When it comes to running a business efficiently, having good visibility over its core assets is vital. But a surprising number of companies lack a clear picture of the quantity and location of the equipment, tools and parts that they need to keep moving. Of those that do have this information, many collect it manually, which is time-consuming, costly and vulnerable to human error.
Investing in an automated asset-tracking technology like RFID not only lets you see the location and quantity of your company’s key assets at any given time, it can also help you understand what’s happening to them along the way. With this information, you can speed up core processes, save costs and keep your business running reliably. Here are 5 improvements you can make using asset tracking.
Spend less time locating things
One of the most immediate and obvious benefits of automated asset tracking is that it drastically cuts down time spent looking for things.
Having a clear picture of the whereabouts of equipment and tools means that staff will be able to quickly access what they need, when they need it.
Using RFID technology, you can quickly and precisely locate the stock, RTIs and raw materials you need, when you need them.
This not only helps staff to work efficiently, but prevents the unnecessary delays to processes that occur when vital equipment can’t be located, or isn’t available.
Save time spent manually tracking assets
Manual tracking takes time and can be unreliable. If you’re running a big operation, it can take staff such a long time to work their way around and log data manually that by the time it’s reported, the information is out of date.
By automating asset tracking, you’ll know you can rely on the information you have, and you’ll be able to reallocate staff who have previously spent time manually collecting this data to other, more valuable tasks.
Reduce loss and damage rates
Certain items, such as RTIs, are particularly vulnerable to loss and damage. Individually, they’re fairly low cost, so it’s easy to ignore a lost RTI here or a broken wheel there, but over time, the cost of replacing these items can represent a significant outlay.
Visibility means accountability. Data from RFID tracking is collected consistently and reliably, so you’ll know where key assets are at any given time.
If an asset is damaged, it becomes much easier to pinpoint where in the overall process that damage occurred. Obviously, accidents happen and some breakages can’t be avoided, but knowing that assets are being carefully tracked tends to incentivise workers to take more responsibility for assets in their care, and makes it less likely that damage will be caused through carelessness.
Optimise your layouts
Another advantage of collecting asset tracking data, is that you can adjust your layout to support efficient processes. It becomes easier to spot assets that are commonly accessed together, and respond by simply moving them closer to each other.
For example, if your data shows that MHE (Materials Handling Equipment), such as a group of forklifts, are used at the start of every day to access stock on the opposite side of the warehouse, you can either move the inventory or move the MHE to speed things up.
By using asset tracking data to make a series of simple changes such as this, you’ll be making much bigger improvements to the overall efficiency of your operations.
Improve visibility, improve utilisation
Once you have visibility of your assets, you can often make improvements to the way they’re used.
By tracking assets over time, it becomes much easier to spot patterns in where they are being used and when, and it’s likely that some of these patterns will point towards inefficient or incorrect use of equipment.
For example, if your data shows that over time, a piece of MHE is regularly being used for longer periods than intended, you can investigate why this is happening, and respond. It might be that there’s a fault with the item, making it harder to use. In this case, you can the necessary steps to fix the fault, or replace the item.
Alternatively, it could be that the staff in charge of using that particular piece of equipment need some additional training, to help speed things up.
Understanding how your assets are being used over time is the first step towards improving their utilisation.
Seeking a clearer picture of the availability, location and usage of your company’s core assets is an essential step for business owners looking to improve their operations.
By automating asset tracking, you’ll vastly reduce the time needed to collect this information manually, and will end up with a data set that’s infinitely more reliable.
With better visibility, you be able to prevent loss and damage to your company’s assets, and identify opportunities to improve utilisation.