IoT Asset Tracking 101: Discover The Benefits for Your Business

You're living in a world where the buzzword 'Internet of Things' (IoT) isn't just some techy jargon—it's revolutionary, and it's everywhere. It represents a whopping 10 billion devices, from your wrist-bound fitness tracker to high-tech satellite navigation systems, all chattering away and sharing information. 

That's the colossal universe of IoT.

Fast forward to 2025 and imagine a vibrant IoT market valued at an eye-popping $1.5 trillion. But hey, don't get lost in the numbers. The magic of IoT lies in its power to revolutionize how businesses across sectors function, not just in its jaw-dropping stats.

Think about bringing IoT into asset management. You're not just tweaking a few processes here and there. You're laying the foundation for smarter, cost-effective operations. You're facilitating decisions that are data-driven and data-informed. 

Below, we'll examine how IoT is making waves in diverse fields like government, construction, and education. Then we'll explore how it could boost the management and supervision of your company's precious assets.

What is IoT asset tracking? 

Picture in your mind's eye a network of gadgets, all chattering together to give you real-time visibility into your assets. That's IoT asset tracking in a nutshell. But let's dish out the details in layman's terms, minus the geek-speak.

IoT asset tracking is like having a top-notch detective on your payroll, always on the case of your precious assets. This super-sleuth uses tech tools like GPS and RFID tags to collect the nitty-gritty about your goods — where they are and how they're doing. 

All this information is then zapped over to a central system via your connectivity of choice (think Wi-Fi or cellular).

This information might seem like just numbers and facts, but it's a veritable goldmine. When processed, it transforms into actionable insights, giving you better control over your assets. Think of always knowing where your construction gear is, how your government vehicles are faring, or when your school's tech equipment needs a tune-up — all at the tap of a button. 

Pretty cool, right?

Now, if you're wondering why all the hype around IoT asset tracking — it's not just a buzzword. The proof is in the numbers. In 2022, the global asset tracking market size was a whopping $15.4 billion.

By 2028, it's expected to more than double, hitting $33.5 billion. That's an annual growth of almost 14%. This isn't a tech trend — it's a tech revolution.

Still not convinced? Here's a real-world example. Caterpillar Inc., the construction machinery bigwig, teamed up with ORBCOMM for IoT and machine-to-machine communications tech. This move helped streamline Caterpillar's asset management, reducing costs and upping customer efficiency.

Advantages of utilizing IoT for asset tracking

With devices equipped with GPS and sensors, you're always in the loop about your assets, enhancing both operational efficiency and customer service.

IoT technology doesn't just offer tracking; it serves up a wealth of raw data that can be translated into valuable insights via data analytics. It's like having a well-informed guide to help streamline your asset management. With RedBeam’s data import feature, deriving insights becomes even more seamless.

The benefits extend to the supply chain as well. IoT asset tracking acts as an early detection system, identifying potential disruptions before they escalate. This ability to proactively address issues ensures consistent efficiency in your operations.

Moreover, IoT brings the advantage of automation to asset tracking. Compared to traditional manual methods, automated tracking reduces errors and saves time, letting you focus on more important tasks.

With real-time tracking and alerts, IoT becomes a valuable tool in preventing theft and losses of your assets. Coupled with RedBeam’s secure data storage and role-based access features, you've assured an additional layer of security.

In a nutshell, IoT for asset tracking isn't just a tech upgrade – it's a strategic move that can reshape how you manage your assets, making your operations more efficient and secure.

How does IoT asset tracking work? 

IoT asset tracking, the secret sauce to efficient asset management, is a sophisticated orchestra of three key components: tracking devices, a connectivity method, and remote management software. 

Together, they transform the complex symphony of data and signals into a harmonious melody of insightful analytics.

Let's get up close and personal with these essential elements.

Tracking devices: the eyes and ears of your operation

Tracking devices in IoT need to ace the balancing act between sophistication and practicality. They should be advanced to capture useful analytics, compact for secure attachment to physical assets, and flexible to suit various use cases. 

Imagine these devices as tiny detectives, tirelessly working to keep you informed.

These devices also have to be global explorers, tracking across long distances, sometimes worldwide. Yet, they must also be economical, ensuring your investment doesn't become a costly endeavor.

One pivotal aspect often overlooked is power consumption. Industry leaders and innovators need devices whose batteries can outlast the Energizer Bunny, aiming for a life span of over five years.

A diverse lineup of devices is ready to suit your needs, thanks to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) offering both bespoke IoT solutions and off-the-shelf devices. This roster includes Bluetooth Low Energy transmitters, GPS tracking tags, energy sensor trackers, smart locks, CCTV systems, automatic lighting controls, smoke detectors, IT security solutions, and various types of tags.

Tags deserve special mention as they act as the beacon for your assets, transmitting signals and making them visible to the asset tracking system. Whether built-in or attached, they play a pivotal role in both short and long-range navigation systems.

Connectivity infrastructure: the invisible highway

Connectivity infrastructure is the magic carpet that ferries signals from your tags to the central system. Depending on your needs, it could involve a constellation of orbital satellites for GPS asset tracking, cell towers for cellular navigation, or beacons and anchors for indoor tracking.

This infrastructure is responsible for returning your asset's location data to a central database. It's like the Postal Service of the IoT world, ensuring every data packet reaches its rightful destination.

Management software: the brain behind the operations

Last but not least is the remote management software. It plays the crucial role of deciphering the data transmitted by your connectivity solution, identifying each of your tags, and presenting a real-time view of your inventory's location.

Consider solutions like Velos IoT, which can track and manage your cellular tracking IoT SIM tags via the Nomad Connectivity Management Platform. Integrating your existing software gives you a complete overview of your asset locations and data usage.

IoT asset tracking is more than technology; it's an efficient, cost-effective, and powerful tool to transform how you manage your assets. By understanding its inner workings, you're a step closer to making informed decisions, enhancing efficiency, and reaping the benefits of this incredible technology.

Remember, IoT asset tracking isn't the future. It's happening now, and it’s time to leverage its power to keep your assets – and business – on track.

Three use cases for IoT asset tracking 

IoT asset tracking plays an instrumental role in healthcare, food transportation, and fire safety. Let's dive into three dynamic examples of IoT in action.

Tracking healthcare assets: enhancing patient care

Healthcare, an arena of high stakes and higher values, benefits from IoT asset tracking. Given the premium costs of medical equipment, it's crucial to track these assets to ensure efficiency and improved patient care. 

But it's not just about cost savings; it's about saving precious time. One-third of nurses spend an hour each shift having to search for equipment that should be readily available. That's time that could be better spent caring for patients.

Consider wheelchairs, IV pumps, mobile X-ray machines, or ultrasound units, always on the move and in demand. Assigning these devices RFID tags and scanning them through mobile readers or scanning points brings transparency to their whereabouts. 

It's like having a high-tech homing beacon for each asset, monitored in real time via asset-tracking software. With such a system, those lost-and-found hours can turn into increased care and efficiency.

Now consider the impact beyond the hospital setting. IoT asset tracking can enhance home healthcare services by tracking equipment like portable oxygen cylinders, ensuring patients receive timely refills. 

For pharmaceutical companies, IoT can monitor the cold storage of temperature-sensitive medicines, maintaining their efficacy from production to patient.

Transporting chilled foods: ensuring freshness on the go

Take a peek into the world of perishable food transport, where the battle against time and temperature is a daily reality. IoT devices equipped with temperature and humidity sensors and GPS tracking are invaluable knights in shiny armor for this industry.

Imagine a delivery truck laden with dairy products. An IoT device in the truck diligently monitors the temperature. Cold storage signals the asset tracking solution if it falls beyond the required range.

The system can then divert trucks carrying potentially spoiled goods while dispatching restocked ones promptly. It's like having a vigilant sentry, ensuring the freshness of food, avoiding supply chain delays, and protecting customer satisfaction.

And that’s not the end of it. IoT can aid not only in the transportation of chilled foods but also in managing inventories in supermarkets. It can provide real-time data on the condition of produce, helping to reduce food waste.

Fire health and safety: lifesaver in the shadows

Let's talk about fire health and safety. IoT-connected smoke detectors in business premises are not another fire safety requirement; they are potential lifesavers. These smart detectors can communicate their location and condition through asset tracking software at any given time.

Imagine a situation where a fire breaks out in a facility. IoT-connected detectors trigger real-time alerts via phone calls, emails, and SMS. This quick reaction could save employees' and customers' lives and reduce fire-related insurance claims. It's like having a vigilant firefighter, always ready to alert and protect.

Then imagine expanding this technology to residential settings. IoT-connected smoke detectors in apartments could provide real-time alerts to residents and property managers, making our homes safer.

The magic of IoT asset tracking lies in its versatility. It's not just about locating equipment or maintaining temperature. It's about making tangible improvements to operations, enabling real-time responses, and delivering superior services across industries. 

Whether delivering better patient care, ensuring fresh food, or saving lives in a fire, IoT is leading the way.

Investing in IoT: the essential step in modern asset management

It's hard to overstate the profound and transformative impact that the Internet of Things (IoT) is making across a myriad of industries. The power of IoT in asset tracking is indisputable, offering a host of benefits that alter how businesses manage and monitor their resources.

With IoT asset tracking, you can give customers precise shipment updates and gather advanced insights about your logistics process. The beauty of it? It can operate 24/7, offering instant location data and the serenity that comes with it.

Think about the implications of reducing theft and loss. 

IoT tech is a game-changer here. The instant an item moves without approval, you're alerted, reducing the time between a loss and its discovery. And because every item has built-in tracking, whether misplaced or stolen, you can find it more reliably and quickly.

Envision the time saved and disruptions minimized.

IoT asset tracking outshines manual methods with accuracy and automation, curbing errors and hold-ups. Real-time data lets you pinpoint slowdowns and problem areas in your supply chain, suggesting potential remedies. And because it's automated, you're saving manpower with every item moving through your inventory.

Consider the boost to your sustainability efforts. 

Most businesses see 90% of their environmental impact come from their supply chain. Reducing this footprint requires data, and IoT asset tracking supplies that, equipping you to strive for carbon neutrality.

In short, embracing and investing in IoT for asset tracking and management is not just smart – it's essential. Whether you're a small enterprise seeking improved resource control or a large corporation aiming to maximize return on your extensive asset portfolio, a reliable asset management software solution should be on your radar.

If you're ready to discover how RedBeam's platform can help your business thrive, sign up for a demo today. The future is here, and IoT fuels it.