Asset tracking is the process of monitoring and continuously collecting information about your business’s physical assets. No matter the size of your business, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping track of your equipment or inventory. While it might not feel like a priority when you’re first starting your business, asset tracking allows you to see how efficient your company and work models are early on. It also allows you to find weak points in your work strategy, so you can streamline some processes and save time.
While there are many benefits to asset-tracking, it can also be time-consuming. However, you no longer have to do it all by hand, as there are various specialized asset tracking programs to choose from. Knowing what features to look for when choosing your asset tracker will help you get the most value for your investment and be as efficient as possible.
The Ability to Customize
Different companies will need different things out of an asset tracker, depending on the type and volume of assets you’re managing. Instead of using generalized software that’s made to fit all, look for something that suits your business’s exact needs.
You can use asset tracking software to catalog and manage anything from heavy equipment and vehicles to appliances and electronics. Before committing to an asset tracking software, make a list of what you’re hoping to track and see whether your software of choice seems like a good fit.
Flexibility and Scalability
When your business grows, whether it happens gradually or seemingly overnight, your needs will change as well. Perhaps you’ll expand into a new sector and find yourself managing new assets. Or perhaps your operation will experience fluctuations in size as market conditions and other circumstances change.
Either way, you’ll want an asset tracking software that’s flexible and scalable to grow and shrink along with your needs. Additionally, your software should be smart enough to understand the relationship between your older and more recent data, even if many of your circumstances have changed. That way, you won’t have to start from scratch with data analysis every time your business goes through a transition.
As Much Detail as Possible
Tracking assets doesn’t just end with knowing where every piece of machinery in your inventory is stored. The more data your software can track, the more insightful information you can extract about the condition of your business. That way, you get a clearer picture of how you’re using your resources and ways to implement changes to be more efficient.
For example, a sound system won’t just track where everything is located but also keep track of how and when it’s being used. Rather than only presenting data in the form of spreadsheets, it’ll break it down into digestible forms that are easy to understand and use as options for improving your management and work strategy. Additionally, your tracking software needs to be able to take into account temporary circumstances, like if an asset is broken or under maintenance, and paint a realistic image of your situation.
To run a business successfully, you need as much insight and automation as possible, which means your asset tracker isn’t the only software in your arsenal. You’ll likely also use other tools to manage your operations—for example, look into software like FMX to streamline work order management. These two software programs work hand-in-hand to extend an equipment asset’s life and performance. Some programs may even offer both functions in one tool.
Your asset tracking software must mesh seamlessly with other programs so that they don’t require constant human intervention (therefore defeating the purpose of automation).
Ease of Use
Remember that your team will use the software regularly and train new employees on it, so it must be intuitive and straightforward. Otherwise, you might find that your team is unwilling to use it or that they make many mistakes when they do.
Software that works for you will offer settings like automatic notifications to ensure your team doesn’t waste time constantly checking for updates or forget to check altogether. That being said, it will also help your team avoid notification fatigue, which comes about when a program sends so many notifications that the user stops paying attention to them, leading to mistakes and missed information.
Part of using even the most well-designed software is dealing with occasional technical difficulties. This is especially true when you’re using a new tool or looking to make root changes. To efficiently navigate inevitable questions and frustrations, your asset tracking software of choice needs to come with suitable technical and customer support at the ready.
This can range from round-the-clock support by phone and email to a technician available to visit on-site and examine the issue. Whatever it is, make sure the software provider’s response time can fit within your schedule and productivity.
Don’t Shy Away from Questions
Before committing to a yearly subscription or purchasing an asset tracking software, make sure it can meet all of your current and future needs. Most companies like to focus on their product’s advantages and strong points and avoid mentioning their shortcomings, so you’ll need to know the right topics to ask about to make sure you have a complete picture of a software’s capabilities. By understanding your own needs and asking questions, you’ll be able to determine whether a particular software suits your business.