George Heck
Mar 28, 2018

Tracking tools, equipment and other assets in laydown yards and job sites used to be an inefficient and time-consuming task for construction and other large industrial companies. Manual processes for checking equipment in and out of sites made it difficult to determine their location and status. Yard inventories were often inaccurate and out of date. Misidentification, loss and theft of assets increased operational costs in addition to making it difficult to complete projects on time. Plus, the lack of real-time data forced managers to constantly work behind the curve rather than ahead of it. With the advent of digital tracking technologies over the past decade, today’s asset managers have it much easier.

High-tech asset tracking brings unprecedented control

Using high-tech asset tracking devices and sophisticated software programs, asset managers now enjoy unprecedented control over their data and their assets. For example, companies can now use antennas and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags or Bluetooth tracking devices to automatically monitor and record vehicle and equipment movement at yards and job sites. Moreover, they have multiple options for how, when and where to track this type of data. Some asset tracking devices require scanners or a cell phone/tablet application to retrieve and transmit the data stored on the tags. Others automatically transmit it to the home or field office using cellular or GPS systems. Either way, digital asset tracking enables managers to make important asset management decisions with accurate, up-to-date information.

21st-Century Yard and Job Site Management

When properly implemented, digital asset tracking transforms yard and job site management from a manual, reactive activity into a mostly automated, proactive process. It improves productivity, as tasks that used to take hours or even days can now be accomplished in minutes. It lowers operational costs through better scheduling, routing and asset utilization. And the data is always accurate, making it easier to plan and budget for asset expenses. If the benefits of digital asset tracking were limited to these areas, most users would have no complaints. But, the advantages don’t stop there. With digital asset management, you can also:

Easily track lost assets like small tools and equipment

Large yards and job sites often scatter assets over acres of land. But even in less expansive sites, smaller assets such as drills, jackhammers and testing equipment frequently get lost or misplaced. With the right kind of tracking devices, playing “small equipment hide and seek” is a thing of the past. QR and RFID tags work especially well in the yard/job site environment because they easily attach to small assets and are built to stand up well to harsh weather conditions. In some cases, BLE trackers can even assist in locating assets

Improve recovery of stolen assets

A generator or light tower sitting at a job site can a tempting target for thieves, especially when you don’t know where that piece of equipment is or how long it has been there. Positioning GPS trackers in concealed locations can assist in the recovery of stolen assets by providing real-time location and movement information. Precise inventory control lets you know where all your assets are and what they’re doing. Automatic tracking of vehicles and equipment going in and out of yards/sites can alert you to unauthorized movement. Geofences and odd-hours alerts can signal unauthorized movement by area or time. Most important, cellular tracking devices that connect to onboard diagnostic systems can track the location, speed and direction of vehicles, making it possible to locate and recover stolen vehicles and equipment.

Improve asset life-cycle management

Managing the life cycle of industrial assets more efficiently starts with having reliable data for each individual piece of equipment and your inventory as a whole. From location and inventory to usage and maintenance histories, digital asset tracking puts all the information you need in one centralized location for easy review and analysis. With complete visibility into how, when and where your assets are deployed and used, you can make informed decisions to extend the life cycle of your valuable equipment and better manage capital investment.

Improve receiving, handling and distribution of raw materials

Most companies focus their asset management technologies on using their vehicles and equipment more efficiently. However, the tracking technologies used to accomplish this goal can also streamline the handling of raw materials. Placing QR codes, barcodes and/or other types of tracking tags on incoming and outgoing materials can speed shipment, improve accuracy and prevent lost or misplaced materials. Getting the right materials to the right jobs at the right time plays a critical role in reducing employee and equipment downtime and keeping projects on schedule.

Increase inventory accuracy

Until recently, inventory management was a largely historical endeavor. Determining inventory levels and locations required poring over hand-written records or browsing spreadsheets – both of which were usually out of date by the time you received them. With digital asset tracking, inventory data becomes real-time and always accurate. Innovative features like Tenna’s “snap and search” make it easy to keep up to date with remote assets in the field. Simply use your smartphone or mobile tablet to take a snapshot of the asset and then upload it to your database. You can also instantly find a specific asset by searching its tag number or photo. Imagine doing that with a 100-page hand-written inventory!

Perform faster, more accurate inspections

In the old days, locating an asset often took longer than the actual inspection. These days, identifying the precise location takes only a few clicks of the mouse. And with many tracking devices also storing valuable information about asset usage and performance, the “inspection” often involves nothing more than scanning the tracking tag. When connected to the onboard diagnostic port, cellular tracking is especially useful for remote vehicle inspections, as it monitors critical engine and vehicle performance metrics. These include hours driven, fuel usage, idle time and more. Cellular tracking can also send diagnostic code alerts regarding potential or existing engine problems and upcoming scheduled maintenance dates.

Comply with the ELD mandate

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century law requires fleet and industrial companies to use certified electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record their drivers’ record of duty status. In addition to complying with this law, digital asset tracking systems also let you:

  • Monitor engine performance
  • Track wasteful and unsafe driver behavior such as speeding, idling, and hard braking
  • Keep dispatchers up-to-date on vehicle location and status
  • Help drivers navigate around high-traffic areas
  • Reduce or eliminate driver paperwork (i.e. paper logs)

As leader in the rapidly growing field of telematics asset management, Tenna excels at helping America’s construction, oil and gas, and other industrial companies operate with unprecedented efficiency. To learn more about our suite of asset management solutions, call us at 855-977-1768, or schedule a demo today.

About George Heck