What is Asset Tracking Software?
The main purpose of asset tracking software, is to answer the question; “how many (product) do I have?“.
Whether you’re a micro-business, small business, or large business, the ability to track all assets in one centralised real-time directory can be hugely beneficial.
A centralised directory can include anything, and everything, about an asset. Including an asset’s current working condition, where it is located, which employee used it last, and when it is due for maintenance.
With the ability to access data in real-time, asset tracking software can help reduce the possibility of assets being lost or stolen. While also assisting in identifying and removing ghost assets.
Modern systems include a vast array of tools to collect data and use it efficiently. Such tools include RFID tracking, barcode solutions and real-time GPS tracking.
An asset tracking system can also generate accurate inventory reports for audit purposes, which can eliminate the error-prone manual process of collecting asset data.
What are Your Assets?
Business assets can come in a variety of forms, depending on the industry and sector of your business.
For example, the healthcare industry could use asset tracking software to safely manage the disposal of medical waste. Whereas, schools could use it to track IT equipment and textbooks.
By defining the assets that make up your business, you can then begin to understand what application and features are needed to match your tracking needs.
For instance, your own business assets could consist of the following:
- IT equipment
- Important documents
7 Benefits of Asset Tracking
- One comprehensive directory. Asset tracking software can allow you to build and maintain a complete and accurate directory of all physical company assets.
- Cloud-based access. Most modern software gives you and your staff the ability to manage all assets anywhere at any time.
- Real-time tracking. Real-time tracking allows you to track assets, with the use of tracking technologies, as they arrive and leave. Having complete knowledge of assets going in-and-out of your company can be crucial for efficient data management.
- Avoid assets being lost or stolen. Features, such as GPS asset tracking or RFID tracking, let you continuously track assets. By knowing the location of assets, you’ll be able to reduce the number of items that are either lost or stolen in the workplace. This can also be useful when tracking an item that has been detached from a big batch order, saving significant manpower and time looking for the item.
- Calculate asset lifecycle. You will be able to know when an asset is deteriorating or devaluing by calculating and understanding the lifecycle. By knowing an asset’s lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal, you can avoid unnecessary costs and plan effectively for its replacement.
- Export asset reports within minutes. Export and download detailed reports of all company assets within minutes. This can be extremely time-efficient when producing quick and accurate reports for an internal or external audit of company assets, as opposed to doing it manually through an asset tracking spreadsheet.
- Find and remove ghost assets. When an asset is either lost or unusable, but it is shown as active on an asset register, this is called a ghost asset. An effective system can help identify these ghost assets to help avoid decreased productivity and unnecessary costs.
Typical Software Features
- Cloud-based apps. Most modern asset tracking systems feature cloud-based apps that can allow you, and your employees, to check and update asset data anywhere and at any time. This can be done with smartphones, tablets or specific devices.
- Tracking technologies. The use of tracking features, such as GPS, RFID and barcode tracking, allows you to quickly track and locate the geographical location of your assets.
- Route tracking. Track the exact route of an asset that is being transferred from one location to another, in real-time.
- Scheduled maintenance. Asset tracking software can learn and understand the data and trends of an asset’s lifecycle, including when maintenance is due. This can significantly reduce an asset’s downtime and reduce unnecessary spending and repair costs.
- Set alerts. You can set customised trigger alerts to notify a user on specific asset data. For example, an alert can be sent to a specific employee when an asset’s warranty expiry is approaching.
Industries Using Asset Tracking Systems
- Healthcare and hospitals. Medical equipment can have significant value, which is one of the reasons why hospital asset tracking is so important. The range of assets in a medical setting are vast and can include machinery, medication, medical waste, computers, patient documents and more.
- Education and schools. Limited budgets mean cost management is vital in education. Effective asset tracking software can save money by increasing accountability and reducing the amount of lost or misplaced assets. Education assets can include computers, textbooks, furniture and office supplies.
- Information technology. Like in most industries, the cost management issues that an IT business faces are asset maintenance and replacement costs. Implementing software gives IT industries a better understand of asset lifecycles, which allows them to know when to replace an asset or upgrade it.
- Manufacturing. Large manufacturing plants can be full of assets, both large and small. By implementing a management system, it can both cut down on time wasted locating components and tools and allow for appliances to run at maximum ability during operation.
Asset Tracking Software FAQs
1. How do I Find the Best Asset Tracking Software Solution?
When it comes to finding the best asset tracking software solution for you and your business, there are many variables that must be taken into consideration. The key to knowing what tracking software suits your business best is to first understand the assets that make up your business.
Company assets can depend on what sector and industry your business is in, and also the size of your business.
For example, an IT Centre’s assets could be made up of computers, mobiles, printers and furniture. Therefore, they would benefit from a software solution that is able to calculate the lifecycle of its assets. By doing so, they would then be able to know when each asset needs updating or repairing.
However, the IT Centre wouldn’t necessarily have much use of an asset tracking system that is heavily integrated with a GPS tracking tool. Whereas a transport and vehicle business would benefit greatly from GPS tracking by being able to track their moving physical assets in real-time.
So, it’s important to remember that what may seem like the best software solution for one business, may not be the best option for your business.
2. What Asset Tracking Tools are Featured in Tracking Software?
Asset tracking tools are most commonly seen as the main features of an asset tracking system, with each tool offering a different tracking solution. The benefit of having more than one asset tracking tool in an application is to enhance the tracking opportunities that best suit your business.
Most modern tracking software features a wide range of tools and features in their applications. But the three most common tools found in a software package are GPS tracking, Barcode tracking and RFID tracking.
- A GPS asset tracking tool allows the possibility of tracking anything and anyone in real-time by working over a string of connected satellite system networks. GPS tracking is mostly used for larger physical assets, such as vehicles and machinery, and, as well as real-time tracking, can provide live locations and historical data.
- Barcode tracking can be seen as an easy and time-efficient tracking tool by supplying all asset data by scanning the asset’s barcode with a scanning device. With an average error rate of 1 in 36 trillion characters, barcode tracking is a proven error-free tracking tool. One barcode can also store up to 4000 characters of text, allowing for extensive asset data collection.
- RFID tracking (Radio Frequency Identification) works by sending a radio signal out to a tag and then reading an asset’s data from the returned signal. The benefit of an RFID tracking tool is the ability to read tags from a distance of between 20-1500 feet, meaning you do not have to be in the area to gather asset data. Not only are you able to read multiple tags at once, but RFID tags are also incredibly durable with long-lasting batteries and weather-proof material.
3. How do we Compare Asset Tracking Software at Comparesoft?
Here at Comparesoft we rely on maintenance experts, natural language processing and machine learning to identify and match asset tracking products to your requirements. Once this process is completed, you are then presented with a list of results that allow you to shortlist and compare asset tracking software products.
In essence, we blend human experience and artificial intelligence to identify the best products based on your requirements. This has worked well for both us and our customers, as so far we’ve helped over 1500 customers to shortlist and compare asset tracking software.
To ensure that the products we recommend feature the best quality standards to meet your requirements:
- We ask every software vendor listed on our website to demo their product to us. This allows you, the customer, to see all of the strengths and differentiators of each product.
- We rank and recommend each product based on verifiable data and the feedback from past customers who have used the asset tracking product found on Comparesoft.
4. What Asset Tracking Vendors can I Shortlist and Compare?
Here at Comparesoft, we pride ourselves on having the best asset tracking vendors in the UK that can match the needs of all businesses. By having such a high-quality list of vendors, we are then able to provide you with a detailed list that meets your requirements.
Once you have completed our tracking software questionnaire and informed us of your tracking needs, we use natural language processing and machine learning to identify and match asset tracking products.
As well as providing a list of quality vendors, we will also identify the top three results that we believe best suit your business based on the results of your questionnaire.
5. How Could Cloud Asset Tracking Enhance my Business?
Nowadays, most modern software vendors will have a cloud asset tracking feature installed as a standard tool. By incorporating cloud into tracking systems, businesses can then track and manage asset data with more efficiency. As opposed to non-cloud asset tracking systems, such as a spreadsheet.
An example of a cloud-based asset tracking feature is an app that stores the company’s accessible asset data. All of this asset data can be stored and accessed by employees at any time and anywhere via mobiles, tablets and desktops.
This shared data would consist of all possible tracking data in one centralised system, with the overall aim to effectively show a business what assets they have and how much of them they have.
A benefit of having this tracking data available in a cloud-based app is its ease of access for employees. For example, an employee may need to know the tracking data of one of the company’s fleet vehicles. Available to them, via the cloud system, would be the vehicle’s current geographical location and it’s historical location data.
6. Can I Replace my Asset Tracking Spreadsheet with a Software Solution?
One benefit of asset tracking software is to eliminate the need for an asset tracking spreadsheet, allowing business operations to run more efficiently and error-free.
Although downloading a spreadsheet template to manage asset tracking data may seem like a good idea in the early stages of a business, it may soon become overrun with data and errors as the company grows.
By continually adding asset data manually to a spreadsheet, the risk of human error also increases. On average, in 2015, fraud and human error were costing businesses in the UK £98.6 billion a year.
However, in less asset-heavy and smaller businesses, an asset tracking spreadsheet might be the best choice. For example, implementing the software into a small office with only a few computers and desks could be overkill.
But, when compared to an asset tracking system, it is the lack of features found in a spreadsheet, that could eventually lead to inefficient asset data handling. Such effective features that you wouldn’t find in a spreadsheet would be the ability to track assets in real-time and restricted access to data via a cloud-based app.