Covering My Assets

 The protection of tangible assets has long been a driving force behind a myriad of industries in our modern economy.  Not too long ago, when a product left the loading docks or distribution center, there was always a certain degree of uncertainty that the products will reach their intended destinations.  Yes, the pallet of widgets left in a semi bound for Houston, but if they arrived safe, sound, and complete then, who knows?  That has all changed over the years with the advent of tracking technology such as GPS, BLE (Bluetooth low energy), or RFID (radio frequency identification) that is affixed to barcodes that transmits the physical location of products as they move along their respective routes of delivery. The use of GPS tracking technology, for example, provides a forward-facing approach to the protection of tangible assets by providing real-time access to a product’s location and that product’s corresponding vital statistics.

Regardless if an asset is large or small, or if it is being transported by land, sea, or air, there is an asset tracking solution built to ensure asset protection and delivery.  A small battery powered tracker using cell phone technology can monitor almost any merchandise through each stage of the supply chain, while long-lasting trackers hard-wired can maintain and communicate the exact location of fleet vehicles, heavy construction machinery, and farm equipment that is under use. Furthermore, satellite trackers allow for the global pinpointing and identification of a company’s distribution assets such as shipping containers, freighters, trains, and tankers regardless of the need for cellular coverage or accessibility.

However, what happens once assets or inventory reaches its destination?  Good question, and surprisingly, some of the top companies in the world drop the ball when it comes to maintaining inventory outside of the warehouse. As was just discussed, part of successfully tracking inventory requires that the location of one’s inventory be known at all times.  That especially includes the time that assets have left the warehouse or distribution center and are en route to various retail outlets. To help ensure successful delivery, a geofence, which is a virtual perimeter, can be created for use in a real-world geographic area.  The use of a geofence will provide up-to-the-minute notifications of inventory as it enters or exits a defined perimeter.  Running reports on the data provided by the use of geofences can better improve scheduling of delivery or shipping, and help identify trouble spots that place inventory at risk of loss or theft.  Furthermore, the data collected from the use of geofences can provide alerts and notifications when inventory is removed at incorrect times by either intention or accident. Thus, this cuts down the loss and the costs associated with theft or incorrectly handled shipments.

If a company produces, stores, or transports high-volume or high-value inventory, then there is a strong logical argument that can be made for the use of tracking technology to better protect assets while in transit to either a warehouse or retail outlet. By employing technology such as GPS tracking, a company can be afforded a certain amount of serenity and peace of mind that their respective assets will arrive at their appointed destination safe, sound, and complete.