The How, What, and Why of Asset Tracking Systems

The How, What, and Why of Asset Tracking Systems

Kissflow

October 4th, 2019 asset management  

For busy and complex organizations, attempting to track the location and status of their various assets can be time-consuming, costly, and unnecessarily complicated if done manually. The asset tracking software market has gained considerable success of late, offering businesses a more straightforward approach. Let’s take a closer look at some of the current asset tracking methods.

What is asset tracking?

Asset tracking is the process of monitoring the physical location and status of the movable and fixed assets of an organization. Many companies own a considerable number of business-critical or high-value assets. Thus, this process is vital to ensure that the whereabouts and movement of such assets are strictly controlled to prevent loss and improve customer service and business operations.

How asset tracking can be automated

Until now, asset tracking was carried out manually using a variety of spreadsheets and databases to detail the company’s asset register. Automation, in the form of asset tracking systems or other tools, offers a sophisticated alternative to manual processes.

First, the asset details are entered onto the online asset register on the asset tracking system. Usually, a barcode or scanning system is allocated to the asset so that it can be easily linked to the system data. GPS tracking devices can also be attached to the asset for more sophisticated systems to continuously track their location.

Next, the asset can be integrated within the organization’s online reservation system within the tracking software. This allows employees to request an asset transfer online. This tool is also very useful for managers who want to assess the utilization and productivity of each asset on the register.

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Benefits of using an asset management system​

Your organization can gain a number of advantages from using asset tracking software. The most advanced systems allow users to monitor assets around the clock and in real-time, helping to reduce operational costs.

The fact that the exact location of assets can be determined within seconds also helps to ensure that their assets are secure and protected from theft or fraudulent behavior. They can also be easily tracked and located if necessary. This can offer great peace of mind for organizations, particularly with higher-value assets or those that are business-sensitive or business-critical.

Asset tracking systems also offer great accessibility options, with many able to be integrated with mobile asset management tools for seamless and fast verification, disposals, and acquisitions.

In addition to the great functionality of physically tracking asset locations, tracking tools support users to efficiently utilize assets. This enables individuals to click and reserve items that they need, as well as continuously track the condition of assets at the time of the loan and return.

Choosing the right asset tracking platform for your organizational needs

It is crucial to undertake some rigorous analysis before you invest in an asset tracking system. Your needs will be directly linked to the specific circumstances of your business such as its size and industry, and in particular, the makeup of the assets it owns.

However, there are some key features you should focus on when comparing options on the market to ensure that you are getting good value for money. First, you should be looking for software that can offer sophisticated asset management data audits and tracking capabilities within one, easy-to-access space.

The tool should also offer the functionality of tracking assets throughout their life cycle, for strategic analysis purposes. A common question is whether to go for a cloud-based or traditional asset tracking system​. A single, web-based platform with a range of user options is often the best way to go.

All data can be stored, managed, and coordinated in one place, leading to greater simplicity and ease of use. Cloud-based systems have become increasingly popular of late. They offer low set up and implementation costs as well as enhanced accessibility functions, such as mobile access.

The inefficiencies of tracking assets manually

Before movable or fixed asset tracking software become widespread, finance teams had to rely on manual tracking methods such as spreadsheets, paper records, emails, or stand-alone databases. This meant many hours of manually inputting data relating to the asset and updating it regularly, such as to reflect its condition, its whereabouts, its depreciation, etc.

As such, there was no option for employees to request or return assets online. Instead, the finance team had to rely on phone calls or emails to track asset utilization. In a manual system, as assets are not scanned and linked to a tracking system, there is also a lost opportunity to track their location in real-time, leading to higher loss and theft levels.

Our pick of the best asset tracking tools​

The rise in the popularity of asset tracking tools has meant a surge in the volume of providers on the market. Each offers distinct features and functionalities, but navigating these choices can be confusing.

Take a look at our summary of the best asset tracking software out there:

1. Asset Panda

This is a well regarded and highly configurable asset tracking platform, with the capability to track and manage the whole asset lifecycle. It has a great suite of reporting functions, as well as straightforward check-in and out features, barcode scanning, and a host of security features.

2. UpKeep

UpKeep is hosted via the cloud, with the convenience of desktop, tablet, and phone access. One of its key features is the personalized alerts that can be set up to track the location and status of fixed and movable assets. This allows assets to be continuously tracked and monitored for ultimate security and seamless operation.

3. Kissflow FinOps Cloud

The full asset management process is made supremely seamless and straightforward with the asset tracking component of Kissflow’s Finance and Operations Cloud. It allows users to capture information relating to their assets in a simple, unified way and subsequently allocate and track them methodically.

This gives ultimate security and ensures that they are being utilized in the most productive way possible. What’s more, employees are able to raise requests and return assets themselves at the touch of a button.

4. SAP EAM

This asset tracking platform is one of the best known on the market and offers a key advantage of being able to integrate with other SAP features. It offers simple and customizable ways to manage your company’s assets 24/7, as well as robust audit features for strategic analysis of asset life cycles.

5. AssetCloud

AssetCloud is a good choice for small to large businesses alike, providing comprehensive features along with a variety of customization options. The system seamlessly integrates use across smartphone and tablet devices.

Transform your asset tracking processes using the right system

If your organization is still relying on outdated and overly complicated manual processes to manage its asset tracking coordination, it may be worth doing some research to see how the right software could help you.

Kissflow’s Finance and Operations Cloud offers organizations of all sizes a range of customizable features at accessible prices to help gain a higher level of control and visibility over their valuable assets. Moving from a manual asset tracking process to a software-driven one is a significant step. However, it is one that has the potential to offer your business great rewards in terms of cost savings and efficiencies.

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