It wasn’t so long ago that the only way to track assets was with the help of a pen and paper. Over time it has become clear that the paper trail created by manual asset tracking, especially in this era of automation, causes more problems than it solves. Problems like time wasted, record storage — literally tons of papers sitting in boxes, most of which will never be opened again — and all sorts of inefficiencies that set companies behind those who embrace new technology.
Though many businesses have shifted to recording asset tracking details in spreadsheets, this still calls for manual data entry, which leaves room for error.
Most industry standards have evolved to the point where automation is necessary. By using cloud-based asset tracking to keep accurate records of asset data in the cloud, companies benefit from accurate, real-time data. These automated asset tracking systems make use of labels (like barcode labels and GPS tags) to trace the whereabouts of each asset, eliminating the need for manual data entry and ensuring the accuracy of your asset records.
Let’s take a look at what asset tracking is in the fleet management industry, how asset tracking works, and some of the benefits of asset tracking for fleet managers.
What is asset tracking?
Asset tracking is the method of tracking physical assets, either by scanning labels attached to assets, or by using GPS or RFID tags that broadcast location. For clarity’s sake, assets are defined as anything valuable that an entity owns, benefits from, or uses in the process of generating income. Assets are often confused with inventory. They’re not the same. Inventory refers specifically to items that are intended for sale or distribution.
How does asset tracking work?
Asset tracking allows companies to access information about each individual asset. This information includes an asset’s location, who is in possession of it, when it will reach its destination, and what maintenance or certifications are out of date.
Managing and tracking assets has long been a pain point for companies of all sizes, so having access to asset information in an organized digital format allows companies to be more efficient and profitable while extending the lifespan of the asset and maximizing its usage.
Asset tracking allows companies to identify underutilized assets, get ahead of costly repairs by ensuring regular maintenance, and sell assets that are no longer valuable. Asset tracking also allows companies to know where their assets are at all times, which eliminates wasted time spent looking for assets and prevents theft and misuse.
Understanding asset tracking with GPS
To identify the location of a piece of equipment, use GPS tracking for assets. GPS tracking for assets allows companies to locate equipment in the event it has been reported lost or stolen, or to ensure each asset is in the location it’s supposed to be.
In the past, companies relied on manual methods of asset tracking, including hand counting, paper logs, and spreadsheets. These methods meant hours or days of wasted time trying to locate assets, and wasted money from not utilizing assets to their fullest potential. Manual methods also meant assets that were lost or stolen might never be found, as there was no way to trace them.
In today’s world, cargo and asset theft is rampant. In 2019 alone, cargo theft amounted to a loss of nearly $139 million, with only $3.8 million recovered.
The benefits of asset tracking
Asset tracking enhances every aspect of equipment management by giving you the opportunity to lower your costs, optimize asset utilization, and reduce time spent on administrative duties. It also improves overall fleet efficiency and increases productivity.
Asset tracking relies on telematics, which is the process of transmitting information remotely over long distances. By transferring data remotely, telematics helps companies with:
- Greater visibility in operations management
- Geofencing to deter theft and unauthorized use
- Simplifying business workflows
- Reducing costs
Managing a large number of assets is complex and can be difficult for companies, especially when it comes to managing assets consistently over a long period of time. Having a complete asset management system in place benefits companies by allowing them to not only save money and make their work life easier, but to also deter theft or prevent equipment malfunctions before they happen.
How is asset tracking used?
Tracking trailer fleets with GPS help streamline many operational functions, including dispatch and workflow, asset tracking, and more, which can help you run your business more efficiently and increase profits.
To realize the full value of tracking trailer fleets with GPS, you’ll need best-in-class hardware and software. KeepTruckin uses an Asset Gateway device that’s attached to the equipment. It’s solar or cable powered and includes a powerful battery life to ensure continuous operation. Once attached, the Asset Gateway can collect and relay the location of the asset and equipment drops.
This information is then relayed to fleet managers and dispatchers who want to:
- Know the exact location of an asset
- Know whether or not equipment is stationary or moving
- Detect theft or unwanted equipment use
- Monitor maintenance needs
- Find underutilized equipment
- Streamline dispatch and project management
Using KeepTruckin for asset tracking solutions
Utilizing the best asset tracking software is the key to streamlining your asset tracking process, consolidating your operations, and maximizing asset usage. KeepTruckin’s asset tracking solutions allow you to:
- Track everything in one place: Get visibility into both live or historical trailer or equipment locations to help eliminate yard hunts, track usage for mileage-based maintenance, and prevent theft or misuse.
- Track performance against delivery schedules: Strengthen your customer relationships by giving them a heads up on your status with automatic geofence alerts.
- Decrease detention times and improve efficiency: Keep your trailers and equipment 100% utilized with location-specific notifications, and rich insights to increase profitability.
- Catch theft or misuse: Draw virtual boundaries around any geographical area and get notified when a trailer crosses a geofence to avoid unauthorized use or theft.
Request a demo today to see why KeepTruckin was selected as a Category Leader in GPS tracking software by Get App.
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