From cameras to monitors, assets are on the move. It may sound like a scene from Dr. Who, but the reality is that from hospitals providing patients with in-home equipment to schools allocating video cameras for art projects and even delivery drivers with parcel scanners, the assets owned by organizations are increasingly deployed not only within the physical boundaries of a building but also outside.
For those tasked with managing these assets and ensuring equipment is available on demand, keeping track of these continually moving items is a critical aspect of the day to day activity. And that means the traditional annual physical audit of assets is simply no longer sufficient.
So how can an organization make the asset audit a routine and simple aspect of day to day activity? Enabling individuals to undertake a process of continual asset tracking via mobile apps is the key to retaining visibility and control as the assets flow in and out of the organization.
The rise of the mobile tracking app
With the latest generation of mobile apps, organizations have the chance to devolve responsibility for managing and auditing the asset estate away from IT and Finance and towards operational areas. The model is compelling: there is no additional hardware investment and the low cost software can be downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play and works on any device. Furthermore the training requirements are minimal since most people know how to use a smart phone.
Armed with a mobile asset management app, employees can undertake the physical audits using the camera on the smart phone to scan barcodes – in the same way the laser scanner on a PDA has been used in the past. The difference is that with ubiquitous smart phone use, an organization can move away from dedicated equipment and dedicated audit individuals to devolving responsibility more broadly across the organization. The one off or annual audit can be replaced by routine, even daily activity undertaken by those directly interacting with the assets.
Real Time Information
Simple, immediate access to up to date asset information transforms the way organizations can utilize and control a mobile asset base. For example, the art teacher allocating camera equipment to students will automatically scan the equipment as part of the process, ensuring a full and up to date record. Similarly within the healthcare sector, equipment will be scanned as it leaves and returns to the hospital.
In the leisure industry, this model can even be used by hotels wanting to improve the tracking of guests’ luggage through the arrival, check in, transfer to room and storage processes. Porters will use the mobile app to scan each guest’s luggage as it arrives; it will be automatically assigned to an individual or room and then tracked throughout that guest’s stay. In addition to minimizing the chance of luggage being lost, this approach also improves security – any untagged luggage left in the hotel building would be immediately deemed suspicious.
Organizations in every market are operating a far more complex, fluid, and changing asset base – and the traditional, once a year approach to tracking those assets is simply not a viable option.
By enabling diverse individuals to utilize the new generation of app-based asset tracking solutions, organizations can gain real time visibility of asset location, value, and status. With this information, it is the asset owners and budget holders that are now empowered to make the critical asset management decisions, ensuring essential control is imposed over this continually changing yet increasingly valuable property.
If you would like more information on how your organization could benefit from utilizing the latest asset tracking technology, contact RAM today.