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Asset Tracing and Risk Mitigation in Supply Chain Security: A Guide

If the distribution world has learned anything over the past three years, it’s the importance of supply chain visibility. When disruption occurs, the best way to mitigate risk, stay ahead of issues, and keep customers informed is by having a full view of your assets, inventory and workforce at all times. One of the key aspects of supply chain visibility is asset tracing. 

Everything your business owns, no matter how big or small, is an asset. In order to remain profitable and keep track of all of the important items your business needs to run smoothly, it’s important to asset trace. 

The blog below will dive into everything you need to know about asset tracing and recovery. It’ll also explain how to mitigate risk throughout your supply chain with asset tracker software. 

What Is Asset Tracing?

Asset tracing is a fundamental aspect of supply chain and asset management. Asset tracing is the process of tracking shipments, products, parts, equipment, materials, and lots throughout your entire business, from production to distribution. 

Asset tracking is key to businesses across numerous industries. In fact, the global asset tracking market is estimated to be worth $20.37 billion by the end of 2023. It is anticipated to grow to $38.05 billion over the next five years. 

How Tracing Assets Can Help Mitigate Supply Chain Risks

Every day, businesses active in the global supply chain face internal and external risks. Some external risks include:

  • Supply and demand risk
  • Environmental risks
  • Business risks

Internal supply chain risks are things like:

  • Manufacturing risks
  • Planning and control risks
  • Mitigation and contingency risks 

The process of asset tracing helps companies combat theft, improve delivery time, and trace missing assets. 

One of the best ways to mitigate risk is to improve supply chain visibility internally at your business. Technology is available today that can help immensely with equipment asset tracking, inventory asset tracking, and even mobile asset tracking. 

Connected solutions like IoT sensor-based hardware, RFID tracking, and cloud-based software can provide complete visibility into every step of your supply chain offering 99.9% data accuracy

What Does the Asset Recovery Process Look Like?

In logistics when assets are no longer in use or have reached the end of their lifecycle, it is often more economical to recover or recycle them rather than letting them go to waste altogether. Asset recovery is the process of identifying, collecting, redeploying or recycling equipment assets that may be used, surplus inventory, outdated or recalled. 

The goal with an asset recovery process is to revive value from the original assets via:

  • Refurbishing
  • Reusing
  • Repurposing 
  • Reselling  

Traditional asset tracking management software focuses primarily on warehousing and freight. But today’s advanced technology can track the lifecycle of your assets, making it easier to know when it is time for recovery. Effective asset tracking software will go beyond warehousing and helping to trace production, support and disposal of assets. 

Speaking of the asset lifecycles, it is important to also keep track of asset depreciation. Tracking depreciation is one of the most important ways to mitigate financial risk and keep your business’ books balanced. When dealing with containers, dock equipment and any other assets you’ve had to invest in, claiming depreciation decreases your tax obligation

What Are the Solutions Enable Asset Tracking To Mitigate Risk?

Thanks to the highly effective technology solutions available today, there are several great ways to enable asset tracking to mitigate overall risk for your business. 

Mobile asset tracking

Many supply chain engaged businesses today deal with mobile assets. Pallets, racks, containers and fleet are all assets that leave the safety of your warehouse facility to perform a job—all of these are examples of mobile assets. 

Mobile assets can be tracked with an active IoT technology solutions like:

  • GPS or cellular trackers
  • Wi-Fi
  • Ultra wideband (UWB), 
  • Bluetooth (BLE)

Most mobile assets are high-value, meaning you’ll want to ensure precision and accurate tracking while they are on the move completing jobs for your customers. Mobile asset tracking solutions today offer real-time location updates, helping reach on-time delivery goals and the safe return of valuable mobile assets. 

Returnable container management 

Eliminating waste is top-of-mind for most businesses today. One way companies are doing so is by opting to invest in containers, pallets and racks that can be returned and reused, instead of single-use containers. Choosing to use returnable containers means you experience less overall waste and can keep the same containers in circulations between various suppliers and customers for years. 

Understandably so, these containers are a significant investment. Since they are reused and repurposed over multiple jobs and companies, it is easier to lose track of them. Investing to save long-term costs with reusable containers only makes sense if you are properly tracking these assets. 

Returnable and reusable assets are usually tracked with passive RFID technology which is extremely scalable to be used for millions of assets without adding significant costs. This RFID technology also offers flexibility by integrating with multiple IoT technologies to enhance traditional inbound and outbound data. 

Trace Your Assets with the Best Supply Chain Tracking Technology

Keeping supply chain visibility as a top priority by asset tracing is key to mitigating internal and external risks for your business. But in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, keeping track of all types of assets is no easy feat. 

Luckily, Surgere’s solutions for transportation and distribution operations—along with their asset management solutions—are here to help. Surgere’s engineering and operation experts with your warehouse, logistics and transportation managers to build IoT-based solutions that work internally, externally, and in between your facilities. 

With Surgere, distribution activities are tracked using RFID, UWB, BLE, and GPS technologies—all of which integrate seamlessly for an overall view of inventory, assets, and more. If you’re ready to get serious about asset tracing, click here to learn more about Surgere. 

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