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What is Asset Tracking and How Does It Benefit Your Facilities

Modified on

July 12, 2023

Asset tracking is an essential part of asset management, meaning it is a critical aspect of facilities management. The more you know about an asset, the better decisions you can make about it and your organization. Asset tracking helps you predict an asset’s lifespan and extend that lifespan through timely maintenance. It also can keep track of warranties and other information that can lead to cost savings and better budgeting.

What Is Asset Tracking? 

Asset tracking is a technique that facilities managers use to gain insight into the performance of their facility. It helps open the door for optimization and better facilities outcomes. Asset tracking solutions are essential in not only keeping track of each asset in your large fleet, but also for understanding the state of each asset. You’ll be able to tell whether each one is operating at its highest potential and whether it is still under warranty. Such tracking also helps you optimize your capital spending and avoid significant equipment downtime. Finally, it can help with asset energy management, making it easier to become or stay environmentally friendly.  

Implementing Asset Tracking 

There are a variety of asset tracking technologies. Implementing asset tracking typically begins with using a tagging technology that integrates with other asset management tools. While asset management without tagging is possible, it is challenging and often results in overspending and poor decision-making. Tagging technologies include bar codes, RFID, ultra-wideband (UWD), and Bluetooth. The right tagging technology choice for your company depends upon several factors. These factors include the number and value of assets to track and the global area being tracked. 

Bar Codes 

Bar codes are a popular and inexpensive way to tag for improved asset tracking. Bar codes are used to tag assets in almost every industry, including retail, manufacturing, and warehousing. One advantage of barcodes is their small and lightweight size and their ease of use for large numbers of assets. Barcode scanners also are quite affordable. The downsides of using bar codes are that they require manual searching and so tend to be labor-intensive. Scanners also tend to operate at very short ranges and only with clear sightlines to the coded asset. Bar code systems also provide information based on the last scan, rather than in real-time and are prone to human errors, such as failing to put a code on an asset. Finally, inventory management in bar code systems can be expensive. 


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) also is widely used in various industry settings. RFID works via a combination of electromagnetic readers and tags. Configurations include both passive and active systems, and passive tags tend to last for a long time. Passive tags, however, have a shorter range, while active tags have a more extended range. Advantages are that the tags are small, with a small radio signature, and many tag options are low cost. Readers, however, tend to be expensive. 

Other disadvantages are that its signals are easy to intercept and not always precise. For example, the signal can tell you whether an asset is present but not precisely where it is. System installations also can be complex. 

Ultra-Wideband (UWD) 

Ultra-wideband (UWD) is a newer technology. It is accurate, scalable, and secure. It is also a low-power way to transmit a significant amount of data. Automakers use the technology for keyless entry, and some mobile phone manufacturers also use it for security. Its advantages are that it can work through walls and barriers and isn’t interrupted by interference from RF signals and devices. It also allows for real-time updates and precise locations. 

The disadvantages are that its protocols are not yet mature and that it relies on time-syncing for location and tracking. It also requires more power than other technologies. However, many UWD solutions are beginning to provide power-saving measures so that they can exist for years without battery replacement or recharging. 


Bluetooth also is popular for asset tagging and tracking, mainly because it can use consumer roaming device mobile hubs. Indoor organizations, such as shopping malls use Bluetooth widely. Among its advantages is its relatively low-cost and low power consumption. Bluetooth also is accurate within several meters, provides real-time updates, and is widely standardized. 

One disadvantage of Bluetooth is its susceptibility to interference from other devices within its shared frequency spectrum. It also fails to work accurately in reflective or highly active environments like factories or refineries. Other downsides are its requirement for a high density of transmitters and its security vulnerabilities. 

Benefits of Asset Tracking 

Asset tracking is an important asset management tool with many business benefits. Asset tracking results in fewer equipment breakdowns and provides quicker response times when equipment does break down or need parts. It can also result in significant cost savings by providing performance information and asset data to forecast future capital needs. 

Fewer Breakdowns 

A key to avoiding equipment breakdowns is timely maintenance. Asset tracking and management can provide information on recent maintenance and service. It can also use historical data to predict when the equipment will need maintenance again to optimize its performance. 

This asset management tool allows facilities managers to enter an annual maintenance calendar for each piece of equipment. It also provides for monitoring adherence to the calendar in real-time. Asset tracking reports are beneficial in this area.

Quicker Response Times 

Because information from the tracked asset is entered in real-time, equipment repair response times are shorter than they would be without using this asset management tool. The system can issue work orders for maintenance and repair automatically. Asset tracking and management also enable your company to have parts on hand when needed, which also makes repairs go more quickly. 


Asset tracking makes forecasting capital needs easier because it tracks the age of the equipment and historical data about the longevity of similar equipment. It also predicts when maintenance will be needed, which helps in accurate budgeting. 

Cost Savings 

Asset tracking helps organizations save money in several ways. Because it lessens the amount of downtime, it saves money that otherwise would be lost because of equipment downtime. It also keeps track of warranty data so that your company doesn’t pay for repairs that are still under warranty. Finally, it increases the longevity of an asset by encouraging on-schedule maintenance. 

An asset management tool also can prevent overspending on asset management through lost warranty information, improperly maintained machines, or routing repairs to the wrong provider. 

Performance Insights 

The asset management tool also provides information about an asset’s performance, alerting you to when it is not performing optimally so that adjustments can be made before a breakdown. It gives data on cost-per-asset over the lifecycle of the equipment. 

Are You Ready for An Asset Tracking System? 

An asset tracking system automates the asset management process. That automation provides a centralized view of your assets that tracks maintenance histories, warranty information, asset purchase dates, operating costs, and refrigerant leak reports. The asset management tool saves money, provides better budget guidance, and keeps equipment performing smoothly. Without an asset tracking system, organizations are leaving money on the table. 

ServiceChannel is the leading facilities management software platform, and we partner with multi-site companies already running or embarking on asset management strategies. Our customers include leading brands across industries, including retail and luxury retail, restaurant, grocery store, convenience store, financial services, spa and fitness, and education. Tell us about your asset management challenges, and we’ll craft the best solution for your needs. 

Asset Tracking FAQs

What do you mean by asset tracking?

Asset tracking happens when a company tracks its physical assets, a key component to asset management. To track assets properly you need to implement a bar code system, RFID, UWD, or Bluetooth and compare your physical numbers against the numbers you have in your asset tracking software, looking for any discrepancies.

What is an example of asset tracking?

Asset tracking is the physical tracking of the company’s assets like their generators, computers, technology, machinery, etc. It is real-time reporting in one location or multiple locations and it gives the business greater visibility into its company’s physical assets when properly maintained.

What are the benefits of asset tracking?

Some benefits of asset tracking are:

∙ Fewer breakdowns of the most valuable assets due to your asset tracking solution
∙ Quicker response times on your most critical assets
∙ Forecasting using asset tracking systems
∙ Cost savings by tracking assets accordingly
∙ Performance insights with asset management software

Why is it important to keep track of fixed assets?

Fixed asset tracking helps your company understand which assets it needs, what it doesn’t, which assets are used the most and which ones are used the least – possibly helping you to cut costs in the future. It also allows you to keep up with regulatory compliance and asset maintenance through preventive maintenance so that you can save money on unscheduled shutdowns, equipment breakdowns, and potential safety issues.

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