What is Mobile Asset Management?

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In general terms, mobile assets are property used to store, move, protect and otherwise secure a company's inventory either on the premises or along the supply chain. These include reusable containers that are used to move raw materials and finished goods from the factory of origin to the marketplace, costly tools and other devices used for technical services and required for performing them without compromising certification, objects used for tagging merchandise in order to assess the product and its availability, tools or objects calling for frequent return for inspection purposes, employees or other people under special threat in the workplace, and the items loaned out by rental companies. Mobile asset management refers to the system of keeping track of these precious and costly items, both by making sure they stay within possession of the company and by maintaining them (cleaning, repair, maintenance, etc.). Many different methods have developed for the control and maintenance of assets, though many today are still very labor intensive and subject to human error. Typically, an asset management system can consist of a server unit, a database unit, illumination bases for wireless communication (GSM), wireless tags for the assets being tracked, and locating receivers (GPS). Of course, more elaborate and cost-efficient methods do exist, such as tracking through radio frequency identification, or RFID. This system automatically takes information from each individual asset and is able to identify it or its contents without having to open it. RFID is very similar to machine monitoring programs, which are typically used to keep careful tabs on industrial machinery on the factory floor. These types of software automatically collect, report, chart, and process real-time data from each machine operating on the floor. Consequently, machinery can often go unattended during the normal course of work day, lowering costs significantly and virtually eliminating any chance of human error. Still, an M2M platform usually offers an option for manual input and data collection in the event that an event outside the system's typical programming needs to be initiated. A concern with the use of mobile assets is that these items are often put into the hands of third party companies (suppliers, carriers, customers, etc.) not directly associated with the asset owner. For this reason, assets are easily lost and their owners must swallow the cost. In fact, on average, businesses end up spending 5% of annual revenue on these items.

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Caitlina Fuller has 1 articles online

Caitlina is a freelance writer.

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What is Mobile Asset Management?

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This article was published on 2011/01/11