Today, IoT technology is the most relevant, if not the only, on the market for tracking assets in real-time. The challenges of asset tracking are particular depending on the client. But achieving a quick ROI remains a critical element of these devices.
According to the Business Wire « Industrial IoT Asset Tracking » report, 267 billion IoT asset tracking devices will be deployed in the global industry by 2027. Could IoT solutions be the new way to improve the visibility of your fleet?
But what do they allow? Is the investment worth it?
This article will detail the opportunities and limits of an IoT-enabled asset tracking solution. You be the judge!
IoT-Enabled Asset tracking solution meets various challenges
Increase Visibility of Physical Assets
The most obvious benefit of a tracking solution is to provide reliable monitoring of physical assets. This is achieved by creating an asset register that is packed full of data. This enables users, from small business owners to enterprises, to keep close track of items as they move throughout the workplace and between sites.
The geolocation system allows you to know the trajectory and find your asset easily, allowing quicker inventories. The visibility platform will also enable you to create your alerts: temperature, deviation from the route, unusual events, etc.
Improve Data Accuracy
Accurate data holds the keys to unlock the full potential of asset tracking. Whereas using error-prone spreadsheets to collect information can be painful, tracking tools, available on the platform, have an increased accuracy. It allows decision-makers to be confident in their decision, knowing that they’re working from accurate information. It’s also handy when generating inventory reports used for budgeting, compliance, and insurance purposes.
Automate Inventory Management
Inventory Management can be a time-consuming and costly operation for most businesses. But, the process of manual inventory counts is quashed with asset tracking. It’s as simple as correlating the data stored in an asset register with the identification codes of physical equipment. This can even be taken a step further by automating inventory purchasing when a low stock level trigger is initiated.
IoT asset tracking solution helps following the evolution of your asset’s condition. You can capture the status of the assets, such as temperature, shocks, or humidity. Usually, it’s to identify a significant change that is indicative of a developing fault. It is a significant component of predictive maintenance.
Identify and Remove Ghost Assets
One factor that has an underlying impact on costs is the presence of ghost assets, physical items that have been lost or stolen but still reflect inventory records. The most efficient way to eliminate ghost assets is with the use of tracking tools. Once assets are scrapped or sold, they will be automatically reflected on the system, and assets can be removed from the books.
Reducing Costs Associated with Loss and Theft
The cost of replacing lost and stolen assets has a direct impact on business spending. This prominently occurs as stock, spare parts, equipment, and tools are moved around the property without being monitored. Effective tracking tools help to eliminate this problem and reduce costs associated with replacing assets.
Optimize Your Assets Fleet
Optimization is key to getting a quick ROI. Tracking your assets allows you to manage your fleet better. By having visibility on its utilization rate, you can mobilize available assets and optimize their use. The tool also allows you to save time in the organization of your equipment repairs.
Opportunity to Develop New Business Models
Data collection brings value to your customers. The tool allows you to develop new sources of revenue. This visibility can, for example, provide an up-selling.
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SafecubeIoT solutions for very specific issues
We have reviewed all the benefits and contributions of an asset tracking solution. However, you should not forget that to ensure good integration and the « holy grail » a « quick ROI », several factors and issues must be taken into account.
A cost issue: There is a wide variety of IoT tracking solutions. The cost can vary a lot, and you can quickly find yourself with an overpriced solution compared to your needs, so be careful! The cost can vary depending on your asset and its specificity. It can vary depending on the type of trackers required: battery, reliability etc.
The battery is a component that will change depending on the type of network. A low power network such as Sigfox will allow keeping trackers for more than 5 years, for example. In the case of a « frugal » solution such as Safecube’s LocaTrack, the battery can last up to 10 years, depending on the use.
Issues of integration: As with any change, there are always people who are reluctant to change. The integration of a solution can disrupt some of them. For an IoT solution to be successful, it must first be accepted by the teams. In the case of large groups, soliciting change management experts can be essential.
The integration of the solution can face rigid processes that need to be adapted. The company must therefore implement a transformation of the internal processes. Take into account the existing IS tools and the data they already retrieve to see how it can be combined with the new data. Also, It is essential to take into account the existing IS tools to facilitate the integration of the solution and the data already retrieved to see how it can be combined with the new data provided by the IoT.
Data exploitation issues: Any IoT solution can provide so-called « generic » information: location, real-time, alerts, etc. However, it is essential that the indicators recorded are in line with the specificity of the use case. Each customer has its own needs and its own data!
Security issues: The data security process requires the highest level of security. It is therefore necessary to be aware of the platform chosen by the solution to retrieve this data. Safecube has chosen Microsoft Azure services including Azure IoT Hub for its platform. Azure is not only a flexible and highly available infrastructure, it is also strongly secured : Each datacenter is physically protected by a multi-layered protection, with an end-to-end security , from Network, Servers and applications, to data encryption. Therefore, this infrastructure secures the data transmitted to the end-customer.
To conclude this article, we can say that IoT in asset tracking is on the rise and should be considered a key element in its supply chain process. However, the family of assets is very large, and the stakes are very different. And, to guarantee the success of this solution and a quick ROI, it is necessary to choose the right solution according to its challenges.
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