The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) brings significant promise for businesses; it has already impacted many aspects of business, from product design and production to retail and the customer experience. But what’s the potential impact of IoT on a key function of the supply chain - asset tracking and management?
For a lot of organisations, IoT is already having a beneficial impact on asset management. In the coming years, IoT could drive stronger outcomes for, or even completely transform, your asset tracking and management. In this guide, we’ll look at the key ways in which IoT currently impacts and will continue to impact asset management.
What is the Internet of Things?
By definition, IoT is the billions of physical devices around the globe that are connected to the Internet and sharing and collecting data by communicating with other internet-enabled devices. Essentially, IoT allows organisations to monitor and control the physical world remotely.
In terms of the technology, IoT involves adding a sensor or chip to a physical object - whether it’s a self-driving car, security camera, television, or a lamp - and connecting it to the Internet. For example, you can add a chip to a light in your home and switch it on with a phone app. Just about any object can be turned into an IoT device, and with options like RFID tags and other sensors and the ubiquity of wireless networks, IoT is now more cost effective than ever for organisations to implement.
Impact of IoT on asset tracking and asset management
Asset tracking is considered by executives to be a major priority for their organisations, and IoT is and will be a powerful tool for improving asset tracking and management. Here’s how:
- Asset information - IoT can enhance the availability of information regarding asset location, health, and performance and efficiency. If your business deals with a significant inventory of assets, IoT can be part of a streamlined solution to allow you to track assets more effectively.
- Real-time data - IoT has already allowed asset managers to shift from complete reliance on inspection-based modelling techniques towards using real-time data for decision-making. In addition to this, organisations are leveraging the accuracy of the data, which has enhanced and will continue to enhance things like asset reliability and maintenance costs.
- Reduce manual labour - IoT allows businesses to minimise human intervention and manual labour, such as routine inspections.
- Predictive maintenance and repairs - IoT makes predictive asset management possible, as it enables organisations to collect accurate, real-time, and comprehensive data on assets. The data IoT can provide is invaluable for preventative maintenance, maintenance planning, and timely repairs. Better and more data can pave the way for improved insights, forecasting, decision-making, and planning in general.
- Maximise asset life cycle - Through improved maintenance and predictive management plans, organisations could optimise asset efficiency while maximising the asset life cycle. This goes back to the detailed data and analytics afforded by IoT, which can reduce the total cost of ownership of assets.
- Downtime - With maintenance alerts and real-time data about environmental conditions, organisations are better placed to reduce downtime. They can monitor the health of their equipment and minimise unscheduled maintenance to eliminate interruptions to production.
- Asset use - The detailed, real-time data IoT offers can also enhance asset use and allocation. From handheld devices and vehicles to raw materials and equipment, live and in-depth data on location, environment, and health can support more effective asset utilisation, deployment, and allocation. You can avoid underutilisation and carry out more accurate usage forecasts, which can enhance overall enterprise resource planning and boost overall ROI.
- Reduced costs - IoT does and could continue to reduce ongoing costs for asset managers and the organisation as a whole. Detailed IoT analytics drive better decisions and enhanced cost tracking while boosting efficiency and ROI.
Fully utilising IoT data, however, might require changes to internal business processes. In the coming years, the most competitive organisations could utilise IoT to create digital twins of real-life assets. In this scenario, the business could use tools like drones, 3D sonar, and thermal imagery to create an accurate virtual twin or model of the asset and its environment. This model can then be used to test scenarios for construction, installation, modification, and other purposes.
Smart Asset’s asset management solution is designed for IoT deployment and incorporates a full-featured asset tracking module.
Realising the full potential of IoT for asset management
IoT offers incredible potential for any business or industry seeking to optimise its asset tracking and management. At the same time, organisations will likely need a clear strategy to maximise the potential of the data provided by IoT tools. With a comprehensive strategy and supporting tools like the right software platform, any organisation could integrate IoT technology to boost asset management and drive stronger outcomes for its bottom line.
Smart Asset is a best-in-class asset management solution providing a full suite of asset tracking and management tools, including a sophisticated asset tracking module. Contact us today to book a free demo, request a free trial, or for a chat about how we can help you achieve your asset management goals.
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