AutoID & Data Capture Blog

Asset Tracking with RFID is More than Tracking Assets

Asset tracking is one of the most prolific applications in the industry, with solution revenues (all hardware, software & services) exceeding $540 Million last year and expectations of that nearly doubling by 2014. 

But all that growth is not just coming from more assets being tagged; it’s also coming from the expansion of the solution.  Asset tracking is not just about tracking assets - the value proposition is becoming much broader now.  These solutions are increasingly being leveraged to provide more information about the asset, its environment, its movements and its users.  The information gathered from these solutions is highly valuable business intelligence that is being leveraged to enhance business processes, increase asset utilization, support compliance and minimize costs. 

For example, early asset tracking solutions in healthcare focused on simply identifying where an asset is located, with the main point being to ease the pain, time and expense of hospital workers looking for equipment and to act as a shrink deterrent.  Now, asset tracking solutions in healthcare are becoming deeply integrated into host and other systems and are capable of more functionality (just to name a few):

  • Locating and communicating information about an asset in real time
  • Ensuring cleaning/sanitizing procedures are conducted before going back into circulation
  • Reducing rental requirements due to increased utilization and visibility – less need for rentals
  • Pairing assets with locations, devices, employees or patients
  • Providing environmental condition/monitoring of the asset and its location(s)
  • Enhancing and/or automating related processes and increasing operational efficiencies
  • Pushing the decision-making process to the lowest possible level (real time dissemination of business intelligence to decision makers)
  • Storing information on and supporting maintenance processes

Asset tracking has acted as a foundation for many enterprises RFID systems – they adopted a solution for a highly focused application, proven the value proposition and then expanded their solution to provide more value, functionality and business intelligence in a deeper integrated environment.  Scaling of asset tracking solutions will continue and more assets will be tagged – in field and at the source of manufacture; but don’t forget that a big part of the story behind the proliferation of asset tracking is the solution’s expansion.  


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