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The True Meaning of Asset Tracking

November 19, 2019
Mobile Asset Totes and Containers

Something as simple as asset tracking can easily be misunderstood by engineers, project managers and purchasing departments in a rush to find a solution for a track and trace, asset tracking, identification or access control problem.

The term "asset tracking" encompasses all of these fields and more. Traditionally, many companies or project managers viewed asset tracking as part of the accounting department and went around once a year looking for desks, computers and equipment to verify the existence of an item on the inventory list.

Since the 1960s the term "asset tracking" includes both fixed and mobile assets and covers all assets from finished goods to employees, incoming materials, tools, spare parts and work-in-process. An old saying is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so the term "asset" is understood in terms of the customer's view.

At Metalcraft, asset tracking refers to tracking the movement of physical assets, either by scanning barcode tags attached to the assets or by using smart tags, like passive RFID, which broadcast their location.

When barcode technology was developed in the mid-1980s, it dramatically increased the speed and accuracy of the inventory process, and it also reduced the labor cost of conducting an inventory.

The addition of RFID to the barcode label again increased the speed and reduced costs, which meant that the process could be automated for many classes of mobile assets. Thus, a business could track materials entering and leaving the raw material and finished goods warehouses.

RFID has automated many business processes with a quicker return on investment (ROI) because of the automated read process. The availability of new data that was too costly to collect before using barcodes is now far more economical and provides many more layers of business intelligence. Automated tracking is primarily done for high-value assets and real-time knowledge of the current inventory and its movement.

The confusion in the market place about the term "asset tracking" has meant some companies don't contact us because they are in logistics, medical equipment or the chemical industry and they don't interpret asset tracking in its broadest sense. Be assured that Metalcraft provides a wide range of RFID products for thousands of different applications.

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