Asset Tracking Is Much More Than Stock Taking
The assets owned by a business are no longer just passive enablers of operations. These assets have become very much part of a deeper and more interconnected workplace that empowers employees to deliver value for customers by enabling every step of their daily routine. For instance, the proliferation of digital strategies across industrial sectors has seen a massive influx of digital equipment in corporate offices and factory premises. These digital assets have transformed the workplace by driving process automation, efficiency, speed, accuracy, and traceability. Of course, as the potential impact of the assets increases, the way to track, monitor, and manage them must change too.
In the good old days, a register was all that offices maintained to keep a tab on their assets. The end goal was to tabulate the list of assets and pass it on to the finance team for records and liability calculations towards the end or beginning of a financial year. When digital spreadsheets replaced manual bookkeeping, the only visible change was the computerized tabulation of these records. Sadly, the process did not add any great value to enable companies to turn their workplaces into more agile and nimble value centres.
Then came the era of smart enterprise asset tracking solutions. From its roots as a more flexible system for asset data capture, it has transformed into a core enterprise solution that is witnessing massive investments from the global business community. A recent report by PS Market Research said that the market for enterprise asset management software was USD 5.5 Billion in 2019 and could hit USD 25.9 Billion by 2030.
So, how has asset tracking software become more valuable? Let us examine 4 ways in which modern asset tracking applications enable more than just stocktaking:
Planning Asset Movement
When companies have multiple offices or in scenarios like the COVID 19 pandemic wherein employees work from remote locations and they may need their office machines or devices delivered to and operational in their homes, companies will have a huge overhead in planning logistics for the asset movement.
With a powerful asset tracking and management platform, this job can be seamlessly managed. Every asset that is moved from one location will be tracked through the platform which will then keep a record of who has the present ownership of an asset, the condition in which it was delivered to the destination, and the timelines of the movement. Such a comprehensive asset movement monitoring mechanism will ensure that no assets are left untraceable during mass asset movement initiatives like the ones inspired by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Powerful Asset Maintenance
Every asset in an office, be it computers or furniture or utilities have their own maintenance and replacement lifecycle. It is said that predictive maintenance can reduce asset failure rates by as much as 82% across enterprises. Unless done at the right time, maintenance and replacement activities will not bear fruitful results for the organization. Asset tracking can enable just that.
For example, a computer or laptop that was procured for work may have been in use for a couple of years and its battery might have burned out its normal usage lifecycle. The battery needs replacement at the right time, or it may lead to further power damages from constant visits to the charging dock. An asset tracking and management platform can keep track of when the procurement of the laptop was done, the previous repairs history, and the years recommended by the manufacturer for change of battery and set up automatic reminders to the corresponding IT and procurement team to replace and order a new battery for refitting the laptop at the right time. All this will be autonomously managed without any inputs needed from the employee or the respective teams handling these activities. To get a sense of the possible impact, scale that example up to the entire portfolio of assets within the workplace from the largest power generator to the smallest face-scanner tablet at the office entrance.
Enterprise assets may be owned by different departments or sub-organizations within the company. For needs as diverse as compliance, financial accounting, inventory tracking, and cost management, every such unit requires insights on their assets. They need to answer questions like what assets do they own, how are they maintained, who is using each asset, how many assets are lying unused, what is the progress of initiatives done to replace or service assets over time, and their usage patterns with the different employees to whom these assets have been allocated.
Modern enterprise asset management platforms provide these detailed insights to every department or sub-organization within an enterprise. Smart asset tracking allows easy tracking of each asset across its entire journey from procurement to allotted office or employee, maintenance and component servicing or replacement schedules, cost and accounting, and much more.
Better Asset Utilization
The best part about using a modern asset tracking platform is that leaders or decision-makers can use the insights generated by the platform to plan more effectively. By analyzing current usage patterns and asset availability, they can forecast future usage and expenditure on these assets.
By knowing which assets are nearing the end of their lifecycle or how many assets are readily available for allocation for new hires and so on, they can plan purchases of future assets, enable faster onboarding of new hires, easily schedule transfers well in advance for asset movement between locations and much more. They can make their procurement more efficient and improve the return on asset investments.
As the future moves into an increasingly connected network of devices and physical spaces courtesy of digital technologies, we are set for an age of more data becoming available for asset management applications to learn from and generate better insights. An asset tracking and management strategy supported by smart software will certainly help organizations derive more value from their investments while empowering their workers.