How Technology is Revolutionising Asset Management

An “asset” is a broad term in business. It includes industrial facilities, fleet, heavy equipment, machinery, cash on hand, accounts receivables, real estate property, and buildings, to mention a few. Manually checking equipment for wear and tear, performance issues, and potential problems are a lot of hard work.

With the introduction of the simple asset management software, companies and organisations graduated from old-school eye-based inspections and paper checklist practices and transitioned to a more modern and effective way of managing business assets and improving their brand strategy.

With asset management software, maintaining and managing assets is a breeze as everything is tracked, documented, scheduled, and handled from a single, centralized system.

As new technologies emerge, asset management systems are expected to evolve as well. From the deployment of drones to the absolute utilization of IoT (Internet of Things), the following technologies are poised to make an impact on asset management systems and its users.

Track mobile assets more accurately with RFID

Hardcat Asset management software preventative maintenance

The majority of fixed asset management software solutions, if not all, come equipped with the latest tracking technologies. But few are built with RFID capability. That, however, is about to change.

RFID technology, short for Radio Frequency Identification, is not a recent innovation. The technology has been around for decades but its application in asset management and tracking has seen a huge spike over the last decade and is predicted to increase in the coming years.

The asset management software market is projected to grow from $9.43-billion industry in 2015 to a humongous $25.55-billion sector in 2025. According to a 2017 asset management system report by Markets and Markets. The RFID technology is among the contributing factors highlighted that will drive massive fixed asset management system adoption and implementation in the near future.

Asset tagging asset management technology

RFID smart tags will become prevalent in the future as they are more effective than their barcode counterparts in terms of real-time location status reporting. RFID tags are more environmentally robust, capable of withstanding numerous environmental factors such as temperature, dust, moisture, vibration, and shock. Thus, they are ideal in companies that monitor mobile assets such as trucks, heavy equipment, vehicles, and field devices.

But it won’t be surprising to see other industries such as retail, healthcare, and financial deploy RFID asset management solutions as well. Meanwhile, QR codes for business use are utilized as well in some industries for better inventory tracking.

Inspect assets and properties safely with drones

Drone maintenance inspections

As mentioned earlier, assets in business can also include buildings, real estate properties, and industrial facilities. These assets require a thorough look and review if you aim for detailed and comprehensive reports and analysis so you can derive actionable insights.

That said, it could take a huge amount of time, money, and resources if you send a team to perform asset auditing and inspection at the actual site. Another consideration worth noting is that there are specific high-risk and difficult-to-access places, such as flare stacks, toxic chemical vats, and areas at extreme heights and temperatures that can put an inspector squarely in harm’s way.

The use of drones for routine and emergency site inspections is becoming increasingly popular from an asset management standpoint. Global commercial drone market size is expected to increase from $5.8 billion in 2018 to almost $130 billion by 2025 as published by a recent drone market report by Grand View Research.

Filming and photography remain the largest application for commercial drones, according to the report. Inspection/maintenance comes in at second. As years roll, the significance of drones to the asset management industry is predicted to grow.

For one, unmanned drones can perform property inspections quicker at a higher and more productive rate while costing less time, money, and resources.

Two, you can send drones to go over sites and areas that prove to be extremely hazardous and difficult to access and navigate for a human inspector. This keeps them safe from potential risks and life-threatening injuries while enabling them to gather a wealth of images, videos, and data.

Three, inspectors can equip drones with an array of different sensors and software to determine temperature shifts, record wind directions, monitor foot and vehicle traffic, discover unusual movements on the ground, and so on. That means they can quickly get their hands-on specific information, making them more productive and efficient at their tasks.

There is no doubt that drones, when paired with property asset management software, can produce excellent results and high-quality insights. In turn, you are able to make information-driven decisions and actions quickly and decisively.

Gather real-time asset data and powerful insights via IoT

IoT City asset management technology

Internet of Things (IoT) has found massive implementation in numerous industries, businesses, transportation, and even in homes. From an asset management technology perspective, IoT is set to shake things up. Even in this modern era of business where centralized systems help companies run their operations and put information, processes, schedules, and tasks in a single, unified location, there are still a few that rely on old legacy systems when managing assets.

While having legacy systems is better than having no system at all, such a setup can overwhelm any business organisation. Legacy applications result in siloed and cluttered data sets. In an age where a single source of truth is paramount, working with different versions of data can lead to inaccurate and unreliable information, which then translates to poor business insights.

You don’t want that. What your business needs are precise information at every turn. Whenever you view information regarding your assets, you want to make sure that everything you have is accurate, up-to-date and reliable. Asset management systems came into the picture and provided you with all that – a centralized interface that links your asset inventory, maintenance and repair schedules, and reports.

But if an asset management software solution can do all this, how does IoT take asset management higher? To answer simply, IoT adds automation and intelligence to the picture. On top of what a modern asset management platform can supply any business organisation, IoT enables companies to actively monitor and analyse specific information regarding their assets without the aid of human intervention.

Each asset, vehicle, equipment, piece of machinery, even a wearable, is embedded with sophisticated chips and sensors that transmit valuable data to the cloud and enable machines to communicate and share information with other machines. When used for asset management purposes, IoT provides companies with real-time data about their assets.

Other benefits include automatic reporting, task automation, real-time alerts and reminders, and more viable schedules for audit, maintenance, decommissioning, and disposal. IoT-enabled asset management solutions help companies locate and monitor their assets in real-time.

With accurate information and powerful insights, companies can optimize managing maintenance requests and preventing unplanned downtime. It allows them to determine the current health status of their assets, track usage hours and frequency, and accurately calculate service lives. IoT can do a lot more for asset management. Those mentioned earlier are just the tip of the iceberg.

Facing and managing new asset management challenges

asset maintenance on tablets

As asset management technology becomes more sophisticated, new challenges break the surface as well. Managing current and new regulations, increasing competition, the volatility of the global market, and shifting expectations have been identified as primary challenges of modern asset management teams and firms.

Experts are in agreement that client experience has to be improved to effectively address the said challenges. Poor client experience stems from the inability to onboard clients effectively. While advances in technology have birthed highly advanced asset management systems, the client onboarding process remains manual.

Client onboarding, as well as compliance and data management, has to be automated and accelerated. If these issues are resolved, asset managers and their teams don’t have to contend with errors that arise from manual onboarding processes. It takes subjective regulatory interpretation out of the picture and speeds up client onboarding like never before.

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