Are you looking to more effectively manage your assets to improve business success? If so, using Near Field Communication (NFC) could be the answer. Electronic assets such as vehicles and equipment can have NFC technology that allows you to track them, making NFC extremely helpful when it comes to managing business assets. But the benefits don’t stop there - read on to learn more about what NFC is and the advantages of using NFC for asset management below.
How does NFC work?
NFC is a wireless technology that transmits data and allows short-range communication between compatible devices (a tag and a reader) via radio waves. The range of transmission is around 10cm.
NFC tags (or microchips) are embedded within an item or fastened to it and carry small amounts of data, such as an ID number or a web address. These tags are then read and processed by a reader, which can be fixed to places like doorways and counters, or they can be handheld items like smartphones (though smartphones can act as both a tag and a reader). Information from the readers are stored in a central database.
NFC-enabled devices can be either passive or active. Passive NFC devices (for example, interactive signs on walls or ads) can send information to active NFC devices without requiring their own power source, as they draw power from the electromagnetic fields produced by active devices. On the other hand, active NFC devices (for example, smartphones and touch payment terminals) can both send and receive data, as well as communicate with other NFC devices.
How can you use NFC for asset management?
Using NFC for asset management offers many advantages for your business, with three of the key ones discussed below.
1. Improve the speed of transactions
The transmission frequency for data across NFC devices is 13.56 megahertz, allowing you to send data at 424 kilobits per second. That’s fast enough to enable a number of different types of data transfers, such as sending contact details and swapping pictures or documents.
What’s more, it takes less than one-tenth of a second to establish a connection between NFC devices as a result of the use of electromagnetic induction to transmit data and the absence of manual pairing. This makes NFC very useful for business situations like mobile payments, such as those using Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay, as well as instant asset tracking.
Smart Asset’s asset management software supports fast transactions using the latest technology.
2. Cut down costs
NFC consumes less power than Bluetooth. This makes it ideal for use in passive devices like NFC advertising tags, since they can be operated without a major power source. NFC tags are also inexpensive, and with active devices like smartphones having NFC tags built into them, the cost of creating an NFC-based asset management system can be minimised.
Additionally, if you allow your staff to bring their own smartphone to work, you won’t need to buy readers for your business. Your staff can simply install Smart Asset’s mobile app on their phones and transmit any information they collect via Wi-Fi.
When it comes to asset security, NFC tags attached to the entrances of storage facilities, offices and other rooms allow you to ensure security personnel check each area. They can use their phone to tap the NFC tag to prove they were present and that all assets are accounted for. As for asset compliance and maintenance, NFC tags may come with a compliance or maintenance checklist that can be found on the ‘cloud’ or other Internet source and must be adhered to or carried out. This helps prevent theft, non-compliance, or damaged assets and the associated costs.
3. Locate assets
Whatever industry you work in, whether it’s hospitality, healthcare, logistics, construction or education, assets such as vehicles and equipment can have NFC tags embedded in them (for example, behind a brand logo). Alternatively, you can attach NFC tags to a non-electronic asset (for example, within the liner of a handbag).
Each NFC tag has a unique identifier, similar to an ID number, that can be linked to a particular asset in the database. So, if you place a tag on the asset, it can be identified every time the tag is read. When the time and location is recorded, you’ll know when and where the asset was last used, and have a historical record of its movements. When using a smartphone as a reader, tapping it on the asset’s tag can enable the app to log the asset’s location using the phone’s GPS, along with the time it was logged. Your staff can also add details onto tracking forms, as well as take and upload pictures.
With NFC asset tracking, you can also ensure assets get returned. Since the asset’s check-out status is recorded, together with the name of the person who took it and their contact details, you can send an automated message asking them to return the asset at a specified date or time. Once the asset is returned, its check-in status is recorded and added to its historical usage records.
Smart Asset’s Tracking Module enables you to locate assets with features like rapid check in/out and a trackable asset calendar.
NFC-based asset management can deliver real benefits
From quick transactions to reducing costs and locating assets, NFC can be used to deliver real gains for your business and its asset management. If you’re looking for a way to manage your assets effectively, Smart Asset can help. Our new Smart Asset Tracking Module not only ensures you know an asset’s location, but it also allows you to check out or reserve assets. We can show you how this tracking feature could save your business thousands of dollars.
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