Your assets impact the value of your business. The weight of these assets is more significant for small businesses, where losing one piece of equipment can lead to a more substantial loss. For example, losing one sewing machine would represent a significant hit to a garment business that had only two from the start.
The less equipment you have, the greater its value. As a small business owner, you want to know the precise geolocation of your equipment, who is using the equipment in real-time, and the probability that the equipment will be available at a future date.
This level of understanding into your assets is where small businesses realize the value of asset tracking. Knowing that, we take a deeper dive with this small business guide to asset tracking.
Generally, this is the process of tracking your physical business assets within your organization. In the digital technology era, asset tracking uses information technology and data to track the positioning of your business assets.
This means linking an asset to your business operations and using technology to track their use. With the added use of technologies like IoT, asset tracking provides more small business benefits, like GPS tracking when your employees are using the assets outdoors.
Usually, there is an exchange of information where the asset collects data, transfers it, and stores it in your business server where tracking is accessible.
Financially, your assets have a different role from your inventory. For instance, your inventory comprises goods ready for sale, like apparel in the case of the garment business. But the asset here is the sewing machine since it is the equipment used to make the goods sold.
Inventories also operate based on supply, demand, profit, and loss, while assets tend to have a depreciating value in most cases. You should also be concerned if your inventories are returned, yet an asset should give you business returns.
Since we’ve tied assets to value, you should track anything that gives your small business a high value. For instance, a consultant should track office furniture, computers, software, and other tools.
Budgeting becomes more of a hassle, especially if you occasionally maintain equipment. When employees become accustomed to damaged or out-of-service tools, they lose motivation to work efficiently. When you lose confidence in whether your equipment is safe or how effective it is, you also lose productivity.
You can use different technologies to track your assets:
Each of these technologies offers different capabilities to your small business.
For instance, you cannot track your assets in real-time using QR codes, but you can with Active RFID. The cost of purchasing and implementing each technology varies as well. The most important thing to consider is the architecture behind the asset tracking technology.
Usually, the tracking solution has geolocation beacons like QR codes, Passive RFID/NFC, and active RFID chips connected to an asset and then used to collect data based on the communication protocol you choose.
The collected data is then sent to a centralized gateway where information is processed and stored: often, this is your small business cloud server. You also choose your business application method based on ease of use and mobility.
A mobile application as a way to visualize your data allows you to track and assess your assets from anywhere when a PC can limit you to the office. Understanding the technology to choose is pretty essential for your business and employees.
You can use asset tracking to improve all of your business processes. As such, make it an essential consideration for your small business. Besides, IoT has made asset tracking solutions adaptable and efficient, meaning the long-term benefits of the software will outweigh the initial costs. Also, getting asset tracking software increases the chances of your business surviving its first year since your assets will be managed and maintained correctly. As such, do incorporate asset tracking in your business today.
Business asset tracking is the practice of using technology to track all the equipment considered an asset in your small business. Usually, an asset is anything that adds value to your business, like furniture in an office space or your delivery van.
In a word, asset tracking preserves the value of a business while equally ensuring business operations continue to run smoothly. For instance, losing your delivery van will affect your customer satisfaction but tracking and maintaining it ensures the value you offer your customers is not compromised.
Every tracking solution has a geolocation beacon like an active RFID chip that connects to an asset and a centralized gateway where information is processed and stored. When the asset is in use, data is collected based on the communication protocol you choose and sent to the centralized gateway.