In today’s fast-paced business environment, protecting valuable assets is a top priority for businesses in all industries. Many companies often have to deal with the theft of machines, equipment, and vehicles, which negatively affects profits and operating costs. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this issue and explain how an asset-tracking solution can help businesses minimize risk and ensure the safety of valuable assets.
What do company owners risk by not tracking their assets?
Surprisingly, statistics show that about 75% of employees have stolen from their employers at least once. The average age of thieves is 48 years, and up to 72% of all workplace thefts are committed by men. In approximately 20% of cases, companies are faced with theft of money; the remaining losses occur in equipment or products. That’s why businesses need an effective asset tracking solution to help prevent such issues.
Without implementing an asset tracking technology, business owners risk many serious problems. They face a lack of deterrence, problems with theft detection and low asset visibility, and increased costs for purchasing new equipment.
Lack of deterrent factor
If there are sensors throughout the building that monitor the equipment, this deters potential criminals, as they’re scared of being caught. Without a deterrent factor, it’s almost impossible to deter thieves, and they can quietly remove assets without fear of being tracked or caught.
Low asset visibility
Without an indoor asset tracking system, management can’t see the location of their assets in real-time. Valuable assets remain out of the line of sight and may be stolen. Before the system is implemented into the infrastructure, staff have to waste a lot of time searching for equipment and vehicles, which makes facilities more vulnerable to theft.
Problems with detecting and responding to thefts
One of the most useful features of the tracking system is to instantly notify staff and management when objects are moved without permission. Without these notifications, the management can’t immediately understand that an asset has been stolen, and this provides criminals with more time to take valuable resources outside the territory. The longer a company takes to respond to a theft, the less likely it is to recover what was stolen.
If you don’t use an indoor asset tracking system, this entails increased financial losses. Recovering lost items can be challenging, and purchasing new ones to replace stolen items can often be expensive.
As you can see, failing to track assets can cause many issues, so using a state-of-the-art tracking system and minimizing the risk of theft is much more effective.
What is an indoor asset tracking system?
An indoor asset tracking system is a set of tools that allow you to control the movement of assets in real-time. The system includes software and fixed or wearable devices that locate assets, track asset movements, and provide users with detailed movement history.
The platform is based on sensors (known as beacons/tags) placed throughout the building. They send out radio pulses at a certain cadence, and these signals are received by readers and transmitted to the server. Next, these signals with identifiers are processed to obtain information about the location of the object. Finally, the data is sent to a PC or smartphone on which the application is installed.
Asset monitoring can be implemented with or without geofencing, meaning the building will be treated as one large zone. The first option is considered more convenient for warehouses and factories since it allows you to set access rights for staff to enter certain zones.
The asset tracking technology is effective due to the following reasons:
- All information about the location of objects is sent to users in real-time, which means that the management always knows where certain assets are located. Additionally, the system shows when equipment is idle or is under increased load, which allows you to optimize its operation.
- Monitoring solutions make it easier to keep track of equipment across your enterprise. Thanks to information about the location of assets, inspections can be carried out much more accurately and quickly. In addition, the system reduces the company’s dependence on third-party audit organizations, which minimizes the risks of theft and human errors.
- Geofencing allows managers to receive notifications about changes in the location of objects. If an asset begins to move without permission, a notification is immediately sent that warns of unauthorized use of equipment or vehicles. Even when equipment leaves the territory, it can still be tracked, which helps cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
- Frequent theft can damage a company’s reputation. Minimizing risks will help maintain the trust of both customers and suppliers or partners.
- Asset tracking information helps managers identify patterns in theft or attempted theft. Thanks to detailed analytics, you can take proactive security measures that will reduce your assets’ vulnerability to theft.
Technologies for tracking systems
The asset tracking solution can be implemented into the company’s infrastructure using various technologies. UWB, Bluetooth® Low Energy, and RFID are the most suitable ones.
This technology type is based on short radio pulses and provides high location accuracy of up to 12 inches. It can be defined by low power consumption, easy implementation, and universal design of wearable equipment. However, installing UWB tags can be quite expensive, so the technology is usually used for monitoring high-value assets.
The system uses miniature beacons that combine affordable prices and low energy consumption. Using this technology has several advantages, such as:
- high accuracy of object tracking of up to 3 ft;
- versatility: can be used to monitor any assets, whether it be vehicles, forklifts, products, or tools;
- Long battery life: the beacon battery lasts for an average of 5 years.
This technology works using readers that allow you to calculate the location of objects within a radius of up to hundreds of feet. Special sensors create radio signals that operate at certain frequencies. When tags on moving assets fall within the range of readers, they send out identifiers that allow for real-time equipment monitoring.
To sum up, asset tracking technology plays an important role in business development. The system doesn’t require high implementation costs but allows you to minimize theft and protect valuable resources. With it, you can improve the operating activities of your business and make assets more transparent and efficient.