Asset Tracking is the process of ensuring you capture key data information about your organisation’s assets. These assets could be anything from heavy machinery and equipment, to small tools and devices, to even tracking people. Asset tracking devices can be attached to things like: boxes, pallets, machines, vehicles, tools, personnel and even manufacturing assembly lines.
Have you ever lost an asset? How comfortable are you that you know the location of all of your key-assets at any one time? Do you know the status of those assets?
It is very likely you are incurring costs associated with the above, which are known as Ghost Assets. Tracking assets will give insight into your operations as you’ve never seen it before and digital twins of your operations can be created using our SCC Unify Engine and raise automated alerts based on custom thresholds. Has a device left a zone unexpectedly? Has a solo-worker not moved out of an area for longer than a designated time? Are temperatures too high, or too low for some assets? All of this can be automated with intelligent alerts to prioritise issues within your operations/value-chain.
Potential Use Cases
Supermarkets can monitor and manage their cold-chain to determine if the goods have been exposed to higher-than-safe temperatures and humidity, or even if the goods have been dropped
Manufacturers capturing data on where assets are in their production lines. Assets can be tracked from the start of the manufacturing-run to the end, and also provide information on how long certain manufacturing assemblies have taken and providing who has approved those processes as the asset moves along the manufacturing-chain
Having a documented chronology of every individual who has come into contact with an asset, who has approved stages in the supply of the assets and which smaller raw materials make up the larger asset
Being able to discourage theft in all situations
Challenges and Benefits
In a global survey, Infosys reported that 85% of manufacturing companies were aware of asset efficiency practices, but only 15% of those surveyed had implemented such measures. Organisations lose significant income by failing to audit their assets, but asset tracking helps to ensure they are aware of their locations. Once the assets are tagged their unique IDs allow a system of check-in and check-out monitoring.
By using IoT-enabled assets and ensuring there’s a chain of custody, you are fully in control of your assets and ultimately your business operations.
A perennial problem for many organisations is outdated equipment – from legacy IT systems to heavy manufacturing machinery – and their lack of maintenance often leads to a chronic loss in working hours as a result of unscheduled downtime. According to the Chief Digital Office of GE Renewable Energy, IoT can assist with reduced maintenance costs by 10% and more than 20% on unplanned maintenance.
But by using asset tracking, you can set up a maintenance schedule or even use asset tracking for predictive maintenance – ensuring a machine is fixed before any breakdown occurs. IoT-enabled systems can sense warning signs, use data to create maintenance timelines and service equipment before problems occur. By recognising warning signals, alerts automatically trigger appropriate maintenance processes helping to turn maintenance into an automated task.
As a result of this asset tracking, it will help to:
- Increase the life of the asset
- Optimise the efficiency and productivity of the asset
- Lower the costs that can occur with reactive maintenance
- Cut back on labour costs and unnecessary downtime
With the recent introduction of the GDPR and NIS regulations, among others, it’s crucial to ensure the environment of your assets complies with the different regulatory bodies, particularly regarding security of any associated personal data. IoT can improve regulations and compliance by improving safety, optimising energy sources, analysing procurement performance, reducing fraud and detecting competition distortions (to name a few examples).
To ensure that you meet all these regulations, you need to have an accurate database showing clear asset ownership information.
Ensuring an organisation meets all the necessary regulations, CIOs or compliance managers historically had to prepare time-consuming, in-depth reports involving the complex tracking of information about the assets, often relying on printed manuals or outdated records. IoT-enabled asset tracking streamlines auditing and reporting giving you the ability to pull up data about individual assets or groups of assets, as well as automatic report generation.
Furthermore, asset tracking will centralise your data ensuring your records are always up-to-date and accurate.
Keeping up on the stock of particular assets can be difficult – and this applies to all organisations in the public and private sectors. In a 2015 study 16% of ghost assets were due to theft. [BakerHostetler’s 2016 Data Security Incident Response Report].
For example, one UK ambulance service was unable to determine how many defibrillators it had across its fleet, while many large corporations do not know how many computer terminals they possess across their multiple locations.
Consequently, failing to manage stock correctly can incur shortages of items or an excess of assets that you no longer need. This can result in overhead expenses or lead to delays in workflows. The solution is to install asset tracking across the organisation to monitor the stock and set up alerts for all assets. Whenever a limit is reached, an automated purchase order is created and the vendor is notified. Equally, when the same applies to an excess of stock it helps you to look at consumption patterns, so accurate demand for an asset can be estimated.
Another way to ensure efficient stock keeping is to use an asset registry. An asset registry is different to a fixed asset register that you may have come across in accounting.
It is a database that holds details of all the information assets within your organisation, including physical assets such as scalpels, computer systems, defibrillators and even fleets of vehicles. Having a well-maintained asset registry demonstrates you understand and protect your assets, increasing visibility of data flows and helping to mitigate the risk of data breaches.
An asset registry is vital for organisations that need to share their data with third parties. This helps your organisation to protect its data, minimise business risks and ensure regulatory compliance.
A museum, for instance, may have priceless assets such as paintings and sculptures and all need to be listed on an asset registry within their own room, inside the building. Devices are then attached to these assets to ensure that if they suddenly disappear from room they can be tracked and monitored. As soon as any of those assets leave the room an alert is sent out warning that the asset has gone missing.
Watch our SCC IoT Asset Tracking solution webinar. The webinar includes a live demonstration of our platform, plus:
- Introduction to Net4
- SCC IoT Ecosystem / Framework
- SCC Solution Verticals
- IoT Asset Tracking Overview
- IoT Asset Tracking Problems and Solutions
- IoT Asset Tracking Technical Deep-dive
We can integrate multiple devices across multiple networks all into a single dashboard portal for your convenience.
We manage the complete end-to-end lifecycle of an IoT solution for you.
Access to a rich supply-chain of hardware vendors across all market verticals, networks and service wraps.
IoT Asset Tracking Solution
Find out how we can help
Get in touch today