The dream of many owners is to grow their company from a small business to one of the major players in their market, and to do it quickly and strategically. As anyone who has attempted this journey knows, it’s a lot easier said than done – especially if you don’t invest in the technology and infrastructure to support expansion. Everyone wants to reap the rewards of fast growth, but not everyone understands what it takes to make it happen.
In today’s world, if you run a construction or other type of industrial business and want to achieve fast growth, there’s one investment you can’t do without – a modern asset tracking system. Here’s why:
As your company grows and begins taking on bigger and more complex projects, you’re going to need more tools and equipment (assets) to handle more jobs and increase revenues. This requires investing in two different types of assets – the tools and equipment you use to perform the work, such as earth movers, backhoes, etc., and the equipment you need to efficiently manage your assets.
Challenge 1 – Scalability
In the early days of a new business, small companies can usually get by with manual procedures and looser control over asset utilization and management. The owner and a few key employees know the business inside and out and can make sure the right things happen at the right time. But as you grow, if you don’t have the right tools in place to monitor and manage the influx of new assets and people, data will be lost, key individuals won’t be able to access the data they need and your quest to achieve rapid growth can quickly become a nightmare rather than a dream come true.
Challenge 2 – All for One or One for All
Fast growth creates continuous change. If key players who have a lot of knowledge about your assets are on vacation, or multiple personnel are tracking assets in their own separate way, you can’t access accurate data when you need it. If you are using static magnet boards and spreadsheets to manage your assets and don’t have the technology in place to permanently document and update records in real-time, it causes confusion and rework. Automated record-keeping and accessible data is critical, and modern technology offers digital tools to automate and store data efficiently together.
Challenge 3 – Data for Informed Decision Making
The third big challenge has to do with securing the new customers and accounts to drive your company’s rapid growth. As you pursue bigger and more sophisticated clients, you need modern tools and technologies to capture operational costs, win future work and forecast future growth. Once your business reaches a certain size, “going with your gut” just won’t cut it.
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Let Go of Your Past
In today’s fast-paced markets, business success is all about having the right data in the right place at the right time. That way, your senior management team, mid-level managers and front-line employees can all make well-informed decisions to optimize asset utilization. And if you’re growing quickly, you’re going to find yourself with a lot more data to manage than ever before. Old-school asset tracking tools and techniques will hold you back rather than propelling your company forward.
It may feel uncomfortable to consider leaving magnetic boards or manual tool lists behind, but consider the problems they cause. Magnetic boards can only display a limited amount of data and in one place. If it gets erased, it’s lost forever. Compare that to a digital asset tracking system such as Tenna, which has room for virtually unlimited amounts of data. Moreover, this data is available to anyone, at any time – whether in the office or on a job site – as long as they have WiFi or Internet access and is always up to date.
Conversely, tool lists don’t reflect real time, so the information constantly has to be updated – a time-consuming task. Yard rounds can be rife with human error, and they don’t help locate anything that’s already missing. Excel spreadsheets are somewhat better, but they’re still a static, dated way of tracking assets that need constant manual updating. With telematics and digital asset tracking, you can find location and other asset data in just a few clicks. You know the data is up-to-date, and you know it’s accurate.
Grow or Go Home
Still not convinced of the need for modern asset tracking? Consider the following:
How many times have you mistaken a 1 for a 7? Lost a critical part or tool? Ordered a piece of machinery from the yard only to find it nonoperational due to irregular maintenance? How often do you purchase a new part or material and then discover you already have several in stock? How often does it take you longer to correct data-entry mistakes than it took you to record the data in the first place?
Then there’s the issue of tracking driver time, miles driven, fuel usage and all sorts of asset usage data. You can do it the old way and take hours to collect and organize the data manually. Or you can have it automatically tracked and instantly relayed to your asset management system for everyone to see. Which do you think your managers would prefer?
Like it or not, today’s business environment demands the fast, accurate capture of asset management information. With today’s cloud-based systems, you can easily track assets of all types and sizes, all in one integrated system. Stop begging your employees for updates. Let the information alert you when you need to pay attention, and switch from reactive to proactive management.
Failure to invest in digital asset tracking will inhibit your company’s growth, so why risk your future?