Businesses large and small are looking for ways to streamline their slow, inefficient administrative tasks. And tracking business equipment is one of the most tedious and error-prone administrative tasks there is.
Equipment tracking isn’t just about preventing loss. Today's business operations depend more on mobile technology than they did even just five years ago. So if you’re missing mission-critical equipment, you may simply be unable to carry out core functions. Many organizations are investigating whether smart equipment management systems can help them automate equipment tracking cost-effectively.
In this article, we’ll explore how these systems work and why it is worth deploying equipment management systems to improve equipment tracking.
How Does an Equipment Management System Work?
Smart equipment management systems are more than the sum of their parts. They use storage and tracking tools, including modular storage lockers, wireless RFID sensors, access controls, and a smart access control panel to streamline everything about tracking equipment. Together, these components help you manage any workflow that involves stored equipment.
Let’s examine how the different components function.
Smart technology still requires a reliable, real-world foundation, and in an equipment management system, that foundation consists of storage lockers. State-of-the-art lockers typically have a modular design, so you can mix and match the compartments you need to fit different equipment combinations in a limited footprint and maximize equipment safety.
That is where the simple foundation ends, though. Working its way into that bare metal and plastic foundation is a combination of smart, networked tools. For example, equipment management system lockers also typically include integrated charging and data ports to read electronic devices, ventilation, climate controls, and built-in RFID sensors to monitor sensitive devices.
RFID tracking tags
Smart lockers include many ways to extract data about stored equipment and its use. RFID tracking tags can be active or passively powered. Active RFID tags have a built-in battery to boost their signal range and are perfect for real-time tracking of vital equipment.
Passive tags receive wireless power when they’re close to sensors. They can be manufactured smaller than a fingernail and are often embedded in devices like radios, firearms, tablets, and handheld scanners. Smart equipment management lockers typically include passive RFID sensors on their outer door so users can quickly check equipment in or out. In-compartment sensors can verify individual equipment or kit components when they’re at rest. That adds an extra layer of accountability.
Outside each equipment management locker is a touchscreen access terminal. Making access control digital provides a few important capabilities. For example, from the touchscreen, you can prompt users for additional information about their work and the equipment they’re signing out. In addition, you can specify signout curfews, present checklists, or require users to record equipment faults before returning.
These different components are all connected by management software administrators access through a secure connection from computers or mobile devices. From the management dashboard, they can monitor locker use, change access levels, review curfew violations and other usage alerts, and generate compliance and utilization reports according to whichever criteria they need.
Why Use an Equipment Management System for Equipment Tracking?
For many people considering an equipment management system, it comes down to cost. They think about what it would take upfront to get the system installed. They don’t think about the labor savings. However, the latest generation of smart technology-powered equipment management systems can automate multiple tracking activities.
Equipment Management Systems Can Improve Equipment Tracking at Any Organization
An equipment management system can be an excellent addition to any company’s inventory management program. It can improve operating efficiency, reduce costs, and give you the data you need to make better decisions.
The Power of RFID Tracking
Learn how RFID tracking systems work, how to adapt them to your organization's workflows, and how they're used in various industries today.
Vice President of Marketing