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Using IoT Asset Tracking for Asset Management

IoT (Internet of Things)

Unlock the power of IoT asset tracking for efficient asset management. Explore technology types, benefits, and real-life use cases, and understand how IoT works.

Modified on

January 19, 2024

Asset tracking is critical in allowing organizations to keep up with vital resources and ensure operational processes run effectively. As businesses navigate new and ongoing challenges regarding asset tracking, the Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a key technology in bridging gaps that have led to costly inefficiencies. 

Cisco estimates that the logistics industry may generate up to 1.9 trillion over the next decade thanks to improved efficiencies by IoT implementations. They’ve changed how companies communicate about where assets are and how they capture data related to their use, but how can you bring IoT asset tracking to your facility?

What is IoT Asset Tracking?

IoT asset tracking involves the software and hardware used to log information about reusable assets owned by organizations. It helps companies keep up with any equipment they own and its status, including:

  • Machinery
  • Vehicles
  • Reusable containers

Having that information available helps businesses with essential functions like:

  • Monitor the efficiency of asset use
  • Collect data that helps companies track various trends around equipment usage
  • Deter theft of valuable equipment
  • Stay on top of how employees treat company assets

 How Does IoT Asset Tracking Work?

IoT Asset Tracking vs. Traditional Asset Management

IoT technology also makes it possible to track the movements of company assets with sensors containing GPS trackers. The sensors send coordinates to GPS satellites tied to wireless network technology. That way, organizations can execute real-time tracking of any asset from anywhere.

In the past, asset tracking often relied on manual methods like physical checks and paper-based logs. This approach was time-consuming and prone to errors, as it depended on human input for updates.

With an IoT asset tracking solution, the automation of tracking through GPS and wireless networks reduces the risk of many of these issues. It instead offers precise, real-time information and greatly enhances the efficiency.

Types of Tracking Technologies

IoT expands upon traditional asset-tracking capabilities by adding a new layer of technological sophistication. Employing an IoT-based asset-tracking system makes it possible for companies to track assets over longer distances, even globally.

In addition to GPS asset tracking tags, other technologies often used for IoT asset tracking include:

Radio-frequency identification (RFID)

A company places an RFID tag on any asset that they need to collect real-time data on in the near future. RFID tags then send out a signal whenever it comes near an RFID reader. They’re among the least expensive options for IoT asset tracking and can last up to 20 years. However, they become ineffective if an asset gets moved beyond the range of a company’s RFID readers.

Bluetooth low energy (BLE)

Bluetooth low energy sensors are good for keeping up with assets that typically remain in the same range as a tracking device capable of reading its signal. BLE tags cost less and have a battery life of up to 10 years. They’re suitable for companies needing to keep up with many assets within a tight infrastructure.

Low-power wide-area network (LPWAN)

LPWAN options provide organizations with long battery life and longer-range connectivity versus BLE devices. While they bring a higher cost, they’re helpful to businesses that don’t have a large physical infrastructure. LPWAN tags use cellular networks to track the movement of assets.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

NFC devices come with built-in chips that activate whenever they come near other NFC chips within 20 centimeters. Businesses can attach NFC chips to any company asset. While they work similarly to RFID chips, they consume less power and help facilitate fast data transmissions, making them an excellent option for contact-free transactions.

Light Fidelity (LiFi)

Light fidelity technology relies on diodes emitting light, facilitating a wireless form of high-speed communication called Visible Light Communication. It works by transmitting binary data to a photosensitive detector responsible for regulating the intensity of LED light.

How IoT Asset Tracking Works

1. Tagging and Identification

Before IoT asset tracking can begin, you first need to attach IoT asset tracking tags to all physical assets. So, you will first need to identify the valuable assets you want to track and attach your IoT tracking devices to them.

These tracking devices will store essential information about the asset, like its type, owner, asset location, and any other specific characteristics. This data helps you make key decisions by providing real-time updates on the status and condition of each asset.

2. Data Collection

Once all desired asset tags are placed, your asset tracking technology will begin collecting data. For example, a sensor on a perishable good may collect data about the environment’s temperature, which is vital information for maintaining the product’s quality during transportation.

3. Data Transmission

After asset tags gather information, they transfer data to a centralized location, typically a cloud server. Depending on your asset tracking solutions, you may transmit data in real-time or at set intervals.

In most cases, real-time data is recommended. Real-time visibility into your asset’s location, condition, and other factors will allow you to make faster, more informed decisions. This ability can make your asset management process significantly more efficient.

4. Analysis and Reporting

IoT asset sensors can send data to a central location, but a human is needed to make sense of it. Doing so often involves specific asset management software tools. The tool will process and interpret the data, and the human will decipher how they can use it to take action.

For example, an analysis might reveal that certain assets are underutilized. Unexpected underutilization may indicate that your staff needs to manage inventory more effectively. As another example, missing inventory or unexpected location data may indicate potential equipment theft.

5. Actions Based on Data Insights

Asset data doesn’t mean much unless insights are used to take action. Reports may reveal business process inefficiencies or inventory management issues, but only facility managers can remediate them.

Some examples of possible actions a facility manager may take based on asset tracking data include:

  • Implementing asset and energy management automation to optimize energy consumption.
  • Leveraging predictive maintenance to plan optimal maintenance schedules.
  • Reallocating underused assets to areas where they are needed more.
  • Updating inventory levels based on usage data to ensure optimal stock availability.
  • Making informed purchasing decisions based on asset usage patterns and lifecycles.
  • Adjusting environmental controls (like heating or cooling) in areas where asset data shows a need for change.

6. Continuous Monitoring and Updates

IoT asset tracking is an ongoing process. Managers must consistently keep watch on their asset monitoring solutions to check for new information. Regular updates to the tracking system and the software used for analysis to adapt to business changes or based on collected insights will improve your asset-tracking solutions.

Benefits of IoT Asset Tracking in Asset Management 

Enhanced Asset Visibility

Having real-time visibility into the location of company assets offers more transparency for company leaders. IoT asset technology provides businesses with a continuous stream of data. Expanding the ability of companies to improve their inventory management and planning around time-sensitive logistics. This expanded ability drastically improves any facility’s enterprise asset management (EAM) processes.

Real-Time Monitoring

In addition, organizations gain the ability to monitor any high-value or perishable goods. That way, they can spot issues that might arise and work to ensure those items make it to their destination without getting damaged or going bad.

Downtime Reduction

Leveraging IoT for maintenance can help facility managers detect inefficiencies in operational processes before they become a full-blown supply-chain issue. The reason why is that IoT devices promote real-time asset tracking. This proactive approach enables maintenance teams to identify potential issues early and address them before they worsen.

Often, IoT sensors are also able to predict future maintenance needs based on data trends. This significantly reduces unexpected downtime.

Improved Asset Efficiency

IoT asset trackers can quickly detect assets and associated location data. This information significantly improves timely delivery and inventory control. As a result, organizations can more easily fulfill their service-level agreements and maintain customer satisfaction. Having that precision in tracking assets is especially vital for handling high-value assets.

Automated Processes

Combining IoT devices with cloud computing automates many business processes. This technology allows for real-time monitoring and streamlined workflows, reducing risk, reducing manual labor, and improving operational efficiency. Additionally, this combination provides valuable data insights that help businesses make better decisions and refine their strategies.

Use Cases of IoT Asset Tracking Solutions

IoT asset tracking provides businesses with a more reliable way to track what’s happening with their assets throughout the entire lifecycle.


IoT sensors allow businesses to monitor their refrigeration systems’ internal and external conditions, including temperature, humidity, power usage, and more. This data allows companies to analyze the condition of their assets in real time and make adjustments as necessary.

Integrating IoT sensors with your refrigeration systems helps mitigate the unit’s risk of going down for an extended period, leading to disruption and potentially thousands of dollars in lost perishable products. In this sense, an IoT asset tracking system becomes a more cost-effective choice.


IoT technology in restrooms allows companies to create a smart restroom system that provides remote monitoring for IoT-connected devices such as soap dispensers, paper towels, and tissues. This takes the guesswork out of restocking and allows the human workers to more efficiently use their time by taking care of more critical tasks such as disinfecting. 


For facilities managers, IoT technology will enable them to wirelessly control the temperature and humidity of the HVAC systems in their facilities. This technology also allows for detailed performance monitoring and the unit’s energy consumption, which improves asset energy management.

Store Inventory

RFID tracking gives retailers detailed insights into their inventory across the supply chain. In a digital age where customers can view an item online and then go in-store to purchase, this level of visibility allows for a better customer experience.

Retailers can track their inventory from fulfillment centers to physical stores, reducing human error and ensuring customers get an accurate picture of what is available. 

Optimize Asset Management with ServiceChannel

By employing IoT asset tracking within their organization, businesses can streamline a lot of labor-intensive tasks and eliminate errors. They also improve their ability to collect real-time information about business equipment and how it’s used.

In addition, it allows smaller companies to compete alongside larger enterprises by increasing their ability to gather valuable industry intelligence.

Contact ServiceChannel to set up a demo and see how we can deliver results through IoT-enabled asset management.

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