A prudent business is not only focused on fundamentals like sales, profitability, and customer service. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it's important to consider the minutiae of each and every transaction and all the associated costs from the very moment an order is placed.
Part of this means managing your assets properly. Losing containers or failing to use them effectively can be extremely costly – resulting in delays, disgruntled customers, or lost business.
Asset management software lets you monitor the condition, status, and location of your returnable containers and keeps you firmly in control of every part of the process – from storage and handling through to dispatch and delivery.
In this blog, we suggest the key questions you should be asking when sourcing software to track your returnable containers.
Valuing Your Assets
No matter the industry or specialty, the main concern for most businesses when shipping product is that the delivery arrives at the customer on time and undamaged.
Take the food sector, for example. A supplier fills crates with bananas ready to be delivered to a store. The immediate and most obvious concern is what’s in the crate rather than the crate itself. After all, the most important goal is to get the product to its destination safely.
After each successful delivery, the bananas are emptied and the box is disposed of. New crates will then be sourced, ready for the next shipment – and the cycle will continue.
But over time, people start to figure out there’s a real cost associated with these seemingly worthless containers that are continually being discarded.
If they were to instead return and reuse those crates – and had an effective way of monitoring their whereabouts – the entire process would be much more efficient and the savings would be significant.
It’s a similar story in the gas industry, where many players also seem to be far more concerned about what's in the tank than the tank itself – even though in a lot of cases, the tank is far more expensive than the product.
At some point the losses will become so great that they realize they have to do something about it. There is money to be saved by managing those assets better.
And that’s where tracking software comes into play.
At TrackAbout, we’ve seen many companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars restocking their supply of containers. Yet if they’d instead used our software for a fraction of that cost, we could have helped them avoid such an outlay.
The set up costs and subscription are far outweighed by the savings you'll make. We've seen customers receive a return on their investment within just a few months.
We’d estimate that fewer than half the companies in the gas sector currently make use of tracking software to control and manage their cylinders. Unfortunately, many just don't realize the importance, benefits, and potential of this type of software.
In the chemical world, a company receiving a large order will quickly want to know if it has enough containers to handle all that product. TrackAbout provides a comprehensive overview that helps users identify how many times their containers are turning, or if they’re just sitting idle waiting to be used.
That means they’re able to monitor their location and condition, improve utilization rates, and thereby reduce the need to replace them. Tracking software provides the necessary insight and understanding any modern business requires to ensure all of its returnable containers are where they need to be, when they need them.
Selecting the Right Software
You may have been operating without a tracking system for years and think it will make little difference to your processes and procedures. Many businesses therefore question whether it’s for them.
Could it really save them that much time, effort, and money? We believe the answer to each of these questions is a resolute “yes”!
So, what should you be asking when purchasing returnable container tracking software?
How can asset tracking help my business?
What savings and efficiency improvements can I expect?
What are the associated costs?
Will I require additional hardware and scanning equipment?
How will it integrate with my existing ERP and systems?
Where do I start and what preparation is needed for successful implementation?
How long does it take to get everything up and running?
Is it intuitive and easy to use? Will my team need additional training?
What level of ongoing support and technical expertise are available?
Taking Those First Steps
It can be a difficult choosing the right vendor and tracking software for you and your business – but TrackAbout makes light work of asset management.
We can help you:
Improve utilization so you can replace fewer assets.
Increase rental balances.
Avoid billing mistakes.
Cut time resolving disputes with customers.
Minimize the risk of theft and damage to assets.
Win and retain business.
Perhaps the largest initial concern for most companies is how long it will take to get the software up and running. What will it take to get all those assets labeled and registered on the system, ready for tracking?
Depending on the business, it could be just a few weeks or months depending on your size and quantities involved. A lot also depends on the resources you make available during the tagging process. If you’ve got a team working together, it takes a lot less time than one or two people –especially as TrackAbout offers a dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS so everyone can use their smartphones instead of cumbersome handheld scanners.
With change management in any kind of process, it’s important to adapt to a new way of working. Routine scanning will inevitably add an additional step to your workflow but the benefits far outweigh the extra time and effort. Make sure your team is onboard and ready to embrace the new technology and use it.
You’ll receive a batch of uniquely numbered labels that need to be placed on your assets. Once that’s done, simply scan the barcode to add that initial data into the system. You’re always in complete control, able to decide what information you want to collect – such as contents, size, location, and weight.
We realize that no two businesses are the same and TrackAbout draws from over 20 years of experience to provide an asset management solution that meets your unique needs and enhances your operations.
Ready to take the next step? Request a free TrackAbout demo.
Need even more functionality? We’ve got a range of additional modules available to help your business.