First of all, what is asset tracking? How does it work? How does it help you?
Your fixed assets are making your business money, but no doubt if you’re looking around your office you’ll find more useful things.
Those are your assets. Anything you can see around you.
Why track them?
So why track them? It’s simple, you can get a lot more out of your assets if you know more about your assets.
How many times have you had to venture to page three of the search results in order to try and find information about a specific laptop or computer? Or replaced something only to find it? Or passive aggressively email back and forth about an asset with the world’s lowest resolution.
So, in order for more clarity, transparency, and information, it’s important to track your assets. It can be a bit like a schoolyard in the office, otherwise, where someone has firmly planted their roots at the standing desk, not realizing anyone else wants to use it.
The first obvious question is why to invest in an app. You have spreadsheets, after all, right?
Spreadsheets are limited. Yes, if you have a fixed asset register it may be on a spreadsheet, but what if you want to update assets on the fly?
Imagine lifting your smartphone out of your pocket and swiping through to a spreadsheet, and then trying to edit a box. Yes, phone screens are getting larger. No, they’re still not large enough to do this.
While computers were the first step in connecting people to each other and information about their surroundings, phones have leaped forwards and meant that you can find anything out, anywhere, at any time.
How will it save me money?
For a start most asset tracking apps are cheap!
This is good for an immediate ROI, as you’re not going to be investing that much money into owning and maintaining an asset tracking app.
There are patterns in how asset tracking apps save businesses money, though. So what are these?
For a start. Things get lost.
It’s a simple fact of life that the more assets you own, the more likely it is for one to go missing.
Spreadsheets can track where you’ve left something if you’re willing to remember and update later. However, they don’t have anywhere near the capabilities asset tracking apps can provide.
Asset tracking apps have the ability to read a variety of asset tags, including RFID tags and QR codes, meaning that all it takes is a scan to know where something has been left.
Many also have the ability to read BLE or GPS tags meaning that you can know where your assets are at all times.
Anyone will agree that the worst thing that can happen is to lose something, replace it, and then find it again. Yes, you can tell yourself “yay, now I have two!” which in some situations is an honest reaction. If the asset is for a singular, specific purpose, however, two is pointless money spent.
More knowledge of where your assets are means less chance of losses and replacements. This is especially worth it if your assets are unique or expensive.
The difficulty here, however, is that ROI becomes difficult to calculate. If you work with clumsy or forgetful people and you have expensive and small assets, you can assume sooner or later there will be losses. One lost asset can instantly become more expensive than a year’s subscription to an asset tracking app.
Useful life-cycles are complicated to keep track of.
Thanks to many companies using built-in obsolescence as some sort of business model, it is possible to track how long a product will survive for. However, there is still a lot of information that still needs to be taken into account.
Luckily, with the right insights and statistics and documents, you can work out when an asset will be at its optimal level of performance.
Where do you put all of this information, though?
Warranties, receipts for the date of purchase, manuals, service history, model number.
With apps for tracking your business assets, it’s usually possible to add all of this information and more. If you’re handling something that always breaks, for example, add it to the asset’s biography that it’s “hard to handle”.
How does this save you money?
As soon as an asset reaches the end of its life, it’ll be instantly visible. You can replace it right away. Instant replacement means a more streamlined running of your business. This means more time with more useful assets.
This is probably the most important thing asset tracking applications can provide for your business.
Time is money.
If you know where all of your assets are at all times and can quickly and easily reach them, as well as pass them between colleagues with ease, you have more time you can use your assets for.
For example, if your business involves remote work, four people are in the field, there are three assets between them. If the only employee that needs an asset doesn’t have one, then you can get the closest one to them.
Less time finding or transferring assets means more time using your assets to make money.
As well as this, most asset tracking apps are cloud-based, updates across your company will be instant. This means that when an asset is returned to its rightful place, everyone in your company will know.
More clarity about your assets means less time waiting around and thinking about what is where or finding things out.
Instead of investigating and looking for that tablet, for example, just check an app and see that someone else is using it. Drop them a message and do something else in the meantime.
There’s less of a chance of standing up in the office and causing a scene by declaring that you need that thing and don’t know where it is.
All in all
Time is money and so are your assets.
If there’s a way to both save time and get more use out of your assets, then surely you’d want to take it?
More clarity and transparency means you can get so much more out of your business-critical assets, which will mean your customers, clients, and colleagues will all be happy.