Organisations in a broad variety of industries use asset tracking to enhance how they leverage their resources, and in turn boost their bottom line. If you're seeking to augment and improve your asset tracking, where do you start? We've compiled this list of tips for asset tracking success.
1. Start with your organisation's requirements
Work out what your company needs to track. This might include which assets or categories of assets, asset location, maintenance schedules, uptimes and downtimes, and current user. By understanding your organisation's requirements, you can then identify the right solution - likely an asset tracking platform or Asset Management Information System (AMIS) - to meet these specific requirements.
2. Zoom into key metricsCollecting data and tracking assets is the first step; you'll need to consider what you want to achieve. Specify how you want improve and identify your key metrics so you can monitor progress. For example, a relatively simple goal for asset tracking is to reduce losses due to asset theft or improve maintenance outcomes.
3. Adopt unique asset tracking numbers
Adopt unique asset tracking numbers rather than asset serial numbers. Otherwise, an asset's serial number could be identical to another asset's serial number and you could end up with duplicates on the system. This is a simple tip but one that could save your organisation a lot of confusion.
4. Leverage reporting and analytics tools
Utilise the reporting and analytics features of your asset tracking solution to ensure you have full visibility into your assets. If you don't make use of the metrics, analytics, and reporting features, it's almost as if you're not tracking your assets at all.
5. Separate inventory management and asset tracking
It can be tempting to lump inventory and assets together. However, inventory is what you sell while an asset is what your organisation owns. Managing inventory and tracking assets come with different goals and data-collection requirements. By treating the two functions as the distinct elements they are, your organisation will be more effective at both.
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6. Don’t forget ‘ghost’ assets
‘Ghost’ assets are items that are lost, stolen, or no longer usable but are still listed as an active asset in your tracking system. Having ghost assets that aren't properly tagged can distort your view of your assets, leading to incomplete and inaccurate records and in turn poorer asset-related decision making. Avoid this by updating asset status in a timely manner.
7. Assign responsibilityAssigning ownership to particular teams or team members could enhance your asset-tracking efficiency. And in a small business, you could get by with assigning just one or two team members to be in charge of your assets. Generally you'll want to have someone responsible for assets that are sensitive, critical, of high value, or of compliance significance.
8. Focus on the entire life cycleWork on the basis of entire asset life cycles from procurement to disposal. By using accurate forecasts, you can then break down the whole life cycle into maintenance intervals. Additionally, this allows you to plan for acquisition and replacement more accurately.
9. Set benchmarksIf you're in a large organisation, you might not need to track every single asset at the same level of detail. For example, plant equipment could benefit from detailed schedules, but buildings don't need weekly checks to confirm they're still there. Set appropriate benchmarks for your tracking metrics depending on the level of detail you need for the asset.
10. Integrate mobile solutionsTracking assets across disparate geographical locations and sites can be a bigger challenge than you might expect. It's a good idea to seek out an asset tracking platform that offers mobile capabilities so your personnel and field technicians can easily integrate tracking tasks into their day. Mobile solutions can also include things like barcode scanners and sensor tracking.
11. Get predictiveSome asset tracking systems now come with predictive analytics capabilities or features, so where possible you might want to utilise these to help with managing your operational budget. By anticipating or predicting asset failure, you could carry out more effective preventative maintenance, reduce unnecessary maintenance costs, and minimise downtime.
12. Implement an automated systemAim to utilise as many automated processes into the system as possible. These include data inputting, depreciation tracking, maintenance, and report generation. A well-implemented automated solution can boost accuracy, efficiency, and productivity while reducing manual labour.
13. Conduct periodic auditsPerform periodic audits so you can review how assets are used and maintained. Audits can be as simple as generating a detailed report every month. From these audits you can find out whether you're achieving your asset tracking goals, identify underutilised assets, and pinpoint problematic or faulty assets. Audits can also help with data errors, missing or lost assets, and holding employees accountable for asset usage.
14. Become proactive with preventative maintenanceUse your asset tracking system to create a regular servicing and preventative maintenance program. Your system can tell you when certain assets are least likely to be used so you can schedule the appropriate maintenance. With a proactive plan to minimise downtime, you can avoid interruptions, save on unnecessary maintenance, and meet maintenance obligations for insurance and warranties.
15. Use integrations to your advantageWhere available, integrated tools can drive further efficiencies in your asset tracking solution. For example, integrating with platforms like fuel monitoring and management systems or enterprise resource planning might let you upload valuable data without manual migration or double handling of data. This streamlines the process for things like scheduling preventative maintenance or obtaining real-time updates.
Improve asset tracking today
Improved asset tracking could streamline your workflows, eliminate unnecessary expenditure, and drive asset performance. Start by working out what you want to achieve and what you need to track before you choose a system. Once you have an asset tracking system in place, make use of its analytics and predictive capabilities as well as reporting functions to get the most out of it. Smart Asset is a best in class asset management solution with comprehensive functions ranging from asset tracking to strategic planning. To book a free demo, simply click the link below.