How Can Industrial Companies Effectively Track High-Value Assets
"I think every business, really, has a unique reason for being, unique assets, unique attributes, a unique history. And that can be turned into a very attractive design story, essentially, that consumers can relate to.” -Yves Behar, Swiss designer and entrepreneur
For every dedicated business owner, the workers are indeed the most precious asset above all else. But in the industrial sector, there are a lot of things that can be treated as equally important as the company’s staff. From the equipment, machinery, and other essential resources needed to manufacture products and accomplish daily operations, such high-value assets serve as the hearts of an industrial company. But how did these companies started to develop a greater emphasis on the importance of high-value assets?
The History of Industrial Companies
One defining characteristic of industrial companies is that they specialize in converting raw materials into products that can be used either by consumers or other fellow businesses. This process is called manufacturing. Before the era known as the industrial revolution, people used to create products manually or by hand.
Manufacturing was also done usually at home or farms. This traditional method of manufacturing ended up posing some issues, as it could take a significant amount of time just to create a single product, not to mention the level of skills required for each manufacturer. Products of the past may seem like the same, but they varied greatly in terms of quality even it was produced by the same manufacturer. Fortunately, a new era arrived which literally “revolutionized” manufacturing in a way that will be way more convenient and efficient than the conventional ones: The Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution can be characterized with the invention machines, as well as the development of advanced manufacturing techniques. These events led to the emergence of a massive influx of factories around Europe and the United States during the years of 1760s to 1840s. Machines that are specially designed to produce multiple quantities of products at a time became mainstream amongst businesses the sells textile, glass, and cotton.
The field of agriculture was perhaps one of the primary beneficiaries of this revolution because it helped a lot in taking over some of the most laborious tasks of farmers. Since raw materials can now be converted into products in a shorter period of time, items in the market and shops became cheaper and quicker to produce resulting in the continuous rise in the amount of supply.
The demand was more abundant than the supply hence paved the way for the construction of more factories. Running such factories may require an enormous number of workers, so gender restriction became nonexistent and it even reached to a point where children are also allowed to work in this tough environment. The Factory Act of 1833 offered some form of relief for anti-child labor supporters as it limited the working hours that can be spent by children, together with the establishment of standards that enhanced the condition of factories.
The Roles of High-Value Assets in a Company
Assets are any items of value owned or leased by a company. In order to form a company, an investor must be ready to allocate a great deal of his capital in purchasing the needed assets to make his business operational and generate profits. Examples include almost every company property such as the desk and chairs, heavy machinery, technology, facility, tec. Assets can vary based on their uses and level of value. Those assets that possess a noticeably higher level of value compared to the others is called a high value asset. A high value asset is something that should always be monitored and tracked as losing them or lowering their value could bring detrimental effects on the growth of a business. To give you a more in-depth understanding in how critical high value assets are, here are its three main roles:
- To generate revenue – receiving revenue or profit is the number one goal of any business. In the industrial sector, zero assets obviously mean zero revenue as they are deeply reliant on machineries to produce goods, which in turn, generates income for the company.
- To increase a company’s business value – company assets, especially the high-valued ones tend to contribute a lot to the business value of a particular enterprise. Once the amount of high-value assets is identified, it can aid in determining the company’s net worth, which could be advantageous in some scenarios like company selling or bankruptcy.
- Facilitate the running of a business – As it was mentioned before, assets serve as the hearts of a business. So without any high-valued assets to back up a business, it will be unable to operate and be considered as a business in the first place.
Identifying Your High-Value Assets
Do you own an industrial company? If so, then you should pay attention to the current condition and value of your assets. The value of each asset your company possesses can be classified into two types; high intrinsic and low intrinsic value. Assets with high intrinsic value are usually quite expensive to purchase or difficult to replace. On the other hand, low intrinsic value assets may have been cheaper and easier to replace but it doesn’t necessarily define their importance in the overall business process. In case a manufacturing company temporarily shuts down because of faulty equipment or machine, the value of keeping the process running must always be the main priority instead of worrying about the expenses needed for repair service or replacement.
Tips for Effectively Tracking Your High-Value Assets
Tracking high-value assets are integral towards maintaining the overall stability of an industrial company’s day-to-day operations. However, the challenges that might come with it can prompt aspiring entrepreneurs to choose a different type of business instead. This is because some high-value assets that are small in size can be prone to theft, while larger high-value assets like equipment and machinery may require constant maintenance. By effectively tracking down the condition of your high-value assets, you are also protecting your company’s investments and future.
Know the difference between asset tracking and inventory tracking
Asset tracking refers to the practice of identifying which items of value a business own and utilize, their current location, as well as who is the one in charge of them. It is different from inventory tracking as it is defined as the act of managing products that are purchased, distributed, or consumed. Asset tracking involves overseeing the location and condition of internal resources needed to maintain business operation, while inventory tracking is about tracking the receipt, storage, and shipping the products that are sold.
Knowing the difference between the two sets up everything for you to properly focus your priorities on one specific goal and avoid any confusion associated with the two terms.
Make your staff accountable
Since most of your company assets are regularly used by your workers, make them personally accountable every time they utilize an item. You can do these by employing specific management systems such as assigning all employees unique set of numbers to be used for identification purposes. A worker can simply present their employee number before operating a high-value asset like a car, truck, machinery, etc. The number can also be registered when opening a restricted area. This way everyone in your company is aware where a high-value asset currently resides and the name of the person it was entrusted to.
Purchase an asset tracking system
Buying computer software designed to track your assets is a worthy investment indeed. However, you must first define and prioritize the things that you need from a software package so that you don’t have to spend more money on other features that you don’t truly need. And don’t forget to test-drive software before calling it a deal.
Follow the Data-Driven Development paradigm
This paradigm can be pretty useful especially for most construction and project-based industrial companies. Acquiring the state of being-data driven gives you (and some of your staff) access on data that contains reliable information on all the available assets, the level of their value, including their location.
Take advantage of IoT
The “Internet of Things,” or more commonly known as IoT is arguably the most capable and efficient system when it comes to tracking down all types of assets, regardless of how valuable they are. IoT can be a set of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, or even animals and humans that are given unique identifiers as well as the capability to transmit data on a network without the need for any human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
If you’re interested in using IoT devices to your high-value assets, try using electronic shelf labels or ESLS. Highly regarded by many as the most promising innovations in IoT, ESLs can take shelf and item labeling to the next level by providing real-time information on a particular product or asset.
Tracking High-Value Assets with ESLs
These smart tags are equipped with modern wireless technology (such as Zigbee) that enables them to transmit signals to a central server which keeps you and your staff notified on the current whereabouts and condition of an asset. In addition to that, ESLS can also change its digital content anytime so you don’t have to worry about whether you can use them for the same purpose on different occasions.