Sean Blum
Sean Blum Jan 17, 2018

An Equipment Management system is one of the most important business management tools for companies that depend on large fleets of heavy equipment, trucks and vehicles, as well as the small stuff like attachments, parts, and tools to serve their customers. Project managers, Project Accountants, and Superintendents and others regularly rely on asset tracking to provide the data necessary to finish projects on time and within budget.

With an equipment management system, you can easily stay up-to-date on the physical location of every asset in the field and in your inventory. It also provides useful information such as who has a specific asset, when it was checked out and when it’s scheduled for return. To gather this information, companies can choose from a variety of information tags and tracking devices that transmit the data to a single software platform. With the data in hand, managers can make informed decisions about when and where to deploy assets to maximize their utility to the project and/or customer.

Backroom Benefits of Asset Tracking

The value of equipment management doesn’t stop there. It is also used for financial reporting purposes, providing the “boys in the backroom” – a.k.a. the accounting department – with the data they need to keep the books in order, accurately depreciate and value assets and perform other essential financial activities.

  • Real-time location tracking. Tracking equipment and other assets by hand is a slow, error-prone and often historic (rather than real-time) process. Workers in the field can accidentally transpose the wrong numbers. Paper documents get lost or misplaced. By the time accounting receives an inventory or asset utilization update, some or all of the assets may have already moved to another location or project.

With Tenna equipment management, the process is quick, reliable and as close to real-time as you can get. Our durable trackers and construction-focused platform provides the precise location of every asset at work at your sites and yards, making it easy to update inventory and current status. You get real-time visibility into all equipment, vehicles, tools and materials. Plus, manual tracking errors are eliminated, allowing accounting to produce more accurate financial records.

  • Fewer errors in the office. Even the best accountants can make mistakes, especially if they still use spreadsheets and manual counts when totaling inventories, asset values and customer billings. With a single piece of large equipment often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, all it takes is one misplaced decimal point or overlooked asset to throw the books off by a large margin.

With equipment management, the data for every piece of equipment or machinery is digitally recorded and transmitted to the Tenna platform, where it is stored, organized and easily accessible for accounting personnel. You can trust that the data is accurate, and the system maintains a complete history of every asset in terms of cost, utilization, maintenance and customer or project billing.

  • Improved depreciation accuracy. Assets start depreciating from the moment you purchase them and put them to use. If accounting doesn’t correctly calculate and report the depreciation each year at tax time, you could end up paying more taxes and higher insurance premiums than necessary.

When equipment maintenance is tracked using “old school” methods, there are bound to be oversights.  An excavator could get inspected, and the maintenance report filled out on a piece of paper could sit in the cab for two years before a copy makes its way back to the home office. As a result, visibility has been reduced, limiting the ability to accurately project the asset’s current condition and value. Without this visibility, errors in calculations occur, and money gets wasted.

Digital equipment management provides detailed records of every asset, from initial cost to daily usage, maintenance, damage, repairs and anything else that could affect the value of the asset. Your accountants can then use this information to appropriately depreciate each asset according to the method preferred by the business. They can also more accurately determine when an asset has reached the end of its service life and should be replaced.

  • Speed and continuity. One of the most valuable features of Tenna equipment management solution is the variety of mobile technologies available to capture and transmit the data. From  GPS and Cellular, to Bluetooth Low Energy, to QR Tenna offers many different mobile technologies to meet your specific asset tracking and managment needs. Regardless of which one(s) you deploy, they all provide fast, accurate transmission of data using cellular signals, smartphones, tablets or hand-held scanners . This allows for timely updates to your data so that accounting personnel working back at the office always have the most up-to-date information.

Using mobile technology also ensures continuity and integrity of the data throughout the business. The Tenna system uses only one platform to track and control all your assets. This means you only have one set of numbers that everyone who uses the system will see. As a result, you can trust that inventory lists, audits and other financial records are all created from the same information rather than from different paper documents or spreadsheets.

In addition, the learning curve for new Tenna users is short and simple. When new employees join the accounting department, there is no drop-off in continuity or efficiency. The data remains accurate and timely, and the new employees quickly get up to speed on the company’s accounting processes and procedures related to equipment management.

  • Better auditing. When accountants can instantly identify the location and usage of fixed assets, inventory counts and periodic asset audits become faster and more accurate. Having a true picture of all your assets provides many important benefits, including:
  • More efficient utilization of current assets
  • Fewer missing or unaccounted-for tools and equipment
  • Less hoarding of equipment, since asset locations can be broadcast to everyone
  • Improved scheduling of equipment and vehicle maintenance
  • Lower repair costs due to better maintenance
  • Ability to recover stolen assets by tracking their movement
  • Reduced labor costs as personnel spend less time looking for missing assets

Better auditing also helps reduce internal fraud, theft, and financial mismanagement that can occur with inaccurate financial reporting. When corporate auditors have the data they need for thorough analysis and review, it becomes easier to identify inappropriate record-keeping, unlawful business practices and other improper accounting behaviors.

Through improved accounting accuracy, Tenna equipment management platform provides a clearer understanding of your business. It puts you in control of your assets so they are available when and where you need them. It helps improve site accountability and, most important, you can tell where you are making or losing money.

Book a demo to see how Tenna’s robust equipment management system can help you get more value from the assets you depend on to run your business.

About Sean Blum

Sean currently serves as Chief Information Officer at Tenna and has worked in and around the construction industry for close to fifteen years with a focus on finance, operations, project development and strategy. Sean has been instrumental in Tenna’s evolution and growth. He holds a BBA in Corporate Finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.