No matter what industry you belong to, all organizations require a wide range of fixed business assets to facilitate their daily operations. While these are essential for running smooth workflows, it can be a challenge to efficiently manage these assets without a proper system, specially as companies scale.
All fixed assets need to be tracked in order to extract maximum benefit out of them. An efficient asset tracking system helps reduce financial losses by resolving asset tracking problems and detecting malpractices.
Companies invest in assets so they can generate value. But are you getting the ROI you should from your fixed assets or are common asset tracking challenges and problems holding you back?
The best way to deal with loopholes in your asset management strategy is to identify challenges and devise ways to overcome them.
Here are seven common asset tracking problems and how to resolve them:
1. Loss of assets through misplacement
Equipment loss and displacement is a major problem faced by asset managers. Reports show that firms can lose up to $1 billion worth of equipment due to poor security. In order to control loss through theft or misplacement, companies should implement a robust tracking system.
An asset tracking solution lets you label all your tools and equipment with barcode or RFID technology. Both options have their pros and cons and can be selected upon an in-depth analysis of the company’s needs. After making the asset tag selection best-suited for your organization’s needs, you have to assign a unique serial number to each one of your assets.
Once all your assets are tagged, their IDs will enable a system of check-in and checkout monitoring. Every time an employee wants to use a certain device, they have to sign it against their name in the official database. This information allows companies to track ownership in case of unauthorized usage. Closely monitoring all your assets will help reduce costs associated with retrieving lost or stolen items.
2. Untimely stock outs or excess production
When it comes to stocking up on a particular asset, determining the right amount can be tricky. While dealing with stock management, you are likely to face shortages or an excess of assets. This can incur overhead expenses or lead to delays in workflows.
Why do companies deal with inaccurate stock levels so often? Mostly because of an inadequate system to gauge the optimal quantity of stock required. To deal with this problem in the most effective manner, companies opt for an inventory tracking module. Such a system allows setting minimum thresholds alerts for all assets. Whenever this limit is reached, an automated purchase order is created and the concerned vendor is notified.
On the contrary, excess stock takes up warehouse space and runs obsolete after a predefined period. To avoid such mishaps, it is advised to extensively study consumption patterns so that accurate demand for an asset can be calculated.
3. Frequent equipment breakdowns
A survey shows ageing equipment and lack of time to perform maintenance as the leading cause of unscheduled downtime. Companies suffering from prolonged equipment failures need to upgrade their service programs.
This can be done by implementing a rigorous maintenance schedule. By using automated tracking software, firms can automate repairs and maintenance for the length of the equipment’s lifecycle. Preventive maintenance is extremely successful in eliminating downtime by:
- Increasing the uptime and useful life of assets
- Boosting efficiency and productivity of tools
- Lowering costs of overall maintenance
- Reducing labor downtime
Once the calibration management has been carried out, employees can be notified with emails. This offers employees time to make alternate arrangements so no work tasks are delayed and wasted labor costs are minimized. Organizations can also elevate their performance levels by keeping equipment in top shape.
4. Equipment unavailability
Organizations may have ongoing projects or events across multiple locations for varying durations of time. To avoid workflow disruptions or delays, it is important to ensure that any required equipment is readily available.
A standard asset tracking system will show you which assets are available, reserved, checked out or under maintenance, making it easy for you to plan. Enhanced asset visibility allows conflict-free bookings. By booking the required assets, you can ensure that there is no confusion or delays at job sites and events.
5. Meeting regulatory certifications
Organizations usually have to handle a lot of equipment. Ensuring all assets comply with the terms and conditions of their regulatory certifications can be a challenge. Small and medium businesses in the industry are heavily regulated. To ensure that you meet these requirements, you need to have an accurate database showing clear asset ownership information.
Moreover, regulatory compliance often means preparing in-depth reports, which can be a time-consuming process. While most companies struggle with this, there is a simple way to go about it. By using tracking software, you can record each and every activity related to your asset. An automated system lets you maintain error-free data which can then be used to conduct audits. Having all the necessary calibration, depreciation and replenishment records enables you to achieve compliance easily and efficiently.
6. Inaccurate cost forecasting
Using an on-site, physical tracking system to identify breakdowns, schedule maintenance, and detect asset deficiencies is an outdated practice. The digital age of technology offers huge advancements when it comes to tracking assets and forecasting future costs and needs. Small and medium businesses can now use cloud-based asset management systems to effectively track, maintain and address the internal asset demands for their business as part of their lifecycle management .
Asset-intensive ventures rely considerably on the operational capabilities of their equipment. Any expected breakdowns and deficiencies need to be identified well in advance in order to ensure accurate cost estimation. Tagging and assigning reference codes at the time of mass procurement provides ease in terms of tracking each individual asset and making sure all expenses are documented. Not only does this ensure smooth functionality of the assets, but it also helps in making accurate forecasts about upcoming maintenance costs and monitoring depreciation.
An asset tracking software enables companies to track work order costs like labor hours and inventories consumed during maintenance. These estimations can then be incorporated in budgeted costs to chalk out a report of expected maintenance and overheads ahead of time.
7. Lack of visibility
At the most basic, asset visibility refers to the acquisition of accurate, up-to-date data on the location, movement, identity, and status of your business’ assets. For instance, records about the equipment, supplies, and materials right from the time of their procurement are all included under asset visibility. In addition to this, asset visibility entails tracking at the very base level and addresses the entire journey an asset undertakes in the long chain of operations within the company.
One of the major goals for businesses across the globe is to have complete visibility of all their assets. Companies carry out extensive practices to ensure that the resources they have acquired are being utilized at the right place at the right time. Primarily, it becomes too tedious to keep a pinpoint track of individual assets manually if your business houses its assets at multiple locations. Asset visibility enables organizations to determine the inventory of assets at a particular location even ahead of time by chalking out a roadmap for the utilization period of the asset.
Without prior information of the asset type and category, it is almost impossible to predict where individual assets would end up – especially if they are relatively smaller, like laptops or appliances. However, organizations can easily track and monitor items with updated information on a cloud-based asset management tools. The limitless options to tag, flag, or manage assets on an integrated virtual asset tracking program have allowed organizations to achieve maximum visibility on their assets efficiently. Integrate your database with an asset management and tracking system to hold complete information over the lifecycle of your asset, making it easier to track and manage your asset operations error-free.
Asset tracking software: The ultimate solution to all your asset tracking problems
The way forward for any type of business is to have a set of clearly defined goals and objectives. Once that is done, you can strategize on how to achieve them. For any business, large or small, a primary goal is to increase their ROI. The first step in this feat is to establish a reliable tracking system for gathering real-time data regarding your assets and in turn, business performance.
The next step is to analyze this information for future forecasting. Doing this is important because current company trends hint towards the next season’s consumption patterns. For this purpose, customized reports can be generated to predict future demand. An in-depth study of these reports also reveals the weaknesses and strengths in asset utilization and how these can be dealt with.
A smart decision would be to adjust the management strategy to tackle these asset tracking problems, eliminate inefficient practices and use existing resources productively to amplify positive outcomes. All this is only possible if you choose the right tracking system for your business. Get started on this today to boost your productivity tomorrow.
EZOfficeInventory is the leading asset management software used by companies around the world. Use our solution for real-time asset management, accurate machine downtime tracking, and more.