Austin Conti's Posts

3 Reasons Why Effective Managers Need Asset Tracking

Completing projects on time and within budget is a complex, challenging endeavor, especially if your business has several concurrent jobs spread over a broad geographic area. Asset tracking is a critical tool to helping teams control their assets. However, there is more to asset management than just tracking. Asset management is a comprehensive process that includes asset tracking.

Smart managers reduce the complexity and get more work done in less time by using a digital asset management system. Here are three reasons why you should, too.

1. Managing daily workflow

Every day, large assets and material inventory items need to arrive at the right job sites on time, in the right amount, and with all associated parts and components. In the construction industries, workers need to have the correct tools and equipment on hand to perform highly specialized tasks such as moving earth, laying foundations, installing piping and cables, or drilling underground. A typical workflow on a construction site requires a coordination effort from many different places going in many different directions to get people, equipment, materials and resources where they need to be in a timely manner.

At the end of the day, managers want to make sure tools and equipment that travel from job to job are returned to their assigned set and brought back to the yard when no longer needed or to the shop for routine maintenance.

Managers can streamline their daily workflow by utilizing an asset management system that helps them efficiently transfer assets from one job site to another, track asset performance in real time and make decisions to effectively deploy assets in response to conditions in the field as they occur. Asset management systems give managers visibility into where assets are at any time and gives them the ability to schedule their logistical movements of all company assets across locations.

2. Tracking asset activity and fleet performance in the field.

To facilitate this daily juggling act, managers need to know how their assets are performing in the field. Are engines run only as long as it takes to complete their tasks, or do they have excessive idling or downtime? Is equipment reported for maintenance when alerts or signs of wear-and-tear arise, or are they overworked to complete a task, inadvertently becoming damaged? Are the shortest and most efficient routes being utilized, or are extra miles being added on the vehicle? Are company safety policies and public laws being obeyed, or does speeding occur?

To efficiently manage assets, managers must have accurate data on utilization, including how many hours an asset is needed onsite to perform a particular activity, or how many tools are needed amongst the crew to perform an activity together? Without this knowledge, planning for future jobs will be based more on guesswork than on solid data managers can rely on and rates are likely to be inflated.

For companies that manage fleet vehicle operations, managers are responsible for ensuring their vehicles follow US DOT regulations. Each trip for each driver and vehicle needs to be tracked and documented with an electronic logging device (ELD), with accurate reports on how much time is spent behind the wheel. Separately, drivers are required to complete daily driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) to ensure their vehicles have been inspected for safety and full functionality before getting on the road.

Digital asset management systems allow managers to view telematics data that provide insights on utilization, maintenance, location, inspections, compliance and more to monitor operational performance.

3. Access to asset data in real-time for remote monitoring.

With remote asset management, managers can quickly access the data they need to resolve problems, facilitate and improve productivity, and optimize personnel and resource utilization. If a tool gets lost or misplaced, managers can review the asset tracking system to see who used (scanned) it last and where to help locate it. Having this data available for every tool in inventory eliminates the need to physically track down assets that may have gone missing or been left behind, wasting valuable time. Asset management systems give employees the tools view this data to optimize their time and improve their productivity.

Asset management provides a treasure trove of meaningful data that managers can use to make informed decisions to improve operations and safety. For example, they can track idling in attempt to conserve fuel and reduce associated operational costs. When using telematics tracking with onboard diagnostic capabilities, fleet managers can easily identify which vehicles burn the most fuel or have the most diagnostic trouble codes without needing to physically inspect the vehicle. This enables them to determine which models operate most efficiently and when it becomes more cost effective to trade in older models for newer ones.

They can also monitor key driver metrics such as speeding to hold drivers accountable for complying with company policies and promote safe driving.

With drivers dispersed across broad geographies, asset management provides both a big-picture view of what the entire fleet is doing at any given time and the ability to zero-in on a single vehicle to check its location and performance. With just a few clicks, managers can quickly see how far and wide their operations range visually and tell whether a particular vehicle has completed a trip or is still en-route.

Asset management allows managers to be effective by running reports, analyzing results for areas of improvement, affecting change where improvements are needed, and monitoring progress to help better their business, earn and save more, and impact a positive transformation.

Not convinced yet?

Perhaps the biggest advantage of asset management is having all the data organized and accessible on one integrated, easy-to-use platform. Total, comprehensive asset management allows you to connect your distinct asset types for management on a single system, which provides all-encompassing data on all your assets. This is most cost-effective and easier to control than managing them separately using different systems or providers.

No matter how widespread your job sites and asset deployment, asset management lets you see everything you own – including where it is and how it’s performing – all in one place.

By monitoring availability, engine hours, driver behavior, fleet maintenance, and location data, asset management provides a powerful tool for encouraging employees to work smarter and safer. The data can be used in many ways, such as promoting employee accountability for keeping track of assets and equipment in the field, or driver reward programs to incentivize employees to change unsafe driving habits into safe ones.

Asset management doesn’t just impact managers, but it also impacts employees of all levels which aids in the buy-in and adoption of the system for the solutions to work. An optimal system gives field-level employees the tools to enable solutions individually and as part of a whole to make their jobs easier. There are no downsides to investing in asset management!

Whether your business uses heavy yellow iron, on-road fleet vehicle, miscellaneous mid-size assets or only tools, you can benefit from making asset tracking an integral part of your management strategy. Tenna asset management puts you in control of your assets and provides operational insights to help managers drive improvements and affect change. Check out Tenna’s one platform solutions and Book a Demo today.

Choosing the Right Tracking Technology

We’ve been there. We’ve lost parts, had them stolen, misplaced them so that we had to rent or order more. We’ve had heavy equipment break down mid-operation due to infrequent maintenance and lost time on the project schedule to accommodate repairs. We’ve sacrificed margin on our jobs after blowing our small tools budget. We feel your frustrations, and we agree the time is now to get this under control.

But where to begin? What is RFID, and how can it help me monitor my inventory? How does fleet tracking work differently than small tool tracking? What equipment is better suited with a GPS tracker versus a Bluetooth tracker? What is LoRaWAN, and do I have jobsites that would benefit from this?

So many asset tracking options are presently on the market and if you are not necessarily technologically-savvy, you might be intimidated by these varieties.

Likewise, you may simply lack the time to do a deep dive into researching these technologies, how they work, and how they would be useful to you.

To simplify this process, we’ve prepared a guide to asset tracking technologies to help compare available options in one place. We cover short definitions on technologies and how they work – including QR, RFID, Bluetooth, Cellular GPS and LoRaWAN – as well as what technology is the best fit for tracking different types of asset classes.

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This quick guide is designed to answer some of your questions, ease some of your apprehensions and help you match the right technologies to the assets you have so you can take a step forward towards an asset management solution that works for your business. Asset management tools have a high ROI by nature and offer peace of mind through increased visibility and efficiency.

We hope you find this resource valuable.

The Business of IoT

The Business of IoT

There’s a lot of talk these days about IoT, or the Internet of Things. But what, exactly, is IoT and what does it do?

Simply put, IoT is the vast network of physical devices embedded with electronics, software, sensors or actuators that connect with each other via the Internet in order to collect and exchange information. Most people are already familiar with IoT devices through home appliances, vehicles, smart watches, personal health monitors and other commercial products. However, it won’t be long – some experts predict as soon as 2020 – before sufficient resources will exist to connect almost any device we can think of to the Internet. In fact, some statistics suggest that more than 30 billion devices will be connected by this time.

By now, we’re all used to being able to instantly share information that resides on the Internet with anyone at any time. But the ability to track, monitor, study and share information that resides on any physical object, anywhere, at any time, has staggering implications for the business world and the world at large.

In particular, IoT is grabbing the attention of businesses because several dynamics are coming together at the same time to foster the growth of IoT and the ability to use it to build more successful commercial enterprises. These dynamics include:

  • Technology advances in smart phones and tablets. Increasingly, these devices have the capacity to act as remote computers, allowing users in the field to stay connected with each other and the home office.
  • Deployment of cloud-based markets and services. By removing the need to store data on hard drives, devices such as computers, smart phones and other mobile tools can run more apps and collect more data without having to worry about where to put it. Cloud services also make it easier to share data throughout organizations by having it in one centralized location rather than storing in on separate and often isolated hard drives.
  • Lower technology costs. Economies of scale due to high product demand are dramatically reducing the cost of sensors – such as micro-controllers and boards that connect to different networks – that make the connections and data transmission more affordable.
  • Increase in IoT network providers. Both traditional and new network providers, such as Verizon, T-Mobile®, AT&T®, Vodafone, Sprint®, Rogers, Telus and more are developing new technologies to connect IoT devices, extend battery life and use less power.

Working together, these dynamics are driving the rapid growth of IoT by providing a powerful business intelligence tool that enables companies to build competitive advantages through more comprehensive and precise data tracking.

IoT and Asset Tracking

Considering that construction, oil and gas and other heavy industrial companies rely on their physical assets, it’s no surprise that IoT is already transforming the processes of industrial asset tracking. With IoT, preventative maintenance, temperature metering and other critical operational procedures are rapidly becoming faster, easier and less expensive. For industrial companies, the question isn’t, “Should we incorporate IoT into our business?” It’s, “How do we do it and how quickly can we get it done?”

As a leader in the asset tracking market, Tenna was one of the first to understand the unlimited potential of IoT and begin incorporating it into our asset tracking systems. We started by developing a series of IoT-capable sensors and trackers that transmit data to our cloud-based platform, enabling industrial enterprises to easily identify the locations and maintenance needs of their assets. Our most recent example is the TennaONE tracking device, which features the latest 4G LTE standards (LTE CAT M1 and NB1) currently being deployed by wireless carriers.

As an IoT business, Tenna provides more than just the ability to easily track assets anywhere and everywhere. Our IoT solutions offer new capabilities to bring efficiencies into many different areas of the business. For example, the data collected from IoT can assist management with process flows for pre-planning for projects, automating processes for logistics, and enabling employees to work more efficiently. It can also help with the process of planning and budgeting for large capital expenditures for needed tools and equipment.

One of the most immediate impacts of IoT is its ability to facilitate the mass collection of data to improve asset maintenance. In the past, gathering data on the status of heavy equipment and vehicles was a largely manual process. IoT-enabled assets can proactively transmit the data without needing to be prompted by human intervention. For example, suppose a component of an asset is starting to perform at inefficient or unsafe levels. With IoT solutions, the asset will automatically stream the information to the asset tracking system, where managers can evaluate and initiate the need for repairs or replacement.

By embedding assets with IoT monitoring tools, companies can track virtually all aspects of asset performance, from thermal properties and lubrication levels to vibrations, exhaust emissions and other indicators of asset health. With this unprecedented level of real-time data, managers can identify and rectify potential problems before equipment breaks down, thereby saving the time and cost of unexpected repairs.

Additional benefits of IoT solutions include:

  • Reducing the need for human intervention by automating much of the inspection, diagnosis and work order process.
  • Facilitating predictive (rather than reactive) maintenance. Real-time diagnostic data allows managers to maximize asset uptime by bringing vehicles in for maintenance during planned downtime.
  • More precise costing. The difficulty with asset costing is tracking all the factors needed to get a complete picture of their costs. IoT solutions bring together data on everything from spare parts and work orders to asset conditions, predicted life cycles and other data needed to determine the true costs of company assets.

The possibilities for IoT to transform every aspect of your business are endless. Tenna is well-positioned for delivering successful solutions as the growing business of IoT expands into the construction industry. When it comes to asset management, you can count on Tenna to continue leading the way with IoT solutions that let you do more with your assets.

Construction Industry Challenges and Trends for 2018

Between the current economic factors impacting the construction landscape and the continuing advances in tools, materials and technologies, 2018 promises to be a very interesting year for the construction industry. As we peer into our crystal ball, here’s a quick look at the top three economic challenges facing construction companies in the year ahead.

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