| Written by Mark Buzinkay

Mobile asset tracking emerges as an exciting alternative regarding effective asset management, enabling your workforce to access essential asset information seamlessly on the go. Since 59% of employees believe their company lags in adopting workplace apps, integrating a handheld process for mobile asset tracking stands out as a mutually beneficial software upgrade. This approach not only enhances asset management but also significantly boosts employee efficiency.
Handheld process

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What is Mobile Asset Tracking?

In today's efficiency-focused business environment, reliably managing and tracking assets in real-time is more crucial than ever. Mobile asset tracking offers a dynamic method for monitoring assets within and beyond the workplace. With a staggering 60% of UK employees already incorporating apps into their work-related activities, the shift towards using mobile devices for asset tracking is not just innovative but increasingly essential.

This process involves employees leveraging their mobile devices through a dedicated app or web browser to scan assets and seamlessly update the company's fixed asset register with comprehensive details. These details include the asset's current location, purchase date, accompanying photographs, and much more. Through such accurate data collection, businesses can cultivate a reliable asset register, ensuring a robust overview of their resources 24/7.

Moreover, mobile asset tracking transcends simple data collection by integrating advanced methodologies. This includes capturing images and locations of assets using mobile communication devices and then transmitting this information wirelessly to a remote server. At this juncture, assets are identified, and their locations, along with their images, are securely stored in a database. This process facilitates the efficient tracking of assets and enhances the precision of inventory management.

Mobile assets and inventory are vast, encompassing items that frequently change locations—ranging from construction tools and equipment to electronics and service van supplies. These assets, characterized by their mobility, present unique challenges for tracking and management compared to those stationed at a fixed location. Whether it's tools being moved from a warehouse to a job site, electronics being checked out by employees or customers, or supplies being transported in a service van, the dynamic nature of these assets necessitates a more sophisticated approach to asset management. Mobile asset tracking, empowered by handheld processes, emerges as the quintessential solution to these challenges, offering a pathway to streamlined, efficient, and accurate asset and inventory management.

Read more about Volkswagen Wolfsburg Success Story about Asset Management of moving assets: Car logistics


The Handheld Process Explained

Mobile asset tracking is all about using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to track and manage assets and inventory, resulting in unparalleled convenience and efficiency. The handheld process refers to an advanced methodology in mobile asset tracking. Also, it bridges the gap between antiquated asset management practices and modern, dynamic business environments.

At its core, the handheld process involves using handheld devices to perform various tasks related to asset management. This includes scanning barcodes or QR codes, capturing photos, and logging detailed information about each asset directly into a centralized system via a mobile app or web browser. These actions enable real-time updates to the company's asset register, providing a comprehensive and up-to-date view of all assets within the organization.

The handheld process begins when an employee uses their mobile device to acquire an image of an asset or scan its barcode. Along with the visual data, the device also records the precise location during the scan, utilizing the device's built-in GPS or other location-tracking technologies. This data—the image and the location—is transmitted securely over a wireless network to a remote server. Here, sophisticated algorithms and databases identify the asset based on the image and log its current location and status in the company's asset management system.

One of the truly unique things about the handheld process is that it has the power to track a wide range of assets on both a feature level and a physical level, from construction equipment and electronics to video equipment and supplies on a service van. These assets do not reside in a fixed location but are frequently moved between sites, checked out by employees or customers, or transported as part of service operations.

And here comes the essential part: The handheld process is not merely about tracking; it's about integrating asset management into the daily workflow without disrupting it. It allows for the rapid, on-the-go updating of asset statuses, ensuring all stakeholders can access accurate, real-time information. This level of agility and precision is crucial for making informed decisions, enhancing operational efficiency, and ultimately driving business success in today's competitive landscape. 


What are the benefits of the Handheld Process in Asset Management?

Adopting a handheld process in asset management has a range of benefits supporting modern businesses' goals that prioritize accurate and efficient operations. Here's a look at some of the key benefits of integrating this approach:

  1. Familiarity at No Extra Cost: Leveraging hand-held devices for mobile asset tracking is a cost-effective move in a digital era where most of the workforce is proficient with smartphones. After all, 77% of American adults who use the internet have a smartphone, so the transition to managing asset tracking through employees' own hand-held devices is a simple one. Employees can access asset management apps via their own smartphone or a company-provided device, and secure web pages work across all platforms, including Android and iOS. This familiarity enormously reduces the need for training and the requirement of buying-in specialized handheld tracking devices, ultimately leading to substantial cost savings.
  2. Real-time and Accurate Asset Register: Mobile asset tracking is all about data – real-time accurate data – that is crucial for building an asset register that is reliable wherever it is accessed, including the field, by employees. Being able to log data immediately upon an asset's arrival or change of status eliminates the risk of data entry errors that the ACFE estimates costs businesses worldwide billions every year, and this is a significant benefit to businesses challenged by always-on fraud and human error.
  3. Enhanced Data Management in the Field: Accessing and managing asset data while on the go is a key demand for teams operating in the field. Mobile asset tracking systems enable employees to access critical asset information from any location. This key asset information includes license details, such as the type and seat number, and complete asset lifecycles, including maintenance schedules. This access to data via hand-held devices ensures that employees make key decisions quickly and that operations are conducted as efficiently as possible, no matter how many locations are involved.
  4. Reduction in Lost or Stolen Assets: Asset theft and loss pose enormous financial risks to companies. By providing a real-time location tracking system using GPS and other technologies, mobile asset tracking systems help to eliminate misplaced or stolen assets, reducing the business risk of lost assets. The earlier system also deters asset loss and employs data to find and recover stolen assets quickly, reducing or preventing business replacement purchases.
  5. Elimination of Missing Assets: Listed in company records, ghost assets are assets whose physical existence cannot be accounted for, leading to productivity losses and financial discrepancies. Mobile asset tracking systems can be used by businesses today to quickly locate and correct these errors in their asset registry to verify that their asset list is accurate and easier to access.


Challenges in Implementation of the Handheld Process

The handheld process is not without challenges itself, however. Key considerations and careful planning are required to help companies overcome these hurdles:

  1. Dependence on Mobile Connectivity: The successful operation of mobile asset tracking is highly dependent on stable mobile connectivity. Tracking and data transmission may falter in remote locations or under poor service, leading to information delays or inconsistencies.
  2. Data Security and Privacy: The introduction of a mobile asset tracking system adds complexity and raises concerns about data security and privacy. This increases the need for secure mobile device and cloud server data transfer and storage.
  3. System Integration: Integration with an existing enterprise system that powers a company can be a challenging affair for an enterprise system. The deployment can be complicated and expensive because of compatibility issues and the need for custom interfaces to make mobile asset tracking work with other systems they use.
  4. Hardware and Costs: While using an existing smartphone usually minimizes the required device costs at the start, there will still be specialized device requirements in some cases. In particular, the cost of devices compliant with harsh environments or devices that have to offer better scanning capabilities where specialized devices are the only way rather than smartphone scanning add-on remains a significant expense.

Accessorizing with a smartphone does bring some basic familiarity, but specific asset-tracking apps or features may have a learning curve. Training may be needed to get the workforce onboard and competent in proper use.



What is mobile asset management, and how does the handheld process enhance it?

Mobile asset management refers to the practice of using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to track and manage assets across various locations in real-time. The handheld process enhances mobile asset management by leveraging the ubiquity and familiarity of mobile devices to perform asset tracking and data collection tasks efficiently. This process involves scanning barcodes, capturing images, and updating asset information on-the-go, enabling businesses to maintain accurate and up-to-date asset registers without the need for traditional, stationary tracking methods.

Can the handheld process for mobile asset management reduce operational costs?

Absolutely. The handheld process significantly reduces operational costs in several ways. First, it utilizes existing smartphones and tablets, eliminating the need for purchasing specialized tracking devices. Second, the familiarity with these devices among employees cuts down on training expenses. Moreover, real-time tracking and management capabilities minimize the chances of asset loss or theft, and the efficient identification of ghost assets ensures financial records are accurate, thereby avoiding unnecessary expenditures and optimizing asset utilization.

What are the main challenges of implementing the handheld process in mobile asset management, and how can they be overcome?

Implementing the handheld process faces several challenges, including ensuring reliable mobile connectivity, maintaining data security, integrating with existing systems, managing hardware costs and limitations, and facilitating user adoption. These challenges can be overcome by selecting robust mobile asset management software that offers offline functionality, implementing stringent data security protocols, choosing solutions that easily integrate with current enterprise systems, investing in durable and cost-effective mobile devices when necessary, and providing comprehensive training to ensure employees are comfortable and proficient with the new system. With thoughtful planning and the right technology partners, businesses can successfully navigate these challenges and fully leverage the benefits of the handheld process in mobile asset management.



Mobile solutions represent a significant departure from the traditional landscape of asset management and a massive stride toward redefining the operational efficiency parameter. This integration of the handheld process into mobile asset management represents more than just a step toward meeting the digital transformation objectives of the modern enterprise. It represents a means of meeting the critical needs for efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness when it comes to handling assets. 

The prevalence of smartphones and tablets, as well as the near-universal familiarity of the workforce with these devices, makes the handheld process not just a sensible but a self-evident choice for organizations today. This approach allows for instantaneous asset tracking and management without the arduous learning curve and additional significant expense commonly associated with conventional asset management approaches. Not only this, but it also drives operational costs down by taking advantage of an already existing pool of mobile devices within the organization, making the handheld process a highly cost-effective way for any business to evolve its asset management practices. In sum, the shift to mobile asset management, driven by the incorporation of the handheld process, is truly the next step in elevating operational excellence and financial prudence in the modern business landscape.

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