5 of the Most Common Methods Used for Asset Tracking
Asset tracking technology offers companies more opportunities than ever. The option that fits one business's application, however, might not fit the needs of different companies. That's why it makes sense for you to learn more about each asset tracking technology's potential benefits and limitations.
If you have high-value assets, you will almost certainly want to invest in a GPS asset tracking system. In other cases, you might want to try a cheaper solution even though it offers fewer benefits. When you want the best, though, you should turn to reliable GPS systems that can track an asset's every movement.
Benefits of Reliable Asset Tracking
Reliable asset tracking can offer numerous benefits for practically any industry. Some of the most compelling reasons to use asset-tracking technology include:
- Reduced theft.
- Recover stolen items.
- Accurate inventory management.
- Automatic data collection.
- Track delivery routes and driver behaviors.
- Potentially lower your insurance premiums.
- Custom alerts for concerning actions.
- Accurate auditing that avoids human error.
5 Popular Asset Tracking Methods
Asset tracking technology offers several ways to collect information about items. The following five technologies stand out as some of the most popular asset tracking methods.
1. Global Position System (GPS) Tracking
GPS asset tracking gives you the most control over your items, including vehicles in your fleet and products in your warehouse. Each GPS has a power supply that lets it transmit information to the central monitoring system. Some equipment comes with internal power supplies while others draw power from external sources, such as a vehicle's electrical system.
You get several benefits from GPS asset tracking, including:
- Real-time tracking that shows vehicle speeds over time and the precise location at a specific moment.
- Arrival time estimates that let your warehouse employees prepare to receive incoming shipments.
- Asset retrieval opportunities when someone takes your equipment off-site.
- Increased productivity from identifying exact asset locations and monitoring employee behaviors.
GPS tracking tends to cost more than other asset track methods, so it works best when allied to expensive equipment and products. A grocery would not replace its barcodes with GPS devices. Doing so would not offer a sufficient return on investment. However, a warehouse that receives large shipments of expensive electronics, vehicles, or precious metals can protect its inventory by adding GPS trackers to containers.
2. Barcode and QR Codes
Asset tracking with barcodes or QR codes doesn't cost much money, but it does require a lot of effort from your managers and employees. To input and remove an item from your database, someone will need to manually scan the code. You can try automated scanners, but they often don't read codes correctly when stickers are uneven or damaged.
Barcodes and QR codes also have limited benefits. For example, you can't use the technology to track down a missing item. At best, the code tells you where an item should be. If it isn't at that location, you simply have no way to retrieve the missing asset.
3. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
RFID systems take a more electronic approach to the barcode concept. Each RFID tag contains a transponder that reports information to scanning antennas. Some RFID tags do not contain internal power sources. As a result, they have extremely short transmission ranges that make them ineffective at tracking down missing assets.
Others have small internal power sources. Even the tags with internal power sources have short ranges compared to GPS. An RFID tag might help you find an item misplaced in a small warehouse, but it will not help you find an item that has been stolen and taken from the warehouse.
4. Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC asset tracking has similar disadvantages, such as limited range, as RFID technology. The benefit for NFC is that you do not need a specific type of scanning equipment to track the tagged asset. Instead, employees and managers can use smartphones and similar mobile devices.
5. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Bluetooth low energy asset tracking works well when you only want to track items within a specific parameter, such as inside your warehouse. Using a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet, you can retrieve information about assets within a limited area. You can even get information about the location of the asset. Once your items leave the premises, though, you lose contact with them.
Connect With LandSeaAir for GPS Asset Tracking
Since GPS asset tracking stands out as your best option for high-value products and vehicle fleets, you probably want to learn more about your options. LandAirSea Asset Protection can help. Start by browsing the GPS systems and parts in our online catalog.
You can also contact our office by calling 847-462-8100 or visiting our website's Contact Us page. We're happy to help you choose the right asset tracking solution for your company. We can also offer quotes, technical support, and more information about the benefits of GPS.