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Critical assets are essential to your business and have severe financial consequences if they go missing. Using technology to track critical assets does not have to be complicated for operations leaders; here are 5 things every operations leader should know about enterprise asset tracking.
Have you ever assumed that you had an asset or inventory, but in reality, that asset was lost or stolen? Those are referred to as ghost assets. A study by Gartner estimates that 10-20% of hospital inventory goes missing every year, and it takes employees about 21 minutes to look for hoarded items.
Regardless of what industry you are in, the fact remains that ghost assets decrease your productivity when employees go looking for lost assets rather than focusing on the task at hand. Asset tracking solutions improve productivity by giving you real-time information of where your critical assets are, and keeps your employees focused on their important tasks.
An asset tracking solution can not only track location, but tags can also give you real-time data on environmental factors such as acceleration, temperature, humidity, light, shock, or pressure. For example, if you set the temperature of your perishable food to 320F and the temperature increases to 350F you can make quick adjustments that can save you from repurchasing new inventory. Having access to sensor data helps you make quick decisions and saves you money. Operations leaders can also use the data from RTLS solutions to track maintenance schedules, meet compliance deadlines or keep critical assets in working condition, all of which impact the bottom line and make a company more profitable and efficient.
Passive RFID and barcodes are appropriate for tracking some assets, however, critical assets usually need real-time location information and that’s where RTLS technology comes in. Because RTLS tags can update location information of critical assets and give you real-time time knowledge, they help show you where your critical assets are.
RTLS technology prevents theft of critical assets because operations leaders can identify when critical assets are being moved or have crossed zones. Further, the presence of a tracking tag alone can deter potential thieves.
When it comes to asset tracking, there are three main costs: cost of the tag, cost of the infrastructure, and cost of the maintenance. So how will Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE tags) help your business lower costs?
Because AirFinder uses Bluetooth differently, we’re able to use off-the-shelf, mass-produced tags (with our firmware added) that extend the battery life up to 400x the regular battery life and saves costs on replacing tags, labor costs of replacing batteries, and costs of replacement batteries.
Our tags listen to reference point beacons which allows them to precisely locate themselves before reporting this location back to the network. Other BLE tag systems have the tags constantly beacon and require readers to locate the tags based on raw RSSI data. The patented technology in the AirFinder system allows you to keep costs down while maximizing precision.
Historically, using two separate asset tracking systems for indoor asset tracking and outdoor asset tracking was the norm. This is because outdoor asset tracking technologies depend on GPS, Wi-Fi sniffing, and Cell ID, while indoor asset tracking depends on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ultrawide-band, acoustic system, or infrared system. Therefore, it was not uncommon for companies to use two separate solutions.
However, with the AirFinder SuperTag, Link Labs has solved this problem. The AirFInder SuperTag allows for a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor assets tracking with one tag. This is possible because the Supertag combines five distinct indoor and outdoor location technologies - GPS/GNSS, Wi-Fi location lookup, Cell ID, POLTE, and our own AirFinder Indoor Positioning Network. These technologies work hand-in-hand to give you real time visibility no matter where your critical asset is located. The AirFinder SuperTag now makes it possible for operations leaders to track critical assets with one simple solution at an affordable cost.
Using the right RTLS solution is important to help you get the most out of asset tracking and have the highest ROI for your organization or department. And the right partner can help you choose the best solution for your business. We’ll help you evaluate your use case and business needs to determine whether we’re a good fit - and if not, we’ll recommend a solution that best fits your needs.