How to Develop an IoT-based Asset Monitoring Solution for your Business?
IoT-based asset monitoring and tracking solutions help businesses get real-time information about their physical, tangible assets using advanced hardware and software. Industries such as logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, etc., have expansive and distributed ecosystems of interconnected processes and assets. All these scattered parts need to work together for the operations to run smoothly and achieve high productivity. The thread connecting all of them together is the Internet of Things or IoT.
The key role of IoT-based asset monitoring solutions is to keep managers notified about the real-time conditions of their various assets. The real-time information can include anything from the asset’s physical location to its health and efficiency numbers. A well-built and next-gen tech integrated asset tracking software solution will not only provide the managers with live device data but also make use of that data to make operations such as predictive maintenance and failure detection possible.
With the help of asset tracking and monitoring systems based on IoT technology, businesses around the globe are achieving higher efficiency and productivity and are increasing their revenues by many folds. IoT has been a key player in enhancing production and customer support business operations, and asset tracking apps and software solutions are just one of its many implementations.
In this article, we will learn just what asset monitoring solutions are, their benefits, and how you can build one for your own business.
- Asset monitoring and management solutions use IoT and top-notch software tools to help managers maximize the utilization of their various assets and elevate their productivity.
- With the help of real-time data, managers can use features like predictive maintenance that ensure the continued operation of their assets and minimize their downtime.
- Asset tracking and management solutions have many benefits including, but not limited to: heightened productivity and efficiency, theft prevention, and prolonged asset life.
- To develop high-value asset management software, you will need a talented and experienced technology partner like Matellio that can guide you through the development and deployment process.
- IoT software development is more complex than normal software development processes since you not only have to worry about the software but hardware as well. Selecting the right IoT hardware is just as essential for the success of an IoT deployment as developing the right software solution to run it. But with the help of an experienced IoT developer, you will be able to make the right call every step of the way.
What are Asset Monitoring Solutions?
Asset monitoring and tracking solutions are software tools that allow business owners and managers to keep an eye on their various assets in real-time. Big businesses and factories have many big and small machines proliferated across their factories and office spaces. And it falls on managers and IT departments to ensure that all the assets are running efficiently and are accounted for.
From big production floor machines to smaller hand-held devices, a manager’s job is to keep tabs on them. It is not uncommon for machines to break down in the middle of a workday and thus bring down the overall efficiency of the factory, as the best-case scenario. Worst case scenario, multiple machines break down simultaneously, bringing production to a screeching halt. For office spaces, assets such as mobiles, laptops, tablet PCs, etc., are incredibly difficult to manage. The biggest challenge is figuring out where they are. In an unorganized office, people simply take devices without signing their names in the register. This leaves the incredibly tedious task of locating those devices to the IT department and the manager. It is a very common problem in offices that whenever someone needs a particular device direly, it’s missing. It leads to a lot of frustration and a dip in office morale and efficiency.
However, all of the above-stated problems and challenges can be solved with IoT-based asset tracking and management software solutions.
Internet of Things or IoT is a network of various internet-enabled devices/assets. These devices/assets can connect to the internet by wired and wireless methods. IoT devices are connected to one another and a backend server over the internet. This creates a small internet instance inside a localized space, like an office or a factory. Device data and control instructions stream between these devices and the backend in real-time, thus making live asset management and tracking possible. These IoT-based devices can be anything, from temperature sensors to laptops and mobile devices.
IoT-based asset management solutions help managers access real-time device data and make use of it to manage and control them remotely. These software solutions can be cloud-based, local, and on-premise, custom-built for specific business needs.
For instance, a logistics company’s main assets are its trucks and lorries. So, the company needs an asset tracking software that tells the managers the exact locations of their trucks and lorries on a map, along with other vehicle-related data such as fuel, vehicle health, etc. Similarly, for office space, the IT department needs to know the exact location of office devices, whether they are still on the premises and their health conditions. So, in this case, a cloud-based asset management solution with IoT implementation would be more than enough to meet the requirements.
When integrated with the next-gen technologies such as predictive AI and big data, these asset management software solutions can help businesses reach new heights of efficiency. By analyzing the real-time data from the devices, AI engines can tell when a device is headed towards a complete failure. Based on this information, the system can send alerts to the relevant people in the company and get the device repaired before it breaks down. Predictive maintenance enhances a company’s efficiency and productivity by making device failures a rarity in operations.
Benefits of IoT-based Asset Management Solutions
The key business benefits of developing an IoT-based asset management solution are:
Improved Asset Life
The real-time data collection allows managers to watch device health closely. The system sends notifications and alerts to the managers if a failure is imminent or any external influence has damaged the device. In such cases, managers can immediately dispatch the maintenance team and get the device repaired or serviced, thus improving asset life substantially.
Prevention Against Theft
Device tracking systems protect assets against theft. IoT sensors are embedded deep in devices and are not easily visible to untrained eyes. So any thief can’t just rip them off and throw them away. Using asset management software, managers can track their stolen devices before it’s too late.
Powerful AI engines use large-scale data collection to learn device behavior. These engines then use this historical data to set some parameters that mark the onset of a device failure. Whenever these parameters are hit, the software sends notifications and alerts to the relevant people in the company to repair/fix the device.
Asset Usage Reports
Maltreatment of office property by the employees is a challenge every manager has to deal with. But with the help of an IoT-based asset monitoring system, they can learn how employees treat these devices. This information can help the managers make better asset-usage policies and track down employees for specific damage compensations.
Device Health Reports
The real-time device data helps asset management software solutions to generate detailed reports. Poor device health can lead to some drastic outcomes. For instance, if temperature sensors in storage are not working optimally, it can lead to inventory damage. Detailed device health reports help managers evade such catastrophic loss of property.
How to Develop an IoT-based Asset Management Software Solution?
Developing an IoT-based asset management software solution for your business is a big undertaking that requires a substantial amount of time and financial investment. A successful IoT implementation requires a deft hand and a lot of experience. And that is why hiring an IoT expert such as Matellio Inc., who has the talent and the tools to meet your specific business requirements, is essential.
In this section, we will give you a development roadmap and tell you everything you need to know about getting started with your asset management software development.
Define your Needs
Software development is a minefield of bad choices that can lead to catastrophic failures. So, it is paramount that before you set out on your development journey, you make a game plan. And to make a plan, you first need to figure out what exactly is your end goal.
As we stated earlier, different businesses have different requirements. So, it is essential that you take a hard look at your business and find out what exactly your needs are.
What pain points are you trying to remove?
In short — what is the goal of your IoT asset management solution?
This information will form the foundation of your app and define which way your development goes.
It often helps to make a priority list of all the requirements your app needs to meet before getting started with the development process. This way, you can choose the high-priority requirements, work on them first, and dedicate most of your resources to them. Then, as time goes on, you can work on the stuff that is lower on your priority list.
Once you know your goals, it is time to look for ways to achieve them. IoT-based software solutions are a big market; almost every business is now using some IoT implementation. Your job in this phase is to study these businesses and learn how they solve their problems. The best companies to target are your competitors who faced or used to face the same challenges as you. Their IoT implementation can give you a lot of ideas about what to do and what not to do. You can keep what they did well in your solution and avoid making their mistakes.
This phase will allow you to understand your solution and what the final product must look like. Based on your research, you can decide whether you want to develop a custom on-premise asset management software, cloud-based software, or a mobile app.
Your market research will form the basis of your asset management planning phase, so you must commit to it and do it thoroughly.
Once you have done your preliminary research and have clarity of goals, you can move ahead with your solution planning. However, while making a plan on your own is essential, remember that once you hire an IoT expert, this plan can change drastically based on their inputs.
In this phase, you must decide what type of solution you need; whether you want a mobile app or a full-fledged software solution. Also, time and budget planning must be done in this phase as well. Keep in mind that you will have to invest in hardware such as IoT sensors and IoT-based devices on top of the software tools. IoT implementation is a big endeavor, so it’s best to do your own planning and research before partnering up with an IoT expert.
Hiring an IoT Expert
There are a lot of IoT experts on the market who provide excellent development and consultation services at cost-effective rates. But you must look for an IoT partner who knows how to develop the type of solutions you require. A good way to find these developers is to take the help of sites like Clutch. You can find all the relevant information about them, such as their portfolio, client review, experience, etc., on Clutch, which will help you make a more informed decision. Also, it would help if you always referred to developer sites before hiring them. Most developers worth their salt like to showcase their best projects on these sites, and they can help you make up your mind. The bottom line is that you must partner up with an IoT expert who understands and respects your vision and is willing to provide quality development services to make it a reality.
Developing Your Asset Management Solution
Software and mobile app development are long and complicated processes requiring many adjustments in the initial plan and budget. But a well-planned development phase backed by a team of talented developers, designers, and QA experts is less likely to become a complete disaster.
It is always prudent to not go all-in on the development process right in the beginning and instead ask the developer to build a proof of concept of an MVP for your solution first. A POC or an MVP will help you determine the validity of your solution. They are also helpful feedback tools. You can do a closed demo cycle in which you ask a couple of employees to use the solution you have made and get their feedback. Based on the results, you will learn whether you are on the right track or need to go back to the drawing board and start over.
Test and Deploy
Testing an IoT-based solution is essential since, unlike normal software solutions, various hardware devices are involved. A buggy asset management solution is worse than not having one. So make sure that your software is bug-free and has bullet-proof data security.
Once the app has been tested, it can be deployed. Not everything will go smoothly, and you will face some challenges. But with the right IT partner backing you up, you should be able to get the entire system up and running without any major challenges. Your employees can take some time to get used to your solution, depending on its complexity. If you want to speed up this process, a couple of training sessions might be helpful.
After the vanilla version of the solution is out, you can revisit your goals list and start checking off other boxes.
IoT-based asset management solution development can help businesses make the most out of their expensive hardware. Device tracking and remote management allow managers to always be in control of their devices and make sure that they are not being treated poorly. And with the help of AI and other next-gen technologies, these software solutions can also prolong the life of assets and make business operations smoother.
If you want to develop a custom or cloud-based asset management software solution, then Matellio Inc. has years of experience catering to the IoT needs of businesses in various industries. Our agile development methodology and flexible hiring model allow us to work with many exciting businesses. No matter what your needs are, Matellio Inc has the right talent and the tools to help you.
If you want to learn more about our IoT development and consultation services, click here.