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What Is Asset Tracking?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Also known as asset management, asset tracking is the process of managing the movements of physical assets as they are moved from one location to another. Many companies utilize modern tracking equipment to manage the process, making it possible to receive real-time information about the location of goods that are in the process of delivery, or that are being transferred from one plant location to another. The idea behind asset tracking is to keep inventories current, which in turn can be very important when it comes to filling upcoming customer orders, scheduling production time, and efficiently managing the taxes associated with different types of inventories.

In the case of goods that are moved from one location to another, the use of asset tracking devices is common today. This applies to raw materials ordered by a customer as well as finished goods that are ordered by consumers and scheduled for delivery. The use of radio-frequency identification or RFID tags makes it possible to literally track orders as they move closer to that point of delivery. One of the major benefits of this approach is the ability to report real-time delivery information to customers, allowing them to make arrangements for the receipt of the goods. In like manner, tracking raw materials that are en route to a given destination makes it possible to adjust production if some unanticipated factor delays the delivery, allowing the receiver to minimize the loss of production time that would be incurred otherwise.

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Even within a company, the concept of asset tracking can help improve efficiency and trim costs. The reassignment of equipment from one department to another can be tracked using this approach, making it possible to adjust company records accordingly and use the updated information in calculating taxes and costs applied to each of those departments. In like manner, devices known as smart tags can track the progress of the completion of items to fill specific customer orders, making it possible to project when those goods will be ready to leave the plant and begin the journey to the new owners.

While the general concept of asset tracking has been around for decades, modern technology has streamlined the process in many instances. Using computer interfacing as part of the strategy, just about any asset or group of assets can be easily located and tracked from that location for whatever time frame is necessary. In many instances, today’s methods have made the task of asset tracking easier and more cost-efficient, since the process can be conducted using fewer resources.

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