Jean-Pierre Mouly has worked at Zetes for over 14 years as a Business Consultant Manager, specialising in supply chain-related technological and operational issues. In this article, he offers his expert opinion on the advantages of asset tracking in increasing supply chain efficiency.
How do today's asset tracking solutions help to improve supply chain performance?
The ability to locate an asset in real time or determine its last known position is especially important in ensuring the smooth running of present and future operations. The most appropriate choice of tracking technology will depend on the specific details of the project. If the context points to automating the frequent periodic transmission of the asset's location, we can consider attaching a geolocating sensor. In another scenario, if transmitting a new position at the time of the asset arriving on a site or in a building would suffice, we can pick up that information as part of a manual receiving operation or via an automated presence detection, using a detector installed in the incoming goods area.
Can you give us any examples of critical situations where the ZetesZeus Asset Tracking tool proved helpful?
One of our customers was unable to continue picking orders because all their plastic tubs had remained on the delivery sites. The most obvious reaction was to acquire more tubs. That solution, however, not only caused additional cost, but it also generated a shortage of storage space for the surplus tubs and did not address the root cause of the problem. We decided it would be more efficient and cheaper to track just the strictly necessary number of tubs at each location, also keeping a buffer supply as a backup, of course, but a much smaller one. In another context, operations managers must regularly show that their temperature probes are properly calibrated. Because different probes have been put into service at different times, it is important to track these calibration review operations so you can locate the probes that require attention. ZetesZeus Asset Tracking provides alerts and the location of the assets concerned at all times.
What are the main criteria to consider when choosing an asset tracking solution?
First, you need to make sure that the solution will provide real-time visibility, in one place, of all the information related to the management of a fleet of reusable assets. This is extremely helpful to the teams in charge of operating the assets. When supplied with reliable information, they can instantly understand the overall situation as well as the specific situation of a particular asset. In the long term, the tracking histories make it easier to learn from past practises in order to adjust operations and the fleet for optimum efficiency. Finally, an efficient asset tracking platform should let you manage access to the data according to user profiles. With ZetesZeus, authorised users can access the platform from anywhere via the cloud. Finally, the solution has a standard API so that data can be shared with other information systems, which is another consideration when choosing an asset tracking platform.
An efficient asset tracking platform should let you manage access to the data according to user profiles.