Field service managers can spend the equivalent of a day a week managing, monitoring and tracking moveable assets such as trailers, generators, pumps and tanks. Those assets are expensive and essential to field service operations in various industries, from agriculture to construction to utilities and telecommunications. Without them, businesses wouldn’t be able to get their job done.
The problem is field operations traditionally haven’t been very effective at tracking high-value towed equipment. They lack real-time information about where the assets are and how they are being used. That’s why managers have to devote so many hours to managing and allocating moveable equipment.
Fortunately, field service operations no longer have to manage their assets blindly as the equipment moves around, thanks to asset-tracking technology that provides complete visibility into location and utilization of equipment through live maps and reporting capabilities.
Boosting Efficiency and Productivity
Asset-tracking solutions help businesses with a key field service metric – improving the productivity of their assets, whether they are rented, leased or owned. In addition to tracking asset locations, the technology generates utilization reports to determine if equipment is used too much or too little. With this information, managers can make better decisions on how to best deploy the assets, which equipment to reallocate and which units customers need the most.
As such, businesses can make substantial efficiency gains not only in day-to-day equipment allocation and scheduling but also in emergencies. If a job comes in that requires reallocating an asset, managers can assign any idle units or those closest to the job’s location to ensure the task is completed in a timely manner.
A major challenge field service businesses face is the loss of expensive assets, either through theft or by misplacing them in forgotten locales. In 2014, more than 11,600 heavy equipment thefts were reported to law enforcement, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The bureau reports those stolen assets cost between $330 million and $1billion annually.
Asset-tracking solutions prevent equipment theft and loss by instantly locating assets at all times. Some solutions issue alerts when and if an asset changes location or is disconnected, giving businesses a chance to take immediate action to protect the asset. This saves considerable time, effort and money to find missing assets and replace them when they cannot be recovered.
Asset-tracking technology also saves field service organizations money by helping to reduce equipment failures. Keeping assets in operation at all times is essential because broken-down equipment costs money can prevent a company from generating income.
Utilization reports record how often an asset is being used so managers can plan when equipment requires service and when it is reaching its end of life. As such, businesses can adopt a preventive and predictive stance to service and maintenance, as opposed to a break/fix approach that is less effective in extending asset longevity. And when a towed asset breaks down, real-time information on its location makes is possible to retrieve it for service quickly and replace it with a nearby asset.
Asset tracking helps field service operations maximize the value of towed assets while controlling operation costs.