The need for accurate, cost-effective, and long-lasting tracking solutions is strong.

In today’s constantly evolving supply chain landscape, there are many complexities, one of the most pressing of which is asset tracking. Research shows that nearly 70% of companies don’t have complete visibility into their supply chains. And it’s not just the supply chain where tracking valuable assets is critical. From monitoring cattle on a ranch to equipment at a construction site, asset tracking enables a plethora of use cases.

Building the right asset tracking solution 

Many asset tracking solutions rely solely on device Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) hardware to calculate locations. While these solutions are capable of providing accurate real-time outdoor location information, it’s not the optimal choice for most applications. With so many assets also residing indoors or traveling between indoor to outdoor locations along their journey, many of these solutions don’t work because they aren’t capable of providing location information in these environments.

The emerging alternative is built on long range and low power technology, that leverages geolocation-based IoT solutions for smooth and accurate monitoring, no matter where the asset is located. How does this work? Rather than relying only on GNSS, these solutions combine Wi-Fi and GNSS, scanning to obtain the latitude and longitude of devices for accurate location data. Added to that is a connection directly to the cloud, ensuring that continuous coverage is obtained at nearly all times.

Another layer for even more advanced and accurate location tracking is multi-band connectivity on a single device. By extending coverage to new bands, be it satellite communications or sub-GHz, IoT deployments are better able to reach remote areas where it would normally be impractical and too expensive to send workers to collect sensor data.

Enabling new use cases

More precise asset tracking solutions opens the door to new and emerging use cases that could lead to significant cost and efficiency savings for businesses and industries. According to Proximity Directory, the combination of people and asset tracking could save hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars a year with an immediate ROI of 275%. Tracking could extend to medical equipment to know where and when different devices are in use or to wheelchairs, so no patient ever needs to wait for help because personnel don’t have line of sight into where they are.

With expanded connectivity via satellite, the monitoring of assets in remote or dangerous environments such as deep in the forest or on top of mountain becomes much easier and safer too. This could be the case when tracking animals for their own protection, for example.

Finally, with the holiday season quickly approaching, buyers will soon be flooding malls and stores to get the perfect gift for their family and friends. Location-based asset tracking aids in inventory management, to ensure products leave the warehouse and wind up on store shelves. Upon arrival, with sensors placed on priority or higher-priced items, store managers can breathe a little easier knowing they are protected should someone try to remove those items from the store.

The path forward

According to Juniper Research, there will be a 27% increase in the number of businesses using asset tracking between now and 2025, reaching 114 million by 2025. With the stakes so high, the need for accurate, cost-effective, and long-lasting tracking solutions is strong, and long range and low power IoT technology is emerging as a front runner.