For decades, large physical asset management companies have been using proprietary asset lifecycle management software to solve many problems including managing fixed assets, work orders, and operational efficiency.
However, due to prohibitive costs, asset management software felt inaccessible to many small- and mid-sized enterprises — that is, until cloud-based technology enabled businesses of all sizes to reap the considerable benefits of asset tracking software.
These days, nearly 80 percent of small businesses are expected to adopt cloud technology to improve their asset management efforts and inform better decision-making. And as cloud-based asset management software is a cost-effective approach to asset tracking, this will ultimately result in enabling small businesses to scale for growth.
Asset management solutions are no longer a nice-to-have for businesses; they’re a necessity for success.
Ready to experience a competitive edge in the marketplace?
Let’s take a look at five different ways asset management software is empowering small businesses to boost productivity, accommodate growing pains, and better tackle asset management challenges — all without incurring additional costs.
1. It automates asset-related tasks
In small businesses, limited resources is a commonality.
Every member of the organization has to manage multiple duties and do so with little resources. Unlike multinational corporations that manage unpredictability and low optimization by absorbing costs over different sectors of the business, small businesses do not have that same luxury.
Paying close attention to costs and keeping budgets tight is necessary in maintaining margins and operational effectiveness.
CMMS vendors provide cloud-based asset management solutions that address these pain ponts by automating many asset-related tasks. These tasks can vary, but typically include automatically tracking equipment check-ins and check-outs, monitoring asset locations, and determining maintenance events.
Being able to streamline asset-related tasks helps keep small businesses in a better position to control any financial mismanagement. With less room to make mistakes, cloud-based asset management solutions enable small businesses to fully exploit each fixed resource to their max capacity.
2. It brings greater equipment reliability
When assets are managed effectively, small businesses can realize improvements to productivity and efficiency. Knowing exactly how an organization’s fixed assets are being used is incredibly important in maintaining efficient asset maintenance practices.
With real-time insights on asset utilization, small businesses can restructure their maintenance practices from a reactive approach to a predictive approach. The ability to monitor patterns and predict future machine downtime reduces the likelihood of failures and extends the life of existing assets.
Asset management software uses predictive analytics to analyze raw sensor data collected from assets. This analysis can be used to create identifiable patterns in asset usage. By analyzing historical operation data, asset management software can determine any changes in behavioral patterns.
Establishing a predictive maintenance strategy ensures any deviations from normal operating conditions are predetermined, enabling organizations to perform maintenance tasks only when necessary rather than through a gut feel.
This results in fixed assets achieving optimal operational uptime.
3. It improves organizational efficiency
Concerning the aforementioned point, by improving business intelligence and generating actionable results, small businesses are capable of prioritizing improvements that contribute to boosts in productivity.
For one organization, this might mean minimizing paper-based administration. For another, it can result in streamlined work orders, avoiding duplicate tasks and ensuring maintenance schedules are done promptly.
This helps save on equipment downtime costs and contributes to more lean and efficient management processes.
By integrating a cloud-based asset management solution with existing resource planning processes, small businesses can improve operational performance and ensure maximum availability of manpower, materials, and equipment uptime.
4. It reduces asset loss and cuts costs
Without the support of an asset management solution, assets can easily be lost or fall victim to unexpected breakdowns. Both can be costly to a small business with already limited resources. Small businesses can use cloud-based asset management software as a budgeting tool.
Being able to track and monitor levels of inventory or stocks, asset depreciation, and purchase orders ensure small businesses are better informed of when assets are no longer a good value. This means businesses only maintain the assets that continue to provide revenue to the organization.
Minimizing workplace accidents is another cost-saving benefit of asset management software. By having access to critical asset information in real-time, small businesses mitigate the risk of failure and ensure their workplace remains compliant to workplace health and safety standards.
By increasing accountability, organizations eliminate miscommunication and the mismanagement of assets.
5. It allows you to check in on your business in real time
A cloud-based asset tracking solution provides small business owners and facility managers the ability to check in on the status of their asset portfolio from any location.
Many cloud-based solutions come with mobile app functionality. Employees that have to carry out work orders off-site can do so through the use of their smartphone. This allows small businesses to make full use of their limited resources and avoid investing in expensive tracking solutions.
Making live asset data accessible through the cloud relieves small businesses of previous geographic limitations. This functionality means businesses can update workflows accordingly through any device, from laptops to mobile devices.
How to set up asset tracking
Whether you maintain rental equipment, retail inventory, or a vehicle fleet, asset tracking software enhances your business’s ability to improve asset utilization, lower administrative and maintenance costs, and reduce asset loss.
However, to realize all of these benefits, small businesses must deploy the right asset solution.
Choosing the right cloud-based asset management solutions starts with the ease of use and operation. Being able to use your asset tracking software immediately once it’s been configured to your systems ensures greater user adoption from the start.
How the cloud-based software integrates with your existing technologies is also critical.
If your existing hardware and software are unable to support the asset management platform in question, unexpected expenses can occur, impacting your business’s ability to fully utilize the new software.
Lastly, consider the affordability of the asset management solution. Only invest in the features your business requires. Getting caught up in the variety of functions available can result in greater expenses incurred and greater complexity of the product.
One way to ensure your business acquires the right cloud-based asset tracking solution is by requesting quotes from trusted CMMS vendors. Many of these vendors will provide live demonstrations so you can field questions regarding their software and evaluate how their software can integrate with your existing technologies.
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Andrew Piechowiak is the General Manager – Asset Management Business at SGE Group International, a multidisciplinary group of companies with core business interests in Asset Lifecycle Management, Land Development and Software. Aladdin is SGE’s proprietary Asset Lifecycle Management software, designed to empower FM, Maintenance and Asset teams across multiple industry sectors.