Asset Tracking Technology Breakthrough

The Problem: Keeping track of stuff is a universal & timeless conundrum.

Losing assets costs corporate America billions of dollars annually.  Surveys of facilities managers indicate that although 81% of them say that keeping track of corporate assets is important, only 29% of them say they have the tools they need to do the job properly.  Given that over 50% of facilities managers feel that the common tools such as bar codes and excel spreadsheets are not the answer, it appears that the time is right to explore RFID.

Tracking assets in a facility requires both long range and location specific tracking.  The current state of RFID is such that systems which provide long range tracking (using battery-powered active tags) don’t provide location specific data tracking (using non-powered passive tags).

Each tracking technology is in its own silo.  Neither can communicate with the other and each requires a permanent infrastructure to support data capture.  Also, special equipment and training for each type of tracking (long range and location specific) are required.  TygaTrax has surmounted those problems with its proprietary hardware and software, providing long range and location specific tracking on a unified platform.

Churn and relocation moves are great examples of the conundrum.  Highly mobile assets must be tracked throughout the process.  It is important to know the total quantity of assets at each location, as well as the specific location of each asset.  Also, the tracking process must be done without either permanent infrastructure or training of move laborers.

One of the nations’ largest wealth management advisory firms was in the thick of this conundrum.  They were relocating and consolidating 2 origin buildings into 1 destination building for their new HQ in Cincinnati.

A single lost box could cause significant problems even if eventually recovered.  For example: loss of client confidence, future referrals or breach of client confidentiality to name but a few.

To address this situation, the moving companies for the wealth management firm utilized TygaTrax, a breakthrough asset tracking technology developed by Tyga Technologies Inc.

TygaTrax provided 24/7 tracking, monitoring and security for every RFID tagged item deployed on the move project.

Engineers at 3M analyzed the process of retrofitting 2,260 plastic moving boxes with the RFID tags and suggested an adhesive that was die-cut especially for the application.  Once the retrofit was completed, the 2,260 tagged boxes where shipped to Cincinnati.

First delivery to origin building #1 was for 1,235 tagged boxes that were distributed across 3 floors.  From an RFID point of view – the premise was a harsh environment.  It was an older building with heavy infrastructure and multiple custom-built individual broker suites.  Utilizing one mobile reader allocated to every 10,000 SF, every single tagged item was successfully read – there were no problems with “ghost tags” or radio wave collisions.  The system showed a perfect reconciliation between electronic and physical counts.  People started packing.

From origin building #1 the move manager could remotely monitor and manage origin building#2, avoiding the necessity of being physically onsite at building #2 – saving time, resources and money.

All too frequently, some variation of this conundrum occurs during a move (and this move was no exception).  Following the move-out of all visible boxes from origin building #2, TygaTrax accurately detected 100 boxes remaining in the building.   Everyone was puzzled because multiple people had conducted multiple “final sweeps” to confirm that nothing was left behind.  What made this move different, however, was the availability of a real time tracking report.  Despite seeing nothing visible, the move team redoubled their efforts and successfully located the 100 boxes that had been detected by TygaTrax.  They were locked inside an IT closet.   Upon removal, the system showed “0” remaining saving the movers and client hours of time reconciling records.

In a few instances, moving trucks were outfitted with a TygaTrax mobile reader attached to a battery pack .  While in motion, the mobile reader reported the exact count of boxes in transit inside the truck.

In summary, this showcase demonstrated the capability of TygaTrax to remotely track, monitor and accurately account for each and every one of 2,260 tagged boxes on a 24/7 basis over a 3 week period, distributed amongst approximately 300 people, 8 locations comprising an aggregate total of 150,000 SF, transported in 12 truckloads and NOT A SINGLE BOX WAS LOST.

This showcase represents a breakthrough in corporate asset tracking in that the technology provides the following benefits:

  • Reduces time wasted looking for lost/misplaced assets by 100%
  • Reduces time spent physically counting and recounting items by 100%
  • Reduces management time because multiple sites can be monitored simultaneously

Thinking broadly, this breakthrough tracking technology goes well beyond becoming the move of the future.  It is the natural progression of making intelligent the things we use on a daily basis; it is in keeping with the proliferation of smart cities, smart buildings and smart offices.  We now have a rich new realm of data that supports the efficiencies and cost reductions of implementing smart offices.  These efficiencies and cost reductions will be replicated many times over as  corporate America transforms its assets into “smart stuff”, each outfitted with an RFID security and tracking tag.

This article was originally published in the January 10-23 2017 edition of the NYREJ and was written by Nadine Cino, LEED AP, a regular contributor for the greater purpose of generating SustainAble action. Nadine is the CEO and co-inventor of both TygaTrax and TygaBox.