What is equipment tracking software? We get asked this question frequently and wanted to provide information on what equipment tracking software is, how it works, industries that commonly use it and the benefits of using it.
What it is: First, as the question implies, it is a software solution to track equipment. Equipment tracking software is coupled with a hardware tracking device.
How it works: The hardware tracking device could be a Bluetooth Low Energy device, a cellular / GPS tracker, a RFID tracker or hardware leveraging other technologies that are able to communicate back to the equipment tracking software. Many hardware devices, specifically ones that “plug in” to the equipment being tracked can provide valuable telematic data in addition to the asset’s location.
Industries that commonly use it: Equipment tracking software is used in virtually every industry from agriculture to healthcare, from manufacturing to construction. There are however equipment tracking software solutions that focus on specific industries and types of assets, such as heavy equipment management systems. A heavy equipment management system focuses on industries such as Construction, Oil and Gas, and related services such as Landscaping, Equipment Rental Companies and others that must be able to easily manage their equipment wherever it is - at a job site, in the yard, or on a truck being transported to the next project.
Benefits of using it: There are several benefits to using an equipment tracking software – below is focused on the construction industry use case.
1. Consolidated Data = Streamlined Operations
Many contractors have multiple tools (or spreadsheets) to track their equipment, attachments and other assets they own and rent. This can be a game of hide and seek for many as they don’t have complete visibility to where everything is which often leads to equipment being lost, sitting unused in a yard, or left behind. By having equipment tracking software, an entire equipment fleet can be managed and tracked from a single resource with real-time information.
2. Reduced Maintenance Costs
By keeping up with scheduled preventative maintenance, you reduce the risk of an emergency maintenance event. Reducing emergency maintenance is always a cost savings but also saves additional money by preventing unnecessary rentals or yard hunts to find another stand-in piece of equipment.
3. Better Decision Making
If you have an equipment tracking software, you will be able to know when you can, need or should rent, move, buy or sell equipment. For example if you have visibility to the total cost of ownership for each of your wheel loaders you may find one that is bleeding money compared to the other wheel loaders in your fleet, which may lead you to decide it is time to sell that machine. Another example could be that you have a generator at a job site that isn’t being used. If you know you need one at a nearby jobsite, it may make more financial sense to move it versus sending one from your yard or purchasing another one.
4. Theft Deterrent
With equipment tracking software, you know the location of your equipment and, depending on which software you have, you can get notifications when equipment moves. If you see your equipment is not where it is supposed to be or outside of one of your project or yard locations, it will give you a head start on locating it. While a GPS device and equipment tracking software can’t stop theft, it can act as a “lock on the door” and keep honest people honest.