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Asset Tracking & Management with RFID

Asset Tracking &
Management with RFID

What is RFID Asset Management?

Assets are objects that are owned by a company or facility that have value and are typically kept throughout their lifespan. Keeping track of and managing these assets can be accomplished with the use of RFID technology. With no tracking or management system in place, assets can be lost, stolen, or fall into disrepair, leading to wasted money and time spent finding or replacing them.

Attaching RFID tags to assets and capturing data throughout a facility can help companies track and manage the asset’s location with different levels of granularity. If an asset is misplaced, it’s last location can be found from recorded data and the asset’s unique ID can be searched for via a handheld RFID reader.

If this is your first time learning about RFID, or if you need a refresher, checkout our Beginner’s Guide to RFID.

Examples of Assets

IT Assets

Laptops, Servers, Phones, Monitors

Tools

Drill, Hammer, Chainsaw, Mallet

Machinery

Excavator, Fluid Pumps, Welding Guns, Floor Buffers

Storage Assets

Tubs, Bins, Racks, Trays

Paper Assets

Patient Files, Car Titles, Deeds, Research Documents

Facilities

Lighting, Furniture, PPE

What is an Asset?

Assets are items that a company purchases that must be replaced if they are lost or stolen. Assets typically stay with a company for the lifespan of the asset. These assets are investments for a company that directly affect the bottom line.

Why Do Companies Need Asset Tracking?

Because assets are investments for a company, it is important to get as much use as possible out of each asset. If these assets are tracked within a facility using an RFID system, they can be properly managed to prevent being lost, stolen, or even prematurely replaced. If specific individuals or other companies are responsible for lost assets, they can be properly billed for these assets.

Which Industries Track Assets?

Most companies across all industries have some types of assets. Here are a few different breakdowns by industry.

Industry Company Type Examples of Companies Example Asset Asset Replacement Costs

Transportation

Railroad/Railway

CSX, BNSF

Railway Car

$100k – 150k

Construction

General Contractor

Brasfield & Gorrie, Wyatt

Building Permits

$300 – 8k

Financial

Financial Advisors

Fidelity Investments, Vanguard

Employee Laptops

$1k – 3k

Transportation/
Warehousing

Postal Service

USPS

Corrugated Plastic Mail Totes

$4 - 20

Manufacturing

Pipe Manufacturing

ACIPCO, Vallourec Star

Reusable, Mobile Pipe Racks

$500 – 1k

The chart above shows just one example per industry of an asset and it’s estimated replacement cost. Even less expensive assets, like Corrugated Plastic Mail Totes above, have replacement costs that add up over time.

For example, between 2011 and 2013, a nationwide effort was made by the US Post Office to encourage customers to return Mail Totes, called “Flat Tubs”, after a study was conducted showing that over $50 million per year is spent in replacement costs.

If each tub is priced at $4, that’s a loss of 12.5 million tubs per year. If the same amount per year were to be spent in replacement costs in the Railway Industry, that would equate to about 333 railcars.

These are two vastly different priced assets, but this shows that, no matter how much an asset costs, the key is to understand how much a company is losing per week, month, or year replacing these assets and how those costs are affecting their bottom line.


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At What Point is an Asset ‘Not Valuable Enough’ To Track?

The answer will vary from industry to industry and company to company, but a good rule of thumb is not to tag and track an asset if the RFID tag is more valuable than the object itself. An asset’s value is does not always correlate directly with the price of its base components. Some assets might cost little to nothing but could be extremely value to a company (e.g. legal files), which is important to consider.

Want to Read More about RFID Asset Tracking?

Check out these articles:

What are some Examples of Asset Tracking/Management Applications?

Below are the most popular asset tracking and management applications using RFID, click on one to learn more.

  • File Tracking - Easily find and manage individual files to prevent the loss of important data.
  • Hospital Asset Tracking – track and manage wheelchairs, IV pumps, and monitoring equipment.
  • IT Asset Tracking - Track and manage corporate-owned IT asset assets within a building or warehouse.
  • Laundry & Textile Tracking - Track and manage company-owned textiles that are rented or used and then returned like curtains, sheets, and clothing or costumes.
  • Returnable Transit Items - Keep track of reusable shipping assets in order to request asset returns or collect payment on lost assets.
  • Transportation Asset Management - Keep and manage data on individual assets relating to transportation.
  • Tool Tracking - Manage and maintain an inventory of tools in a cabinet or tool room, or on the go.

Learn More with These Top Asset Management Articles

File Tracking

Hospital Asset Tracking

IT Asset Tracking

Laundry & Textile Tracking

Returnable Transit Items

Tool Tracking

Transportation Asset Management


Authentication

Kiosk

Shipment/Order Verification

Vehicle Identification

Marketing

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Internet of Things (IoT)

Interact with Vehicles

Tracking Assets

File Tracking

Hospital Asset Tracking

IT Asset Tracking

Laundry & Textile Tracking

Preventative Maintenance

Returnable Transit Items (RTI)

Tool Tracking

Transportation Asset Management

Library Asset Management

Managing Inventory

Herd Management

Hospital Inventory Control

Luxury Inventory Tracking

Logistics & SCM

Retail Inventory Management

Vehicle Inventory Management

Data about People

Attendee Tracking

Race Timing

Sports Metrics

Tracking Attendance

Data about Objects

Telemetry & Sensor Monitoring

Tolling

Vehicle Data

Access Control: Buildings

Access Control: Vehicles

Access Control: Neighborhoods

Event Management

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