Asset Intelligence and Management

Asset Intelligence and Management

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Asset Monitoring: Benefits, Setup and Use Cases 


Assets may be moved around multiple locations on a daily basis for bigger and longer projects. In such situations assets change various hands and without proper records it becomes impossible to track them. Lack of a monitoring system may result in hundreds of assets being lost or misplaced- resulting in unwanted delays and costs. 

In order to protect business assets, it is critical to keep a tab on all items everywhere, all the time. Doing so is possible through a process called asset monitoring.  

What is asset monitoring? 

To ensure mobile assets provide the value expected of them, it is critical to closely monitor their movements. Doing so enables businesses to service items and restock inventory before it results in productivity delays. This process is called asset monitoring and is designed to ensure business items are used efficiently while minimizing costs.

Asset monitoring solutions are built on cloud-based technology that provides real-time information regarding the item name, location, custodian and purchase date. While using this process, businesses can monitor various types of assets including machinery, buildings, furniture, and vehicles. Failure to actively track critical assets can lead to loss of items, untimely stockouts, and eventually interrupted workflows due to downtime or misallocation of resources 

Let’s look at the top 5 benefits of implementing an asset monitoring system, the steps to set it up, a few industries that actively need asset monitoring systems, and their common use cases. 

Why do industries need asset monitoring? 

Organizations without a robust asset monitoring system end up having higher unexplained costs owing to capital tied up in unnecessary items. According to research, 10-30% of a company’s fixed assets are no longer owned, or classify as ghost assets. Such assets include items that have malfunctioned due to faulty or missing parts. Either these items have been  written off without it being documented or left at the site to depreciate. 

An asset management system can help eliminate ghost assets by tracking items in real time. Let’s look at  how: 

Centralized data logs

With an asset tracking and monitoring system, businesses can create labels for all their items. These tags can be scanned into the system to enter any sort of usage information. For instance, if an excavator requires weekly maintenance, a schedule can be created in the software accessible to everyone in the company. This way an alert will be sent out to the relevant employees whenever the maintenance is due. Timely asset repairs through real-time monitoring helps prevent unpredictable delays and ensures smooth business operations. 

Informed decision making

Data gathered through an asset tracking system is accurate and can be used to drive business decisions. Such systems enable you to record stock levels for all business assets. Using this information, admins can set up a threshold level to send out alerts whenever the minimum stock level is reached. These notifications can be used to trigger a purchase order for new stock. All this data is recorded over time and can be analyzed to set up reorder levels to automate the procurement process. Data trends are also useful to predict seasonal changes over time and cater to demand fluctuations. 

Remote access 

One of the biggest benefits of setting up an asset tracking system is the ability to remotely access information and manage custody. Admins don’t need to be manually present at the location of the asset to monitor its usage. They can simply ask staff out on the field to record check-in and checkout on their mobile apps. 

This data is automatically synced across the company domain on the software where it is accessible to everyone through remote asset monitoring. Project leads can easily control how assets are being utilized on the field and ask for custody transfers if need be. 

Improved asset safety

In an asset management system, you have the option to upload relevant instruction manuals and other documents that can act as guidelines for asset health monitoring. 

Some common examples of such documents include regulatory guidelines, maintenance checklists, and warranty details. Every time a user lands on an asset page, they will be able to view the instructions for use and maintenance reducing chances of misuse and accidents at the jobsite. 

Loss and theft prevention

Real-time barcode tracking enables organizations to control asset movements at all times across multiple locations. Other than this, asset management solutions also record custodian data every time an item is checked out and transferred to another location.

 Instant access to custody and item location helps maintain a usage trail which can be tracked down in case of misplacements. In this way, GPS tracking lowers chances of asset loss and theft– saving costs and preventing productivity delays. 

How to set up an asset monitoring system?  

In order to implement a successful asset monitoring solution, businesses need to follow a few simple steps outlined below:

1.Define your assets

Begin by listing the types and quantities of assets you have. These can be physical assets such as furniture, vehicles and machinery. Group them together based on usage, location or projects. This will enable you to categorize assets and define guidelines for their maintenance and tracking schedules. 

2. Carry out risk assessment 

Record the threats and vulnerabilities associated with each asset. Assets that are used aggressively on a daily basis need to be set up for frequent maintenance and service sessions. 

For example, an ambulance at a hospital is used for emergencies to carry patients to and from the hospitals. Such vehicles need to be scheduled for routine maintenance and restocked with emergency supplies on a regular basis. Along with this, consider any legal or regulatory requirements that can affect asset tracking. 

3. Select an asset monitoring solution

With a variety of tools available in the market, it is best to make a decision depending on your asset requirements and budget. A cloud-based technology provides data in real time by tracking items at all times. Such solutions utilize barcodes, QR Codes and GPS technologies to access critical information such as ownership, location and condition. 

With automated tracking, it becomes easier to retain accurate information without missing out on important details– improving performance and asset productivity. 

4. Opt for integrations

An effective monitoring solution is capable of integrating with other software to provide  holistic control over operations. For seamless health monitoring, a suitable integration would be with a service desk software that tracks and expedites all repair tickets created for streamlined maintenance. Other than this, integrations enable data centralization across multiple platforms which helps  make informed decisions for critical aspects of maintenance and procurement. 

5. Develop monitoring policies

Clearly define the health monitoring guidelines for all assets to be followed throughout the organization. These can be in the form of standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that they can be easily put into practice. It is quite common for heavy equipment and machinery to have certain maintenance requirements that can only be fulfilled by the manufacturer.

 Train staff members about the do’s and don’ts of equipment maintenance for improved uptime. 

Critical asset monitoring use cases 

Asset condition monitoring is a fundamental process  for various industries, helping them overcome unexpected downtime, predict maintenance needs, and run smooth operations. This is possible through barcode tracking that provides real-time information about how and where an asset is being used. Let’s look at some use cases of where asset condition monitoring is particularly beneficial:

Transportation and Logistics: Tracking of equipment, merchandise, and vehicles through technologies such as barcodes, QR codes or RFID.

Manufacturing: Condition monitoring to predict failures before they occur to minimize downtime. Asset health monitoring can also be used to track product quality to maintain standards throughout processes. 

Healthcare: GPS tags to track medical equipment such as MRI machines and ventilators to avoid last minute breakdowns. 

Fleet management: Keeping a record of vehicle acquisition, usage and disposal for proper management of all fleet assets. Meeting compliance regulations for improved performance and reduced costs. 

How can an asset tracking system help? 

An asset management software offers a robust facility to track assets in real time using a variety of technologies, including barcode scanners, GPS and RFID. Asset tagging helps collect accurate information that enables businesses to monitor the condition of their items during their entire lifecycle. 

Businesses can implement quality control measures by tracking compliance regulations along with their assets. Doing so ensures product standardization across departments while mitigating heavy fines. Along with this, an asset management system sends out alerts regarding critical events such as maintenance, procurement, and disposal  to ensure seamless operational productivity at all times. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is asset monitoring?

Asset monitoring is a process to track items owned by a business. All business assets are tagged using barcodes, QR codes or RFID and then simply scanned to populate information regarding usage, procurement, maintenance and location. 

Why is asset monitoring important? 

Asset monitoring provides real-time accurate information about the location, state and condition of an item. Without this critical data, businesses would end up losing valuable assets, suffer from unexpected breakdowns, and even incur heavy fines due to non-compliance. In order to avoid inefficiencies and unnecessary costs it is important to implement asset monitoring. 

How to set up asset monitoring? 

Asset monitoring can be set up in three simple steps. Start by listing your physical assets and determine the nature of their usage. Next calculate the risks involved and the actions required to avoid those risks. Lastly select an asset management system suited for your workflows to track and sustain your assets. 

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