Tracking a device, equipment, or even a person in real-time has been possible in the last years thanks to the advances of technologies such as the Internet of Things. For companies, it’s necessary to keep control on the location of their assets, whether they are inside the facilities or outside, it is important to do asset tracking. Find out in this article why your company needs IoT asset tracking and when it is necessary to implement it.
What is IoT tracking?
You probably know there are devices that use Internet of Things technology, such as smartwatches, wearables, and even phones, that allow themselves to be tracked, that is, to know their current or past locations.
Thanks to IoT, you can track almost any device you can imagine. For example, there is a new product from Apple that allows you to track your objects (keys, wallets…) or pets by attaching a little device to their collars. This way people can avoid their pets getting lost forever.
Who wouldn’t want to track their belongings? If they get stolen or get lost by any random situation, you would be able to track their location by simply checking the tracking device app; The IoT tracker sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by devices connected to a platform called Find My Network. Then, these devices transmit the location of the tracking device to the cloud, where the user checks the information in the app.
What is IoT asset tracking?
If you own a company and invested thousands of dollars in expensive equipment, you probably want to know where it is being used, operated, or transported. Asset tracking means you can monitor any asset (product, device, machine, vehicles) that is crucial for your company with the use of the Internet of Things.
According to research from Cision, “by 2027, there will be 267 million active RFID/asset trackers in use worldwide for industrial automation, logistics, supply chain, agriculture, construction, mining, and related markets”.
IoT fleet tracking has had the biggest share in the tracking market, however, Cision states that by 2024, IoT fleet tracking will be surpassed by tracking and monitoring of other assets: shipping containers, machinery, livestock, equipment, among others.
RF chip technologies, LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networks), and new Bluetooth developments and applications are boosting the growth and adoption of asset tracking in the world.
Must-have characteristics of a good IoT tracking system
The use of the Internet of Things and asset tracking must have specific features to be reliable and useful for your business: Always-on connectivity, long-lasting, secure, data gathering.
Asset tracking would be useless if you lose connectivity with your products or devices. When you consider a tracking device for your company’s assets, make sure it has good connectivity no matter the location.
Long-lasting means that the IoT tracking devices you buy for your assets have a battery that would last for years.
Another feature to consider is security. That is to say, only your company can see the location or routes that your assets have, since any breach in this information would represent a possible robbery of your assets. That’s why the Internet of Things needs to have safety protocols to avoid hacking problems.
Data gathering is a must-have for IoT devices. Make sure your assets are properly tracked, and that you can get specific information in real-time that benefits the operation of your company.
Benefits of asset tracking for your company
You may wonder, how can asset tracking benefit my company? You can get a surprise at how much you can achieve. Let’s imagine different scenarios:
This may be the most obvious use. When you own a rental company, you need to keep control of where your assets are. When you use IoT tracking, you guarantee that your valuable assets won’t get lost or stolen.
IoT devices installed in your cars may give you real-time information of your cars location, if they are indoors, outdoors, or on the road. A good platform or API must be able to receive all the information of your assets location. You can also set alerts if the cars are leaving specific zones or to know if they need maintenance.
People want faster delivery times, and they also want to know where their packages are. Asset tracking allows your company to provide the clients confidence in your service.
Imagine having the opportunity to check in real-time in your phone the location of your package. RFID technology can be installed in the car where your delivery is being carried, then, through triangulation of input signals, the company updates the location of the package in real-time and sends the location to their platform, where the user can check the information by using a personal number assigned to the package.
If you have big facilities, that means you probably have to store thousands of boxes with materials, tools, and other elements. Your company can’t risk losing time looking for a specific box to continue the manufacturing process.
Having an asset tracking software will be useful to locate quickly the box your employees need. That way you can find your products in a short time and deliver them to your clients.
Besides, tracking your assets helps you to know the condition of any box or device at any time. If any fire happens, the asset tracking system may send you an alert by email or to your phone as a push notification to react before the fire gets worse and it can affect people’s lives.
Schools or universities
These kinds of organizations can keep track of laptops, TVs, video beams, speakers, lab equipment, and other assets.
Special tags can be placed on them, and through wi-fi access points, the university staff will know if an asset is being transported to another block or class room.
IoT tracking devices benefit hospitals greatly, not only because they can track where the physical assets of each room are, or the ones that are in the houses of the patients, but also to guarantee a good performance of the devices, and so, the health of the patients.
Why is it important to track a device inside a hospital? A study found that nurses waste an hour a shift trying to find equipment, that is around 40 hours a month. If a hospital can track their assets through an internal system, they can improve the service they provide to the patients. GPS devices can be placed on the assets, and transmit the location to the back-end by using cellular waves.
Can you imagine looking for a drip stand room by room in a big hospital? With IoT asset tracking and a good software, that tedious task could be done in less than a minute; And the nurses could save many hours trying to find something that is important for their job.
When do I need asset tracking?
Internet of Things tracking devices are something you must be considering right now. The commercial dynamics we are experimenting at the market are pushing the industries to produce and deliver faster.
That fast dynamics may affect your company by losing control of some processes or business operations. Also, it may affect the stock you have, the machines you use for production, and the logistics that your business needs to hire in order to have satisfied clients.
IoT asset tracking is necessary for your business, you get security, control, and you can prevent future problems. We built an asset tracking device for a company that manages Electric Vehicles, we could do the same for your business.