Asset tracking has been a main-stay of field technologies for some time. However, many organizations may not realize the new features and capabilities that the latest solutions can offer that go far beyond the traditional and familiar “dots on a map” that were offered by previous solutions. While some of these older solutions could be viewed as ‘one trick ponies’, newer solutions now have the potential to make them obsolete.
Today, modern asset tracking solutions can be viewed as ‘smart solutions’ that can help ensure trouble-free monitoring of fixed and mobile assets, using both cellular as well as high-accuracy GPS communications for precise locates of containers, bins, pallets, storage tanks and machinery.
The best of these new smart solutions now include built-in sensors that can trigger alerts based on unexpected motion, impact or tilt, as well as humidity, temperature and light measurements, notifying companies if a shipment has been compromised by unauthorized handling.
Data from these sensors can also be analyzed in different ways for a wide number of purposes. For example, sensors can report exactly where and at what time an incident occurred to help identify and eliminate points of shrinkage and theft. Also, shock and vibration measurements can be used to find the optimum transport method or route for fragile products before they are actually shipped.
Leveraging M2M connectivity and the power of the IoT, asset ID and tracking solutions help ensure your high-value assets are safe, secure and where they should be, even when they aren’t in your immediate area. High-value assets can include everything from merchandise being shipped on pallets, to fleets of transportation vehicles anywhere on the globe at any time. A few of the reasons company use asset ID and tracking solutions include preventing theft or loss and enhancing worker safety and real-time forecasting.
The latest asset tracking solutions also offer options to receive report status information at customized intervals and reasons. Optimally, the device incorporates FOTA (firmware over the air) capabilities for remote configuration to provide different levels of reporting based on whether units are in motion or stationary, minimizing the need for site visits.
For durability, modern solutions are ruggedized as well to withstand water, steam, dust, dirt and to tolerate a wide range of temperatures in harsh environments. These remote solutions may function for years before requiring batteries, depending upon usage frequency, and may store more data locally than has ever been achieved before.
It’s also important to ensure the solutions and platform you choose can provide global asset tracking, monitoring and management on any connected device so managers can make smart decisions based on factual data. This invaluable business intelligence will drive performance and create significant competitive advantages for agile companies.
Last but not least, when considering an asset tracking solutions provider take into account the capabilities of that provider’s horizontal platform. The provider must be adept at deploying a scalable and robust horizontal platform for any vertical market. The goal for any company is to have a single source provider which ensures a quick deployment of a robust, end-to-end solution that addresses your unique needs. When businesses attempt to ‘go it alone’, they quickly come to the realization that they lack the deep domain IoT knowledge necessary for success, resulting in product development delays, long deployment times, and additional unforeseen costs.
Companies would be wise to investigate providers who have the scope, scale and expertise to implement a full, end-to-end approach in delivering a global, smart asset tracking solution. To track, monitor, optimize and secure fixed or mobile high-value assets can be a monumental task for any company, regardless of technical sophistication. Choosing a provider that offers the latest asset tracking capabilities will ensure your business gets the most “bang for the buck” for your installation.