Modern telecommunications networks have given fleet managers the ability to track vehicles for many years now. The virtually endless supply of energy from a vehicle’s engine, alternator and battery means that a vehicle can be tracked as long as there is gas in the tank and or charge in the battery.
Up until recently, the ability to track smaller pieces of mobile equipment like dehumidifiers or fans has eluded fleet managers because they don’t provide the same ample amount of energy to power a GPS beacon that a vehicle does. Thanks to advancements in RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technologies that emit short-range signals with very little energy required, fleet managers can now track their mobile assets with greater precision.
Mobile Asset Tracking Software
What’s coming to be known in the industry as “asset tracking” isn’t necessarily referring to the ability to ping a GPS beacon on demand using satellites like with conventional tracking beacons. Asset tracking generally refers to the ability of mobile assets equipped with BLE or RFID tags to piggyback off the GPS data of vehicles with full GPS asset tracking.
For example, if a van equipped with full GPS tracking carrying a load of dehumidifiers rolls up to a job site and unloads eight dehumidifiers, the BLE tags on the dehues will note that the last known communication with the primary GPS beacon onboard the vehicle was at the address they were dropped off. Therefore, a fleet manager can view this data and deduce that those eight dehumidifiers are at that address. If another one of the fleet vehicles equipped with full GPS comes to pick up those eight dehumidifiers, the BLE tags on the dehues will note that last known location is with that vehicle until they are dropped off at another address.
The Benefits of Mobile Asset Tracking Software
While piggybacking off GPS asset tracking doesn’t provide the same level of trackability that you get with vehicles, it’s certainly an improvement from no tracking at all. Knowing the address of where the assets are located can benefit businesses in a number of ways:
1. Optimizing Asset Usage:
Every business wants their equipment to provide them with the biggest return on their investment possible. If you’re a restoration company that needs to leave a dehumidifier at a job site for four days and it takes you over a week to get it to another location, you’re essentially only getting 50 percent of the potential productivity from that asset, eating into your bottom line.
2. Minimizing Asset Loss:
Getting the most use out of your assets is important, but ensuring they don’t go missing altogether is crucial. Many service fleets accept equipment loss as a part of doing business and anticipate replacing equipment as a part of their overall operating costs. If you’re able to minimize equipment losses by tracking where they’ve been left, that’s money that’s staying in the business for future investments.
3. Improving Customer Service:
If you’re coming into someone’s home after a flood and need to leave equipment like fans behind to wrap up the job, the customer is probably under a significant amount of stress. The sooner you can come back to remove the equipment and return the customer’s home to a state of normality, the better impression the customer will have of your company. We all know happy customers are much more likely to refer business your way.
This new short-range method of tracking assets is still evolving. The best practices to fully utilize GPS asset tracking software will surely be refined as it gets deployed in the field and users provide feedback on how to maximize its usefulness.
Do you manage or work with a fleet that frequently leaves assets at job sites? Nero Global Tracking would welcome the opportunity to learn about your logistical challenges and how this new emerging technology could help improve efficiencies and your bottom line.