Category Archives: Asset Tracking

Recovering Delinquent Rental Revenue with TrackAbout

General Welding Tracks Down Rental RevenueOne of the industries TrackAbout has found success with is called Packaged Gas. Companies in this particular industry make all types of gases, such as oxygen, helium and acetylene for industry, medicine, manufacturing and research. Gas is placed in cylinders, which are then tracked using TrackAbout. Most Packaged Gas companies charge rent on the containers for as long as they’re with the end customers.

Occasionally a gas distributor finds itself with a customer that just refuses to pay its rental bill. TrackAbout’s customer General Welding Supply Corporation (GWSCO) of Long Island, NY recently shared the following story.

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Feature Spotlight – Capture GPS Coordinates

Each Feature Spotlight highlights one important tool in the TrackAbout toolbox that helps you operate more efficiently and maximize the utilization of your assets.

About GPS Capture (Smartphone Only)

TrackAbout is excited to announce the following enhancements to our iOS and Android apps.

  • Capture of GPS coordinates during mobile transactions, and
  • Display of maps on the web site that show asset and transaction locations

Get better information about your inventory.  Know where your assets are when you need them.

These features are available to TrackAbout’s iOS/Android subscribers and must be enabled by our Support team. Contact support@trackabout.com for assistance.

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Big Breakthroughs are Transforming the Way Distributors Do Business

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 issue of CryoGas International. It is reprinted with permission.


Doug O'Dell Vice President of Sales, TrackAbout

Doug O’Dell

Award-winning author Thomas Friedman said, “Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/opinion/friedman-come-the-revolution.html) Friedman was referring to the “college education revolution” where advancements in technology made it easier for more people to receive a college degree for a lower cost via an online platform. But history is full of big breakthroughs resulting from innovations that filled a desperate need. The printing press gave greater access to information and set the stage for a transformation of social literacy. The steam engine enabled growth of the railroad and boosted intercontinental trade. Electricity sparked a host of other inventions that account for most of our modern life. And now, cloud technology and mobile computing are changing the way compressed gas distributors operate.

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The History (and Future) of Cylinder Tracking

I was very honored to be asked to write an article on the history of cylinder tracking for the 25th Anniversary Issue of CryoGas International Magazine. I’m proud that TrackAbout has been a leader in developing asset tracking technology for the industrial gas industry for the past 15 years. That experience has given me a chance to watch this technology grow from its infancy.

I am especially excited that TrackAbout, together with our affiliate company Lockhouse, is helping to build the future industrial supply chain. So the article is also about the future of cylinder tracking, and how technology in use now both creates and solves the increasing demands for better information in real time, all along the supply chain.

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of gasworld. It is reprinted with permission.

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52 Reasons to Adopt an Asset Tracking System

Tracking your physical assets with enterprise-class asset tracking software like TrackAbout makes great financial sense. But some people (your boss?) may need some convincing.

Here are 52 great reasons to start tracking your physical assets with the TrackAbout asset management system.

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Real Asset Tracking Stories: An Unusual Request

Asset Tracking Expert Louise Pickett

Louise Pickett Senior Support Specialist, TrackAbout

This story comes from Louise Pickett, TrackAbout Senior Support Specialist.

Every day on the TrackAbout Support Team, we have the pleasure of helping our clients with their asset tracking needs. In the eight and a half years that I’ve been with TrackAbout, I have received a wide variety of requests, from loading data to researching why TrackAbout handled data a certain way, and everything in between.

One particular day a couple of years ago, I responded to a most unusual request. The phone call was from a police officer in a far-away state. He had found a rugged handheld device along the side of the road. Amazingly, it was still functional, and when he turned it on, he could see the TrackAbout mobile application! After some quick detective work, this officer was able to find the phone number for TrackAbout and, voilà, he was on the phone with me! I was able to quickly guide the officer to giving me a unique identifier for the device and was able to put the client in touch with the police officer to recover their lost handheld.

Daily, TrackAbout saves clients money by keeping asset balances correct to minimize lost rental revenue, by helping clients to find unused equipment rather than purchasing new assets, and a whole host of other ways. On this particular day, we saved our client the cost of replacing a handheld.

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Achieving Regulatory Compliance with Asset Tracking Software

Regulatory ComplianceRegulatory compliance is not an easy challenge. No matter the industry or the scale or complexity of business operations, companies throughout the world have to manage an ever increasing number of laws and rulings. This is especially true in the United States where an average of 2,500 to 4,500 new rules are passed each year.  Some receiving the most attention lately include the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the Pesticide Container and Containment rule and the Unique Device Identification rule.

While complying with regulatory requirements is a necessity, it is also burdensome and costly.  In fact, a National Association of Manufacturers report estimates that federal regulations cost an average of $10,000 per employee per year in 2012. Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed say that federal regulations are a top challenge for their firm.

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In focus… Tracking, scheduling and telemonitoring

gas cylinder tracking with a smartphoneThis article was written by Stuart Radnedge of gasworld and originally appeared in the May 2015 issue. It is reprinted with permission.

Technology, and the advancement of it, propels innovation – influencing changes for a better, more efficient mode of conducting everyday life. The late, great, co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, once stated, “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”

This couldn’t be more true a description than that of the humble telephone – or its development into what we now know as the smartphone. Once the wired telephone lost its cabled connectors, boundaries were broken – and a tool for long distance communication between humans suddenly became limitless. It’s only over the last 15 or so years that the smartphone has become the fully integrated companion to our lives.

And in this In Focus… we look into the positive effect that smartphones – and technology as a whole – has had on the tracking, scheduling and telemonitoring sector of industrial gases.

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10 Minutes with … Doug O’Dell, Vice President of Sales, TrackAbout

Doug O'Dell Vice President of Sales, TrackAbout

Doug O’Dell, Vice President of Sales, TrackAbout

This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of gasworld. It is reprinted with permission.

Thanks for taking 10 minutes out with gasworld. What have we interrupted in your schedule today?
I’m travelling back to my home in Lincoln, Nebraska. I spent the past few days in Las Vegas attending Medtrade, a trade show focused on the home medical equipment market and medical gases.

You know, it’s amazing how many companies don’t do a good job of tracking their equipment – especially their medical oxygen cylinders. Knowing the regulations and the risks of noncompliance, you’d think they would be more prepared. In many cases, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) could shut down their business for a failed lot recall or undocumented device inspection, yet many continue to take that risk.

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Colonial Chemical Solutions Transforms the Art of Chemical Tote Tracking

Chemical tote trackingColonial Chemical Solutions is a less-than-truckload chemical repackaging and distribution company specializing in cleaning solvents, water treatment chemicals and food additives.  Based in Savannah, GA, the company operates additional locations in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Frustrations Fueled by a Legacy System

Colonial’s existing asset tracking software system could not effectively manage the company’s fleet of chemical totes.  According to John Larkin, Warehouse Manager for Colonial, “We basically used it as a check in, check out system.  It was slow and didn’t have good reporting tools.  Getting the information we needed was difficult.”

Colonial is subject to a multitude of U.S. government regulations, and the company is required to keep accurate records of container contents and lot numbers as well as retest dates and results.  Most of the compliance activities were handled by manual processes with various spreadsheets and hard copy binders, leading to insufficient controls with limited real-time reporting.  Every time a container’s contents changed or it was retested, Larkin would manually record the information on the tote’s documentation.  As business grew, Colonial frequently purchased new totes to accommodate demand.  Larkin completed a set-up sheet for each one, manually recording the serial number, tracking number, retest date, and other key information on a physical sheet of paper.  “I could easily spend an hour and a half every day completing tote-related paperwork,” he said.

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