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"Mobile asset management" is a term that is used to identify various strategies that make it possible to utilize reusable assets to best advantage. The process typically focuses on assets that are used to transport, store, and control inventory within a business operation or at some point along the supply chain or the delivery process to customers. Managing mobile assets effectively requires paying careful attention to detail, allocating the use of those assets in a logical and systematic manner, and constantly tracking the location and status of those assets.
Within a company structure, vehicles of some type are often used to transport goods in process from one location to another. The two locations involved may be different areas of the same facility or two separate facilities that are located some distance from one another. In each instance, mobile asset management requires knowing where those vehicles are currently located and when they can reasonably be expected to complete the current transport. This makes it possible to determine how to allocate that vehicle to another transport task in a manner that results in the best use for that asset.
Many companies use mobile asset management as a means of using various assets to best advantage. Managers will make it a point to assign mobile assets such as hand tools, movable equipment like forklifts, and even vehicles such as vans and trucks to specific departments within the company. This makes it somewhat easier to track where those assets are currently employed in specific tasks. A periodic inventory of the mobile assets assigned to each department or unit helps to ensure the assets are still accounted for, and also provides the occasion for an inspection of those assets. Doing so makes it possible for company owners to determine when an asset is nearing its useful life, and replacement will be necessary.
While most of the mobile asset management in past years was conducted using manual means, it is not unusual for businesses to make use of internal networking and software programs to aid in the management process. Doing so allows the company to receive real time information about the status of a given mobile asset. For example, by utilizing communication software as part of a private network, it is possible for company dispatchers to track the exact location of vans or trucks delivering finished goods to a customer. With this approach to mobile asset management, managers can project when the goods will be delivered and unloaded, and decide where to direct the vehicle from there. Even within a single operating facility, tracking the use of mobile assets makes it possible to know when a particular task is completed and schedule the next task for that asset in a way that saves time and money.