Successful asset management is crucial for a logistics and warehouse business! Businesses frequently move their assets from the warehouse or facility to another location, which raises the risk of asset loss and theft. For this reason, asset tracking is crucial for them. An inappropriate approach to logistics management can have a negative financial effect on your firm. This is especially true in the era of asset tracking and logistics asset management technologies like barcode, RFID, and Quick Response Tags (QR codes). In this blog, we will discuss asset management systems and why good asset management is crucial for warehouses.
What is Asset Management?
Asset management is the systematic method of managing and tracking assets. Additionally, it involves operating improvements and asset disposal. Overall, it successfully and efficiently controls the entire asset life cycle. Assets are managed, invested in, and eventually phased out in favor of future investments rather than being sold rapidly like inventories.
Asset management is a must for every business. In this manner, its stakeholders would be aware of the resources that can be used to provide the best results. Any company’s assets can be divided into two groups: fixed assets and current assets. Assets bought for long-term usage are referred to as fixed or non-current assets, whilst those that may be turned into cash quickly are known as current assets. Managers frequently have to deal with two key issues when it comes to asset management. What part does the asset management process play, to start? Second, how can a business create an effective asset management strategy?
Why is Asset Management Crucial?
The world of IoT and smart asset tracking is a game changer for businesses that work with the warehouse sector or for businesses that run their own facilities. All around the world, facilities like warehouses have been built. Every business either owns or operates a warehouse that contains important assets for the end owner. If the aforementioned businesses are to maintain their business models, they must have quantifiable assets that contribute to their worth and profitability. Every company searches for ways to make sure it is running as effectively and productively as it can. If not supervised with additional manpower, loss of visibility to manual procedures could have a detrimental influence on an operation. Even more significant than knowing you have assets is knowing what they are doing. Even security systems and modern ERP systems are starting to change to fit into the world of IoT, machine learning, and AI. New hardware capabilities that allow owning sensors now inexpensive as well as software that can run on numerous low band and LTE networks to efficiently connect with the “Operations” are in the middle of this change. Warehouse operations can make the most of their equipment, maintain inventories, make use of unused space, and ensure optimal equipment utilization if they can keep track of their resources, assets and equipment usage. Asset tracking software, as well as cutting-edge Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that can seamlessly integrate and coordinate data aggregation and analytics, are required to achieve this.
Importance of Asset Management in Warehouses
With asset tags and logistics asset management, warehouse organizations can effectively manage and trace their assets. Moreover, tags are used by organizations to manage assets systematically. An asset is tagged with tags, which often include unique identifiers that allow the asset to be tracked. Supervisors can retrieve data about assets using asset management technology and a handheld scanner. They are useful for managing, organizing, and managing assets, including asset acquisition and asset disposal. By eliminating manual asset tracking, these tags are also beneficial in lowering errors. Most significantly, they are vital in supplying important information about the mobility of assets, their upkeep costs, and other things.
Real-time information is crucial because the warehouse and logistics sector is a particularly complicated one. As we just discussed already, there are several technologies for asset tags, including barcodes and RFID. However, because GPS and IoT offer real-time data, they are the greatest technologies for the logistics sector. Knowing the product’s real-time information allows you to give your client or business partner an exact delivery time estimate so that they can appropriately plan themselves.
What are the asset tracking business challenges faced by warehouses?
Every time IoT is put into practice, the hope is that actionable data will reveal new opportunities for cost savings, increased effectiveness, increased productivity, and a host of other benefits. Here are some of the major challenges warehouse operations have with asset monitoring and management when they don’t use smart technology for operations and workflow.
- It appears to be too much to handle the lack of end-to-end visibility on inventory, the conversion of various manual operations supported by undocumented workflow, and the several paper trails for auditing and validation.
- Since constructing and diversifying the sources of data for years, there is a mismatch between the inventory data in ERP and the actual inventory and assets in the warehouse, which means that the validation is difficult or erroneous. Developing a single solution using real-time and historical data at the same time sounds difficult and like a consolidation effort.
- Regular asset tracking is practically impossible, so even though you have assets, you have no idea where they are or what they are doing. It would take a lot of work and data from outside our ecosystem to understand what the assets are doing.
- Wasted warehouse space as a result of insufficient control of space allocation; alternatively, you could be more effective if you had a better understanding of the best location for each of our assets and how best to use and exploit them. It would take a lot of work and would frequently change to understand where our assets are positioned within a warehouse or across several warehouses.
- Today, businesses spend more time coordinating labour and resources with what they already have and have carefully checked to avoid inefficient resource and equipment allocation brought on by non-standardized processes. This prolongs the day and provides no real-time or useful information.
How do asset management systems help warehouses in managing their assets efficiently?
The resources and techniques to manage assets differ depending on how sophisticated they are, whether they are using drones or robots in addition to labour. Industry giants like Amazon and Alibaba mastered the skill of juggling labour and technology by automating routine operations like moving items around and reading barcodes, but sorting through complex-shaped packages like containers still requires human labour. The assets in the warehouse in which both produce and receive processes are included in this ability to automate.
In other words, robots or machines that can operate around the clock can complete more tasks than humans on a rotating shift, which benefits customers by reducing delivery times. Through insight into the asset and process itself and its propensity to need repair or not, proactive monitoring of the robots’ efficiency also contributes to overseeing the assets to guarantee that optimal performance would not slow down the production line or the need for unscheduled downtime. The IoT ecosystem of business is made up of several parts that together and successfully orchestrate the monitoring and analysis of all managed assets.
Asset tracking devices that can be directly powered or run on batteries and gather and emit data are attached to these assets during warehouse operations. Direct data transmissions to an IoT software gateway include GPS location, asset status, and a variety of other data streams. The IoT gateway collects all data and sends it to the cloud, where it may be used for data analysis and display in dashboards. During that exchange, it is also possible to activate artificial intelligence and produce notifications that can send instructions to specific people or other devices. This technique reduces the need for manual asset tracking procedures and enhances asset protection because, as we all know, precious goods are frequently prone to theft.
The operational advantages of IoT technology for warehouse operations are numerous. Implementing asset tracking operations with IoT technologies can greatly increase the remoteness of operating a warehouse business and put choices at your fingertips. Some of the advantages of choosing to add asset management systems to your warehouse are instantly noticeable and significant. Here are some of the thoughts on those advantages:
- Predictive maintenance: Warehouse managers can prepare backups and replication and prevent unscheduled downtime by using a predictive maintenance system to identify early indications of equipment failures. The IoT technology, when used in conjunction with asset tracking tags, transmitters, and sensors, decreases downtime and mitigates unforeseen equipment repair costs, greatly enhancing visibility in warehouse management.
- Asset Monitoring: IoT warehouse management systems offer real-time information about asset locations, asset conditions, asset integrity, and other topics. Instant notifications and machine learning have made it possible for warehouse managers to identify which messages can be handled automatically, avoiding bottlenecks or those jobs that need manual labour.
- Boosted productivity: IoT technologies give warehouse managers access to fast, on-demand analysis and visibility, enabling them to make quick decisions and take advantage of opportunities for efficiency that result in actual financial gains. Employees, specialised equipment, and general insight into the asset(s) performance of the entire chain of operations can benefit from increased productivity through IoT.
- Reclamation and theft prevention: It seems reasonable that having a 360-degree view of all your assets would result in less theft and/or higher stolen recovery rates. Asset tracking and location tracking work together to precisely pinpoint an asset’s “boundaries” and/or whether it is operating or not. It is very helpful to be able to recognise an asset that has crossed its border and disable that item in order to properly recover that asset. Lowering the cost of replacing the asset and the cost of filing insurance claims will raise rates. This kind of asset tracking can guarantee that all assets are utilized efficiently for items like pallets, jacks, and forklifts.
- Real-time Asset Tracking: As previously indicated, tracking warehouse assets with outdated systems involves extra manual steps. The manual “check-in” and “check-out” records, planned communication notes, and reports with a paper trail are all used in operations. Today, tracking systems become real-time and can immediately offer necessary information about any asset on a single screen due to the usage of IoT software and devices. For instance, notifications can identify the precise asset and the nature of the present issue if it is not possible to access an asset owing to inactivity or a lack of maintenance. With real-time decision-making about the asset, operations may avoid downtime and underutilization. All information is kept in the cloud and is accessible to all industries. Instead of having to manually determine how to track a warehouse asset’s utilization or inventory, records can be audited in real-time.
- Data Analytics: The potential of data analytics can assist business demands in real-time when warehouse operations are able to immediately evaluate the condition of their assets. Real-time tracking provides crucial analytical data for the most effective management of assets, inventory, and labour resources for increased productivity, lower costs, and more revenue. Software tracking IoT assets does an excellent job of keeping all data and information about every piece of equipment in the cloud. You may connect directly to the effectiveness of the Operations by using clear dashboards that show relevant information. By recognising unproductive downtime in resources, assets, inventories, and equipment, you can help the business thrive by managing preventative maintenance tasks as well as issues alert for the staff.
- Regular Assets Performance Review: An improved return on investment is evident if an asset performs well. The likelihood of an asset or piece of equipment failing is reduced, which reduces your maintenance costs. Asset management informs you in advance of the need for maintenance on your assets. Your assets can stay structured and optimised due to it. Not only that, but it also retains all the pertinent data regarding each asset, like the date of purchase, model number, warranty expiration, maintenance and repair records, life expectancy, etc. Since logistics and warehouse companies use a lot of heavy equipment, it’s crucial to keep them serviced to avoid catastrophic issues and, more significantly, losses to your company.
In order to present a comprehensive solution to the market, warehouse operations have begun to seek firms that can offer the aforementioned approaches. Combining hardware to track assets efficiently, either through battery-operated or hardwired devices (or both), with IoT asset tracking software that can make sense of and aggregate the data into useful Operating dashboards, offering a digital method for managing warehouse assets. Each component of a full Asset Tracking solution is orchestrated and grouped with a network to bring it all together.