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									Equipment            I   Tracking

  Match Data
 to Your Needs
 Make sure your asset management  t
  system provides information you
        can effectively use.
                            By Becky Schultz

                                                                                                                                 Asset management systems, such as
                                                                                                                                 Qualcomm’s GlobalTRACS system,
                                                                                                                                 enable you to set virtual boundaries
                                                                                                                                 around equipment. An alert is sent
                                                                                                                                   to notify you if the equipment

W      hile still a relatively new advancement in the
       construction industry, asset management
technology (telematics) is achieving rapid accep-
                                                        and helps you to run the business, then $35 a
                                                        month may be inexpensive.
                                                          “A contractor should take his time and
                                                                                                                                           leaves the area.

tance as more contractors experience the productiv-                    gence
                                                        do his due diligence before purchasing to                                            effectively track equip-
ity gains and cost savings it can provide. And while    make sure he’s buying the right product,” he                                       ment utilization. “In other
once viewed as the domain of large fleet owners,        advises, “then develop business systems around it.”                       words, [you know] if the machine
the technology has since become more readily avail-                                                                               was on the job and worked a full
able, and practical, for even small fleets.                     e
                                                        The three basics                                                          eight hours today, as opposed to it
    That said, it’s important to find a system that                                                i ll lets
                                                           A basic asset management system typically l                             i i idle,”        Sims.
                                                                                                                                  sitting idl ” says Si
fits both your budget and your business objectives.     you track hours of operation and equipment loca-            Real-time location data can offer further ben-
A common mistake first-time users make is to            tion, as well as set virtual boundaries (geofences).    efits. According to DeAngelis, it can help you to
base selection primarily on price. But while a $300     The core hardware consists of a small monitoring        manage equipment availability, secure accurate
investment for basic hardware and $11/month for         device — covertly positioned on the machine — that      location for equipment pickup and improve work-
messaging can be tempting vs. an $800 system and        uses cellular and/or satellite technology to auto-      force productivity.
$35/month messaging fees, you may find the more         matically transmit real-time operating and location         “The ability to know exactly where the machine
expensive package actually costs less when you          data to a secure web site or, in some cases, directly   is so you don’t spend time searching for it is really
break down what you get in return.                      to your business systems.                               valuable,” says Sims. “It’s not uncommon to have
    “It’s in how you derive benefit from it more           According to Sims, as many as 80% of contrac-        a large jobsite where the machine could be a half
than the initial price of the hardware,” says Bud       tors today would benefit from the three basic func-     a mile from where it was dropped off, and have a
Sims, director of OEM business development,             tions provided.                                         technician spend an hour or two looking for it just
Qualcomm Enterprise Services. “If you can’t use            For example, hours of operation can be used to       to change its oil.”
the data, it’s worth nothing. If it’s very valuable     plan and schedule maintenance, improve billing              Geofencing capability lets you to set pre-defined
                                                        accuracy, extend equipment life and avoid down-         radial boundaries around equipment and receive
                                                        time due to engine failure, says Bob DeAngelis,         alerts if the equipment leaves the area. “[It] allows
                                                        senior director, LoJack Commercial Division.            users to minimize risk of loss due to unauthorized
                                                            “We have [companies] who use our products           use, enforce restricted areas and be notified imme-
                                                        that were previously monitoring 200 vehicles with       diately of theft incidents,” DeAngelis explains.
                                                        just spreadsheets,” notes Jennien Yarmie, vice presi-       In other words, it lets you take a proactive
                                                        dent marketing support, Longview Advantage. “You        approach to theft prevention. “You’re not waiting
                                                        don’t have an accurate reading of the hours on          until the next day to realize that a valuable piece of
                                                        those assets. The operator must provide the hour        equipment has left the job,” says Sims. “It tells you
                                                        reading. Populating the hours directly into your        immediately that the machine is being moved and
                                                        business system means less recording and tran-          sends you an alert over either your pager system or
                                                        scription effort, less errors and an audit trail.”      an e-mail.”
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