Tracking More Than One Mobile Asset Category at a Time

Mar 31, 2015

For businesses with remote resources – workers, vehicles, and/or portable equipment in the field – lack of real-time visibility into the asset's location, activities and condition can result in real problems. Thieves can steal an expensive piece of equipment sitting in a remote location. Drivers can run up fuel costs with excessive idling or speeding. Techs can show up at a service appointment late and/or unprepared. And administrators sit back at HQ oblivious to it all.

More and more businesses are now using mobile resource management (MRM) applications that can locate, track and optimize their assets. Not surprisingly, a large percentage of businesses anticipate having to track and manage more than one type of resource (vehicles, workers, and/or equipment) at a time. In fact, according to our most recent Frost & Sullivan survey, 55% of businesses (typically companies with more than 500 employees) think it would be "very valuable" to be able to track two or more resource types on a single administrative portal. Just makes sense, right?

Unfortunately, today's software solutions are typically created and deployed as separate, standalone siloed offerings. No integration. No synergies. Separate portals. Delayed problem resolution. Frustrated employees. More work.

There are exceptions, although a fully integrated MRM platform remains rare. Actsoft (Tampa, FL) and Complete Innovations (Ontario, Canada) are two mobile app developers that offer integrated tracking and monitoring solutions for all three MRM categories – worker, fleet, and portable field equipment.

Their typical multi-asset tracking scenario finds a company attempting to manage two (not three) of the remote asset types. For example, a field service organization installs a hard-mounted or plug-in fleet tracking solution, and then realizes that adding a smartphone app for the technicians driving those vehicles would provide significant incremental value.

We estimate that only 7% of all current mobile tracking customers in North America currently monitor more than one mobile asset category at a time. We expect this market to grow steadily, driven by high customer satisfaction with their initial single-asset tracking solutions. We also expect mobile tracking app vendors to expand their own portfolios, whether through acquisitions or internal R&D, to add solutions for additional asset categories.

While integrated MRM is most definitely a nascent market, large enterprise customers are thinking long-term and already recognizing the need. Ultimately, the ability to provide solutions that track and manage multiple remote asset types could be viewed as one of the key capabilities that signal a cutting-edge mobility vendor.

Jeanine Sterling


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