Asset Tracking For the Military Contractors
STRATEGIC RESOURCES INC
For over 20 years, Strategic Resources, Inc (SRI) has operated under the vision of providing quality management consulting, information technology, telecommunications, engineering/ logistics, and health services satisfying all of their clients. Their clients include the United States armed services such as the navy, Army, Air national guard, Department of Defense, Air Force, and Army National Guard.
In order to perform services in military contracts, SRI needs an online Asset Tracking System that gives them the capability to track military assets and tools in real-time. Once an asset or a piece of equipment is checked out, it is necessary for employees to quickly access where it is, who has it, and how long it was checked out for. In addition, preventive maintenance and check services are mandatory, ensuring the quality assurance of calibrated tools and equipment.
“SRI won a contract to support equipment inventories, meaning our equipment had to be barcoded so that we could begin capturing metrics on the status of Assets and the time spent working on tasks labeled in the contract,” says Lorenzo Ceballos, director of business development at Strategic Resources, Inc.
Ceballos wanted an online Barcoding System that would allow him and employees to simply scan barcodes and record information remotely as the equipment is being used to complete jobs noted in contracts. Working with ten different installation Army bases, services typically involve a large quantity of government-furnished equipment or property: small arms weapons, night vision devices, aircraft parts, humvees, etc.
It was a challenge knowing exactly where their tools and equipment were located over multiple locations, who had them, and when they were checked back into the system. It was also important to track the time duration of occupied assets, consistently schedule and perform maintenance and service checks, and report on the past activity of equipment usage.
This was something that an accounting system could not provide which led the search for an efficient Asset Tracking System that would meet these demands.
FINDING A SYSTEM TO FIT THEIR NEEDS
While researching online barcode technology (software and hardware), SRI looked for specific aspects in an Asset Tracking System: one that would allow them to have complete control over managing the movement of assets over their wide spread of locations, and one that would allow them to completely configure the system to how they want it.
“The issue we needed to be solved was finding a software application that would allow tailoring of the fields used to support the equipment being barcoded. The data sets we used are directly from the information reported from the Army systems,” says Ceballos.
The need was for a robust Asset Tracking System that would:
-Track non-expendable property (assets).
-Manage the movement if assets over a widespread of Army locations.
-Allow the configuration and tailoring of asset fields in the System.
-Integrate with mobile devices by utilizing barcode scanners.
-Print barcodes and barcode catalogs.
-Generate configurable reports on the status of asset activities.
-Integrate Information– data mapping.
-Use anytime and anywhere online for quick access.
After thorough online research of several Asset Tracking Systems, ASAP Systems’ Asset Tracking System, met the deciding factors: easy-to-use, allowed for system integration, and provided knowledge of product delivery.
“What separated ASAP Systems’ Inventory System and Asset Tracking Solution from the other competitors was that our powerful system is configurable to such a degree that the system did what we needed it to do without creating additional requirements in getting the system to support our data,” says Ceballos.
ASAP Systems recommended a solution that included:
-Online barcoding with mobile licenses and few concurrent users (i.e. users logged in and using the system at the exact same time).
-A few mobile barcoding scanners as well as a barcode printer.
-A support package that included—phone calls, emails, support web-chat, community support and screen-sharing technical support.
THE INTERNAL PROCESS
Implementation was successful and easy because no installation process was necessary due to our system being an online application. When it came to importing data into the asset tracking system, “the system data integration tool was fantastic with the mapping of data fields, enabling them to integrate any data into the system,” says Ceballos. The training was smooth by utilizing the easy approach of “Train the Trainer,” which educated employees on the functionality of the system relatively quickly.
In addition, model numbers were used in each category field so SRI could determine how many of each type of item they have at each location.
Flexible Asset Tracking Solution
ASAP Systems’ Inventory System and Asset Tracking Solution stood out as the best solution due to its easy-to-use and configurable settings, making it flexible and user friendly by renaming and adding data fields to support existing operations. This allowed our system to do exactly what they needed it to do without creating additional requirements in getting the system to support the data as the company grew.
By automating Asset Tracking procedures using wireless barcode scanners to capture data, it was easier to quickly monitor all specifications and the current status of the whereabouts of equipment involved with each contract.
AUTOMATES TOOL ROOM OPERATIONS
Before implementing our Inventory System and Asset tracking solution, it was difficult to know exactly where equipment was located and who has it, which increased the risk of losing and misplacing equipment. After using ASAP Systems’ Asset Check-Out, Check-In feature, tool room operations became more efficient by understanding in real-time who currently has tools, how long they have had them, and who used them in the past. Accessing the location of each asset in real-time that eliminated time-consuming searches for missing items and unnecessary purchases of duplicated products saved time.
EFFICIENT SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE TRACKING
Using the Asset Tracking Maintenance Feature, SRI also gained full visibility on when maintenance was performed, who performed it, and the overall cost by creating maintenance reports. ultimately, the ability to track, test, measure, and perform maintenance on equipment helped monitor upcoming maintenance dates and ensured that every piece of equipment was working efficiently and was ready to use anytime.
REPORTING PROVIDES VISIBILITY
One of the key advantages that helped SRI was the ability to quickly report on the status of equipment anytime and anywhere.
This granted full visibility on the time taken to perform tasks and the ability to view current ownership of equipment. In addition, because ASAP Systems Asset Tracking System, Ceballos is able to create reports and graphs, and send them via .pdf or excel spreadsheet to anyone.
With ASAP Systems Asset Tracking System, SRI can generate reports anytime, anywhere on the overall time assets were used on each task. Ultimately, the powerful Asset Tracking System gave SRI the essential capability of measuring time associated with equipment; making it possible to measure how long a piece of equipment was used on a certain assignment.
“This capability allows the identification of time spent supporting equipment on this program. We analyze the data to support the effort in getting the right level of effort needed to support equipment tasks,” says Ceballos.
KNOWLEDGEABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE
The customer service at ASAP Systems helped ensure that the implementation of the system was successful without any problems in getting the system up and running. The technical support team at ASAP Systems quickly responded to any questions or concerns regarding the functionality and setup process. ultimately, this helped SRI become more knowledgeable and confident in the system.
“Excellent staff, very positive, knowledgeable, and easy to work with throughout this process. Technical support was very responsive and knowledgeable about the system,” says Ceballos.