08 Jul Why Asset Tracking is Critical to Your Business
Asset Tracking is critical to business and at the most basic level, knowing exactly what you have and where it is. There are a lot of pieces to asset tracking, whether it’s compliance, maximizing the investment you made or from an accounting side.
So several years ago, there was an initiative that a lot of people overused, called Sox, or Sarbanes Oxley, when it came to asset tracking. Now, when CIO of a company signs off on the value of their companies assets, they become personally responsible. No longer was just the company on the line, but in the instance of some activities like fraud, so was the CIO. When it comes to large, publicly traded companies, they are required to have a high level executive personally back the value of the company.
Another example are publicly funded organizations such as a university. These organizations have mandates that any piece of equipment over a certain value must be tracked and accounted for at regular intervals. This can be a barcode, RFID chip or an employee walking around with a clipboard every month. That has been a driving force in compliance for years. Everyone is feeling the budget pinch and is trying to make the most out of every dollar they spend.
When it comes to productivity and maximizing your return on your investment, many companies have 1 or 2 very expensive pieces of equipment that performs a critical job. While it’s hard to believe, really expensive equipment is misplaced quite frequently. This is actually easier than it sounds in large companies with hundreds or thousands of employees and multiple locations. In many cases employees spend days looking for one piece of equipment to perform a 20 minute job because the company only has 1 of them. Combine “hard to find” with “expensive to replace” and you have a recipe for a problem.
Years ago, many companies simply bought their way out of this problem by purchasing several pieces of the same equipment. But today, that is not always an option and in many cases a $5 RFID tag is much cheaper and easier than buying another $100,000 asset. Lab equipment is probably the best place to start tagging items since this is usually the most expensive equipment that is in high demand. This is also the equipment that is checked out the most by many different people which makes tracking a challenge. This is especially the case when items aren’t checked out properly to save time.
Tracking your assets is also important for safety reasons. Consider tool tracking. If you leave a wrench in the hood of your car, nothing major is likely to happen. But what about leaving a $1,000 tool in the fuselage of an airplane? Not only is the tool expensive to replace, but can also become a safety issue. The value of that airplane mechanic knowing that every single tool he used on that airplane is back in place could be considered priceless.
Facility maintenance is another safety issue where asset tracking is incredibly valuable. Many building are required to have fire working extinguishers that must be checked periodically. This type of repetitive task is ripe for human error with serious repercussions in the event of a fire. Tagging and tracking assets using RFID and software helps ensure each fire extinguisher is exactly where it’s supposed to be and is replaced well before it expires. Or consider a technician checking pressure valves every day to make sure they have the right pressure or a security guard checking doors and windows. All of these tasks are important and can be automated with the right solution. In many instances the time savings along can pay back the investment in months and make your business safer.
If someone breaks into your building, how do you know what was taken? Can you prove it to the insurance company? This has been the scenario of several customers where there’s been a break in. For example, laptops, monitors, large screens, audio visual equipment was taken. If you didn’t have any way of proving to the insurance company that you had all this equipment and it was taken, it might be a little tricky making sure you were covered. However, if you have monthly reports that show I had all this equipment, that’s good proof those pieces of equipment were actually there.
Find an Asset Tracking Solution and see how asset tracking is critical to your business.