Asset tracking is a powerful tool that many different businesses can use. It could help minimize losses, improve efficiency, and provide other benefits to running a business. These are positive features that no company should miss out on.
So, how can a company take advantage of asset tracking? The best way to do so is by incorporating asset-tracking technology. Keep reading to find out how to do this!
Asset tracking is exactly what the name implies: tracking assets. It is a process where you use a system to monitor a company’s assets.
This can be as simple or as complex as the company needs it to be. A basic inventory sheet that details everything a store buys and sells is a time-honored form of asset tracking. Meanwhile, a hyper-advanced tracking system that follows a company’s products through the use of near-futuristic GPS technology is also a form of asset tracking.
As you can see from just these two examples, using newer technology makes asset tracking easier. Writing out everything on pen and paper is tedious and opens the door to plenty of human error. Technologies simplify processes, automate tasks, and generally improve the asset-tracking process.
With any asset tracking, you can improve a business. However, the way this happens depends on what technology is used. Obviously, you won’t see the same results using a pen and paper that you’ll see with a full computer system.
Nowadays, there are a lot of asset-tracking technologies out there. So, there are plenty of different options for businesses to choose from.
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Barcodes are one of the oldest and most basic forms of asset-tracking technologies. They have been around since 1974 and are essentially omnipresent in businesses today.
Barcodes essentially contain information about the item they are attached to. When scanned into the system, it lets the system know that one of these items is present. When scanned out of a system, like at the grocery store checkout, it lets the system know one of these items has exited the inventory.
Basically, barcodes help automate the process of marking everything coming into and out of a business. However, they still require a substantial amount of human interaction, as a human still needs to physically scan the barcodes, so they are still open to human error.
RFID tags are becoming more and more popular as a form of asset-tracking technology. This is because they essentially do what barcodes do but better.
Like barcodes, RFID tags contain information about the product they are attached to. However, unlike barcodes, RFID tags don’t need to be scanned. Instead, they are automatically detected whenever they come close to an RFID scanner.
This opens up plenty of possibilities. Instead of scanning items one by one at the checkout, an entire group of items can be scanned at once. This process is already being used at stores like Uniqlo.
RFID chips are one of the pieces of tech that make Amazon’s new “just walk out” stores possible. At these stores, customers don’t have to check out at the end of their visit. Instead, they grab what they need from the shelves, and as they leave, the store senses what they have taken and bills their account accordingly. This sensing process uses RFID chips to determine what was taken.
RFID technology can even be used to track people. RFID access control is a tremendously popular way to secure a building. This tracks who has access to what, which makes it easier to get tight control of assets.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is an extension of Bluetooth technology that uses less energy than most Bluetooth devices. This is great because Bluetooth can provide a lot of information, more than barcodes or RFID tags. So, something with integrated BLE technology can provide a central computer or other device with lots of information about that item.
This is most commonly used in cell phones and the devices they connect to. Most “find my device” systems use BLE to track where the lost device is.
However, this also has industry applications. For example, some museums are using BLE technology to track the artifacts within the museum. This gives the people in charge tons of information about the items without actually having to see them. It allows them to track the item, to know if it has been removed from the museum, and even get updates about its current status.
One of the most effective ways to track things on a large scale is through GPS technology. This uses satellites to track exactly where something is located anywhere in the world.
Many shipping companies use GPS technology to track their shipments. This allows them to verify that something is on the right course or take action if it isn’t.
The downside is that GPS technology isn’t very precise on a smaller scale. It can tell you where something is located in a city but might not be able to tell where it can be found within a single building. In fact, the construction of many buildings limits GPS transmissions in a way that makes them even less effective.
Ready to get started using advanced technology to track your business’s assets? Contact us and let us help you choose the most effective solutions for you.
WiFi tracking tags are a great solution to the problems presented by GPS technology. They provide detailed information about where an item is and if it is moving. However, they don’t need to have GPS technology to do so.
This is because they use a building’s WiFi system. This system will work with a WiFi positioning system (WPS) and WiFi tags to track items around the building. Since most buildings, especially smart buildings, already have a WiFi network in place, this makes implementing this technology a little easier.
The only real disadvantage to this system is that they are limited by the confines of the WiFi network. So, they are not effective at tracking items that leave the building.
Asset tracking allows a company to function more effectively and minimize losses. However, using asset tracking properly requires using the right technologies. Any of the technologies on this list are great choices. Business owners simply need to consider what option works best for their business and then take steps to implement it.
Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Josh Mahan