What Is Asset Tracking & How Does it Work?

Asset Tracking logistic worker


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A company’s physical assets are on the move every day. A single asset can change hands and ownership several times in just a few weeks or months. If an established asset tracking system isn’t in place, those items can easily get lost in the shuffle. And sometimes, assets are not innocently lost—workplace theft accounts for roughly $50 billion of loss for U.S. employers.

If you want to ensure your company can keep track of its assets at all times, it’s time to invest in asset tracking. So first, let’s dive into what asset tracking is.


What Is Asset Tracking?

At its core, asset tracking is the process of tracking the location of physical assets. In this case, a physical asset refers to a resource owned by the company that has tangible economic value (usually over $300).

To give an example of asset tracking, think of how public libraries keep track of their books. Using barcode scanners and an online asset management system helps them keep tabs on who has their books, when their books are due, and what books they still have on the shelves.

This is a basic form of asset tracking and illustrates how it can help businesses manage their assets. Now, let’s look at how asset tracking works on a larger scale.


How Does Asset Tracking Work?

Asset tracking is the product of several technologies working in unison to deliver detailed information about your assets. Let’s go over what those technologies are and what they do to make asset tracking function properly, and much more.


Asset Management System

An asset management system is a hub for all information related to the assets’ location, ownership, and well-being. Here, you create a record for each physical asset you wish to track. This record usually contains a serial number, description of the product, purchase date and price, warranty information, and a history of who was previously assigned the asset.


Serial Number

The serial number allows for individual asset traceability and helps differentiate similar products from each other. For example, if a system tells you that you’re missing one laptop, that’s not particularly helpful. But if it says you’re missing laptop #00489, that’s much easier to search for.


Product Description

The product description is a straightforward label of what the asset is. It could be as simple as “Macbook Air” or “Sony headphones.”

The type of item you wish to track will vary depending on your organization. For example, educational institutions may wish to keep track of Chromebooks, textbooks and other supplies owned by the school.


Assignment History

Let’s say an asset is lost. How do you know who it was last assigned to? Where can you find their contact information? With an asset management system, you’ll know the answer to both questions for every asset you have. And you’ll have a detailed history of every person who has ever been assigned the asset in case you need it.


Barcode Scanning

All of the information previously mentioned can be captured by a single, efficient process: barcode scanning. Each physical asset will have a barcode to scan before assigning it. Additionally,  the individuals you are assigning the assets to should have an ID card or number. Using the barcode scanner to quickly scan both when making delivery ensures the asset is properly assigned to the right person in real-time.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Due dates, scheduled maintenance, warranties, depreciation, retirement, and much more can be easily tracked and managed using an asset management system.


How Does Asset Tracking Benefit Businesses?

The overall benefit of asset tracking is to reduce the time and money a company spends on asset management. However, additional benefits can arise from utilizing this technology, including:

  • Minimal asset losses. By tracking who has your assets, the borrowers have measurable accountability for those assets. This can result in fewer instances of lost, stolen, or damaged assets.


  • More efficient and productive employees. Asset management shouldn’t consume all of your time. Thanks to asset tracking’s cloud software, you can easily access rich data from anywhere so you know exactly where all of your assets are. When you don’t have to spend so much time on individual assets.


  • Maximized utilization. Asset management can help you quickly, and easily, monitor the utilization of each and every asset. Readily see what is in use and what is on the shelf. Ensure you maximize the utilization and ROI of your asset investments.


  • Fewer unnecessary asset purchases. How many times have you purchased an asset that never gets used? That kind of error can cost you thousands of dollars. Asset tracking limits those errors by showing you what gets used and how often it’s rented.


  • Better flexibility to scale. No matter how many assets you need to track, the process will never change. So when your asset number fluctuates, you’re asset tracking system can grow and/or shrink accordingly.


How Can You Be Sure You Need Asset Tracking?

Every business investment should be worth your money. So how can you tell if asset tracking is the right move for your business? Asset tracking may be in your future if you’ve:

  • Purchased more assets to support your growing business
  • Noticed some assets have gone missing
  • You’ve purchased an asset only to realize you didn’t need it

If any of these describe your current asset management situation, we strongly recommend investing in asset tracking.


Up Your Asset Tracking IQ

Are you ready to better manage your physical assets? Then it’s time to invest in an asset management system that saves you time and makes it easier to assign your assets which ensures accountability while minimizing losses

Flex Asset Solutions is easy to use and quick to get started with. We can have you up and running in hour hours or days instead of weeks or months.

And there’s never been a better time to get started with free setup and an extended 3 month trial period. So what are you waiting for? We invite you to be the next to enjoy the benefits of all Flex Asset Solutions has to offer. Ready to see what we can do for your business?

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