What is asset tracking and how can it help your business?

If you’re searching for a way to increase your fleet visibility, track your assets, boost productivity, and save your business money, you should consider equipping your fleet of service vehicles with an asset tracking system. 

“What is asset tracking, exactly?” you might ask, and perhaps more importantly, “How can asset tracking software help my business thrive?” If so, the following guide is perfect for you. Let’s take a closer look at what asset tracking is, the technology it includes, and how an asset tracking solution can power business growth. 

In particular, we’ll cover the following topics:

Let’s get started!

What is asset tracking?

Asset tracking monitors the physical location of your business’s resources, such as your vehicles and equipment. Leading asset tracking systems and technologies, however, do far more than simply provide location data about your fleet. They also relay important diagnostic information, such as your tire pressure, average speed, and engine status. 

Asset tracking tools that provide these types of information empower you to manage your fleet more effectively. You can access real-time performance data, get continuous updates about the status of your vehicles, and maximize asset utilization. 

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at how asset tracking technology works and what assets you can track with this powerful business management solution.

What Is an Example of Asset Tracking?

Let’s say that you manage a plumbing company and install tracking devices in your service trucks. When you use your fleet management application to access positional data, you are engaging in asset tracking. 

What Is the Process of Asset Tracking?

First, you need to equip your assets with GPS tracking devices. You also need to download the appropriate software or app, create an account, and link your devices to the account. From there, you can log in to your platform and access real-time asset location and status data. That’s all there is to it.

Key components of asset monitoring technology

Asset tracking devices typically rely on GPS technology to obtain and relay real-time geographical data back to fleet managers, such as a truck’s speed, location, and direction of travel, but GPS is only part of the equation. Asset tracking solutions also rely on technologies such as:

  • Sensors: The right asset tracking solution for your business will also include sensors that provide vehicle diagnostic data, which you can use to schedule preventive maintenance, thereby reducing your fleet’s downtime and maximizing productivity. 
  • Software: Asset tracking software acts as your information hub, which you’ll use to access all of the data collected by the GPS trackers and sensors. The program should feature an intuitive interface and user-friendly layout.
  • Mobile apps: Top asset tracking platforms (like Force Fleet Tracking) include mobile apps so you can manage your fleet on the go. 

When searching for a fleet tracking platform for your business, confirm that it includes each of these features. While simple GPS tracking solutions will help increase fleet visibility, an all-in-one option will provide optimal value for your company. 

Types of physical assets that can be tracked

You can use asset tracking technologies to monitor the status and location of any of your major assets, including service vehicles, large equipment, diagnostic tools, and even your inventory. There’s a common misconception that asset tracking solutions are only suitable for monitoring commercial semitruck fleets, but that’s simply not the case.

You can use asset tracking tools to manage your small vehicle fleet as well. The versatility of tracking solutions makes them an ideal fit for service providers, such as those in the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical industries. Put simply, if you have a small vehicle fleet, you can benefit from asset tracking technology. 

GPS trackers for small vehicles provide all of the data you need to oversee your assets and protect your business, and you can use these insights to increase vehicle lifespans, reduce maintenance costs, and hold your team accountable. 

The benefits of asset tracking for small businesses

The benefits of asset tracking include the following:

Improved inventory management capabilities

Once your vehicles leave the yard, can you easily track their location? Or do you have to manually contact each driver via call or text and ask for an update? The latter approach is inefficient, and it distracts your team members from fulfilling their daily tasks. 

Fortunately, you can take the hassle out of managing your vehicle and equipment inventory with asset tracking technologies. These solutions give you real-time updates about the location and status of your assets so you can maximize utilization and increase productivity. You can also eliminate the need to contact individual drivers, as you can simply log into your tracking app anytime you want an update on their location. 

Suppose that you operate an HVAC service company. You can use asset tracking tools to keep up with vehicles, and technicians, so you can leverage these insights to ensure your staff arrives at appointments on time and with the proper equipment. This means happy customers who look forward to frequenting your business again.

Better asset visibility

Asset tracking solutions significantly increase asset visibility, which not only makes it easier to manage your inventory but also allows you to maximize your asset utilization rate (basically, getting the most bang for your buck). You invested your hard-earned money into your vehicles and equipment, so if you want to get a strong return on that investment, you need to ensure that your utilization rate is near or at 100%.

Increasing asset visibility also informs your decision-making process. For instance, if a long-time cleaning client requests a last-minute service visit, you can quickly determine whether you have any vehicles in the area and reassign a technician to that service call, coming through for your loyal customer.

Reduced asset loss and theft

You’ve worked hard to build your fleet and grow your business. Now, you need to protect it by equipping your vehicles and equipment with asset tracking technology.

Asset trackers are an effective way of guarding against losses and discouraging theft. In the event that one of your vehicles is stolen, you can relay its location data to local authorities and expedite the recovery process. The sooner your vehicle is recovered, the lower the odds that it becomes severely damaged by those that took it. 

Disaster preparedness

Your current disaster preparedness strategy may rely on manually counting all of your tools, assets, and vehicles. While such an approach can be effective, it’s ultimately unnecessarily time-consuming. When preparing for disasters such as blizzards, hurricanes, or other severe weather events, every second counts.

You can make the most of your limited prep time by using asset tracking technology to automate your inventory management process. You can rely on your GPS asset tracking software to track and monitor the status of every vehicle before, during, and after the disaster strikes. 

More importantly, this empowers your team to leap into action as soon as severe weather is over. Whether you operate a lawn care, pest control, or cleaning business, you can ensure that you are there for your customers when it matters most, resulting in a lasting impact on your brand reputation and helping you establish your business as the go-to service provider in your area. 

Increased asset maintenance capabilities

Asset tracking technology is the prime solution to reduce your downtime and increase the service life of your vehicles.

The top asset tracking solutions gather a broad range of diagnostic information about your vehicles, including fuel efficiency, average speeds during trips, and engine performance information. You can even use your asset tracking platform to monitor idle time and reduce fuel waste.

When a vehicle is due for maintenance, you’ll know about it, and you can use that insight to promptly schedule any needed repairs, thereby reducing downtime and increasing the service life of your equipment. 

Optimized productivity 

Automating core asset tracking tasks with GPS technology will save you countless hours each week. Your maintenance staff and drivers will save time, as well, as they’ll be able to effortlessly access the vehicle diagnostics data they need when they need it.

Cutting manual asset tracking processes out of your workflow will improve the productivity and reliability of your entire business, which will help you strengthen your brand image, develop a loyal customer base, and fuel the continued growth of your company. 

💡Curious about the benefits of GPS tracking for your small business? Learn how GPS tracking can help you reduce costs, increase efficiency, and boost revenue.

Asset tracking methods

There are several different asset tracking methods that you can adopt to increase your fleet visibility and monitor your vehicles, some of which include the following:

  • GPS: GPS technology is foundational to asset tracking, allowing you to precisely monitor the location of your vehicles, whether they’re across the street or across the country. 
  • RFID: Radio frequency identification relies on an electromagnetic field to track tags that can be attached to freight, tools, and other objects. These tags are a great means of tracking inventory, equipment, and other non-vehicle assets. 
  • NFC: Near-field communication (NFC) allows two electronic devices to communicate when in close proximity to one another. For instance, you could install NFC technology on your vehicles and your fleet access gate. As vehicles pass the gate, they can be logged in and out.

While all of these solutions can deliver value for your business, GPS technology is the most versatile. With that said, if you’re interested in enhancing your asset tracking capabilities, installing GPS trackers is a great first step. 

💡 Want to see how Force Fleet Tracking’s GPS tracking feature can help you stay on top of your assets? Explore how we’ve helped other businesses like yours optimize their operations. 

How Force Fleet Tracking can help small businesses track assets

Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into the question of “what is asset tracking?” and explored its many benefits, it’s time to elevate your ability to track assets. However, you first need to choose the right asset management system for your business, and that’s where we come in. 

Force Fleet Tracking provides its users with an ideal combination of value and features to help them maximize their return on investment. Our user-friendly asset management software features true plug-and-play hardware, which provides a seamless installation process. 

Published June 1, 2023