Posted on 07/12/2016

7 Benefits of Asset Tracking for Retail Facility ManagementAs a retail facility manager, you’re being squeezed from both ends.

Operational budgets are shrinking, while equipment maintenance and repair costs remain high – consistently up to 2% of revenue according to the Food Marketing Institute.

To get maintenance costs under control, you must look for new ways to get the most out of your assets, maximize uptime, and plan for unexpected failures.

Equipment can be utilized to provide a constant stream of data, such as energy consumption, fault and error codes, etc. Assets such as refrigeration equipment, gas pumps, lighting, and HVAC systems have intelligence embedded into them. Tracking these “smart” assets throughout your retail facilities gives you a clear and detailed view of each piece of equipment.

Typically, for an industry like retail, assets are dispersed. But with access to historical and real-time information about assets, workers are more likely to identify and fix problems from the onset.

Using analytics to gain additional insight, you can predict downtime and improve performance. For example, if your asset tracking program discovers that a compressor or pump is using more energy than expected (a sign of possible malfunction), you can schedule maintenance to fix or replace the unit before it fails. This proactive approach enables facility managers to optimize productivity, reduce repair cost, and lower energy use.

7 Benefits to Implementing an Asset Tracking Program

An asset tracking program can result in significant benefits:

  • Asset location – Operators know the location of their assets in real time and can easily transfer assets between sites if necessary while retaining maintenance history.
  • Better purchasing decisions – Initial purchasing data can be quickly and easily evaluated with ongoing maintenance data, providing additional insight into asset performance.
  • Better fix/replace decision-making – Tracked assets should have maintenance thresholds and “Not to Exceed” limits on particular pieces of equipment, sending alerts when evaluation — or replacement — is required.
  • Detailed insight into equipment performance – Tracking individual assets enables retail facility managers to save money, reduce equipment downtime, and control stock loss.
  • Repair accuracy – Retailers are able to get the right service provider (or technician), in the right place, at the right time, to the right job, with the right part, preventing multiple visits that add cost, time and frustration.
  • Understanding the total cost of ownership for assets – By understanding the value of an asset at a facility, maintenance teams can better manage expenses and efforts taken to support the asset. Decision-makers can effectively make repair/replace decisions ad hoc as well as conduct advanced capital budgeting analysis.
  • Warranty tracking – Asset tracking provides accurate records of equipment under warranty allowing for alerts to be issued when a work order is created, dispatching the warranty contractor for service to ensure the repair is covered under warranty.

When you have to focus more on store upkeep than sales and customer satisfaction, you’re at disadvantage. Adapting to an environment where productivity is a key driver in the business requires a different way of thinking about how assets are managed and maintained. Analytics and real-time data are powerful tools for retailers, especially those focused on asset management. Analyzing historical and real-time data provides insights to make better operational decisions that save money.

Source: Remote Assets: Taking Advantage of New Opportunities in Retail. October, 2015. Aberdeen Group, Inc.