For many businesses, high-value assets are not limited to one location within an office building. Your company may have heavy equipment in the field, a fleet of vehicles that are always on the move, or expensive shipments that you need to track closely. If this is the case, your field service technicians need the appropriate tools to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. No matter what high-value assets your business has, both you and your insurance provider have an interest in protecting them.
The first step to protecting high-value assets is understanding your needs. Depending on the type of business and the assets to be monitored, your field service technicians may need systems that do one or more of the following:
- Monitor and record temperatures
- Track movements and locations
- Assess the condition of equipment
- Alert you to anomalies
After you have determined which functions you need in an asset protection strategy, you need to find the hardware and software solutions that will meet these needs so your field service technicians can be most effective.
When it comes to software, an important characteristic to look for is flexibility. Not only might your needs change over time, but so does technology. Having a system that can easily adapt with you can save both time and money in the long run. Cloud-based software solutions are a good place to start. As new information is added from the field, your system is updated automatically. Cloud-based solutions also allow office-based personnel to access current data from any location.
After you have decided which software solution will best meet your needs, you need to consider your hardware. Although you can often access cloud-based asset management systems from a smart phone, the conditions in the field may not be so friendly to such relatively delicate equipment. You may also find that the small screen and limited keyboard functionality do not allow field service technicians to operate as efficiently as possible. And while it's true that you can access important data from the comfort of your desktop PC, you can't use it in the field to scan a bar code. A rugged tablet PC can solve both of these problems.
Using a rugged tablet PC to help track your high-value assets in the field has many benefits over alternative solutions:
- A larger screen allows field service technicians to easily view and manipulate data.
- Rugged tablet PCs are designed to withstand dropping, excess dust, extreme temperatures, and water.
- You can access all of your standard software solutions. Need to export your asset tracking data to an Excel sheet? You don't need to wait until you get back to the office to do it.
- A built-in numeric keypad simplifies data entry in the field.
- Bar code scanning with a rugged tablet PC allows field service technicians to quickly and accurately gather data that can be automatically integrated with your asset management system.
Many different industries can benefit from high-value asset tracking with a flexible software solution and a rugged tablet PC. Transportation and logistics are an obviously good fit, but even theme parks, farms, and manufacturers can use this type of technology to protect high-value assets. Any business that utilizes field service technicians to maintain and repair equipment, track parts and tools, or report on the condition of high-value assets can benefit from rugged tablet PCs.