installed locations only.

As well as wider accessibility, cloud platform vendors also provide an active support line for assistance. So, with this in mind, it’s no wonder 90% of Comparesoft customers prefer a cloud-based solution.

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An Asset Tracking Software Vendor Doesn’t Offer a Free Trial - Is That a Red Flag?

As you embark on your journey of finding the right asset tracking system for your business, there are many factors to consider while evaluating and comparing vendors and products. For example, do you require an open-source and cloud-based system? If so, then a product enabling open source programming and a vendor offering cloud-based access will be a part of your core requirements.

Another consideration, which is often overlooked, is if the vendor offers a free trial or live demonstration.

By being able to access a free trial of a vendors software, you can gauge if it is the right solution for your operations. Although you may not be able to find a link to a free trial on their website, it’s always worth emailing their support and asking for one.

There are many reasons as to why you should actively seek a free trial when searching for the right asset tracking software, such as:

  • It’s the first chance for you to interact with the product

  • You can see how easy the UI is to navigate for you and your team

  • To understand if it can be integrated with your existing programs

  • It’s a great chance to test out a common scenario to see if it reacts how you need it to

If you can’t find an option for a free trial, and the salesperson can’t provide you with one, it may not be worth taking the risk to purchase the product.

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