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An overview of modern asset tracking systems
Most modern companies whether they are big or small possess physical assets that need to be tracked, managed and monitored. From printers, laptops, screens to trucks and vehicles, every piece of equipment or hardware that the company has invested in needs to be monitored. About ten years ago, asset tracking was mainly conducted using spreadsheets and manual methods. Asset reports would be generated for accounting and the data would be entered into spreadsheets for tracking and management.
In the modern industrial climate, the number assets are increasing at a rapid pace. Today companies own thousands of indoor and outdoor assets that need to be tracked for improving process efficiency, financial accounting and cost reduction. The scene for asset management is increasingly becoming data intensive with real-time tracking capabilities. Using modern technologies like QR codes, RFID tags, smartphone support and cloud databases, has led to specialized reporting, customization, real-time tracking and maintenance of database without investing in servers. Groups like BarCloud, GoCodes and GigaTrak are all comprehensive asset tracking service providers with modern capabilities like QR codes, cloud database, automated DBMS and multiple platform support.
There is a growing need for real-time data and data analytics in the realm of asset tracking and management. The speed of information gathering and processing is of critical importance to organizations. Added to this is the relevancy of data which is dependent on time lags. Inputs taken from real-time data has a significant impact on the way companies operate. There need to be accurate and on-time records of the location of assets, their current status and details about their availability. This not only ensures greater accuracy in managing assets but also reduces equipment downtime and provides real-time visibility.
BarCloud – A comprehensive asset tracking and inventory management system by ASAP Systems
Developed by ASAP Systems, BarCloud is a comprehensive inventory management and asset tracking system that leverages technologies like barcodes, RFID and smartphone support. They also have an app by the same name which is just an extension of their cloud-based asset tracking application. Some of the key features of BarCloud are mentioned below:
- Renaming asset data fields- Using BarCloud’s asset management system allows users to rename any asset data field according to convenience. This makes asset tracking easier and user-friendly.
- The configuration of barcode labels- Almost every asset that a company owns can be identified using barcodes. This makes asset tracking and data input much easier. BarCloud also allows users format barcode labels according to their requirements.
- Flexibility is asset report generation- Their cloud-based asset tracking system features an easy to use report-wizard-tool, that generates real-time reports based on live data to provide insight. The platform is not only user-friendly but also saves time.
- Customized notification and alerts- BarCloud users can customize their notifications and alert messages. Such alert messages can then be sent over multiple platforms like email and SMS to suitable employees. For example, if the company has loaned equipment out, the asset managers can generate alerts intimating of the same along with other details like terms of usage and return dates. Another example of customized report generation is if your equipment or assets are nearing their maintenance schedule, then alert messages can be generated informing people of the same.
Patented technology and smartphone support with GoCodes
GoCodes is a complete, fixed asset tracking and management system that supports smartphones and QR codes. It operates on a cloud database and is completely free for Apple users. There is no need for extra infrastructure during the implementation of GoCodes solutions as they operate on any system, tablet or smartphone. It also provides GPS capabilities to provide real-time tracking along with a smartphone-enabled scanner. Booming since 2011, GoCodes uses patented technologies to track and manage company assets. Some of the critical features of GoCodes are mentioned below:
- Use of patented technology- GoCodes features their patented GPS tracking technology based on QR codes. This helps in reducing incidents of asset loss or theft. Field trials of this technology have indicated that over 50% of lost assets can be recovered using this GPS technology. The QR stickers that they provide is completely tamper-proof.
- Turn your smartphones into barcode scanners- GoCodes equips the user’s smartphone (irrespective of make and model) with powerful barcode scanning capabilities. This incredibly cost effective as companies do not need to invest in buying separate barcode scanners.
- Includes tough QR code labels, setup and ready-to-go- GoCodes solutions include customized, professional quality assets labels with options for tags that can withstand extreme operating environments. GoCodes saves your team time and money, by cutting out additional label vendors, printing and setup costs.
- No investment in infrastructure required- GoCodes solutions work on multiple platforms and do not require systems with heavy specifications. Their software is relatively simple and works on any computer, tab or smartphone.
- Offers 30-day free trail- GoCodes offers a 30 day free to all of its users. Thus making it ideal for businesses which are new to the field of advanced asset tracking. GoCodes consistently ranks high in being the best value for the money asset tracking system, due to its ease of use and affordability.
How does GigaTrak asset tracking work?
GigaTrak is ideally suited for large corporations where assets are distributed over multiple facilities. They not only offer packaged systems in the form of starter and advanced packs but also provide customized solutions across various industries. They offer services for a wide range of assets like tools, screens, lab equipment, art-pieces, documents, computer systems among others. By leveraging barcode scanning and tracking facilities, GigaTrak has greatly reduced a loss of tool and assets. It also allows its users to schedule asset maintenance, track repairs, figure out depreciation, maintain historical records of assets on usage and categorize tools based on job type. Some of their main features include:
- Minimal start-up time- GigaTrak installed asset tracking systems are extremely easy to implement. Most organizations can install the systems and start using them the very same day.
- Flexibility across multiple industries- As mentioned above, GigaTrak provides services to a wide range of assets. Their systems are flexible enough to take in diverse varieties of assets.
- Unlimited addition of facilities and location- GigaTrak allows companies with assets spread across various facilities to integrate their tracking and management on one platform. Organizations can input an unlimited number of facilities and locations for tracking of assets.
- Four versions of asset tracking software- They offer four different versions of their software. This allows companies to choose the right software that is tailored to their specific needs. Even though GigaTrak is primarily beneficial for large companies, there are also the starter and basic versions available for small and new companies.
A comparative summary
There are numerous asset management services available on the market today. Choosing the right software or service which is appropriate for your organization, requires analysis of assets and planning. One needs to understand the life cycle of assets (both tangible and intangible assets). Before implementing any form of asset tracking systems, meetings should be conducted with all the concerned stakeholders so that the entire team is on board with the new system. The system that you choose must ultimately be compatible with the present technologies of your organization. Before going ahead with a full-fledged implementation, businesses are advised to ask for free-demo or trial services for a fixed period of time in order to field test the systems and measure compatibility.
Making a choice between BarCloud, GoCodes or GigaTrak solely depends on the status and nature of the company. During the scaling or transformational phase, companies go through a wide variety of changes. Newer assets are purchased, assets are reassigned to different locations and purposes and various process changes take place. During such a phase, BarCloud offers the most appropriate services as they offer a wide range of customizable options. You can rename your data fields, reassign barcode labels and effectively track the change in equipment.
However, if the organization is involved in asset transfer over long distances, then GoCodes might be the ideal choice. They have a proven track record of recovering lost assets using their patented technologies and have reduced asset misplacement figures for multiple organizations. Also, if the company is in its nascent stages, then GoCodes will be a perfect fit as they are not only affordable (low cost and no new investments in infrastructure) but also offer free-trial services for 30 days. They can bring comprehensive asset tracking capabilities to new organizations and start-ups which do not possess the necessary infrastructure by transforming the user’s smartphones into powerful scanning, report viewing, and tracking tool.
GigaTrak, on the other hand, is extremely useful for large organizations spread across multiple locations. With their unlimited facility and location management features, large corporations can track all of their assets using a single platform. Even though GigaTrak has various customizable versions of their software for different industries, they have seen high success rates in tracking and management of tools and machines. With their relatively simple and fast check-in/check-out systems, contractors and workers do not have to worry about losing tools in the field ever again. Hence industries which are heavy on tool and machine use should go for GigaTrak’s asset management system.