Asset tracking is one of the indispensable elements of owning and taking care of a business. From the point where they are purchased from wholesalers until they are sold to the customers, assets are the lifeblood of a company. Naturally they are vulnerable to loss or damage from a variety of sources—thieves and robbers, vandals and pranksters, vehicular accidents, bad weather and other things. It is for this reason that asset tracking is one of the biggest and most prosperous businesses in the country, with people getting paid hundreds of dollars to think of new developments and put them into existence.
Software and devices for asset tracking vary greatly in both their types and the kinds of work that they can do. They include programs for both PC and mobile. Some use GPS to help locate missing items. Others are essentially inventory programs in which all kinds of data on each asset can be stored—how many of them there are, when they were acquired, when they are due to be shipped and so forth. This article will outline some of the most recent of those developments.
Versus RTLS (real time locating system) is a system that was adopted by the Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. It is currently being used to track medical equipment—beds, stretchers, IV pumps and others, totaling about 3,000. The hospital has benefited greatly from this system, which reduces the loss of valuable supplies and equipment. More than 700 medical facilities are also using the software, the use of which has resulted in not only a savings of $600,000 in immediate savings, but also an increase in the inflow of patients by 30 to 40 percent.
AT&T* Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions
AT&T has been in the business of telecommunications for about thirty years now. The latest in a long line of projects by them is being done in tandem with freight intelligence company OnAsset Intelligence Inc. to produce devices that airlines and their clients can use to track their cargo wherever it is in the world. The cloud—which has escalated in popularity as a space-saving way of storing files as well as sharing them—is also being brought into play too: OnAsset has a cloud-based platform called Vision, which can be used to determine where a given piece of cargo is and what condition it is in at any given moment. Other tasks can be taken care of with great efficiency as well—shipments can be scheduled, delivery routes managed and email and text alerts set. The technology complies with all the regulations of the FAA.
Also collaborating with AT&T on a project is Axeda Machine Cloud Corporation (the leading company of its kind), with which they have come up with a new wireless console that will make it easier to manage and monitor worldwide M2M connections. Client services director George Meade has told Stockhouse that that those of his company “are able to authenticate, locate and track our assets as they move through potentially dangerous areas” and that they can also “detect and control asset activity across broad geographies and to set advanced alerting and alarms on one or even 1,000 devices.”
Asset tracking by satellite
Satellite technology is also making its way into the field of asset tracking. A satellite tracking solution has just gone live in Mexico and Latin America, and it is the first of its kind where message delivery is guaranteed, as well as the only meshed satellite network anywhere in the world. The system has been created by Lucid Logistics, which specializes in products for vertical companies.
ASAP Systems has announced its integration with Box to provide businesses with a way of tracking all of their assets in one place. This, too, is a cloud sharing platform, and it takes only a single touch of a button for files to be backed up to the company PC.
Asset tracking is a field that will continue to evolve in tandem with the business arena itself.