How to turn asset tracking into a competitive advantage

Many organizations are moving beyond location tracking into deriving benefit from information about the asset being tracked. Read more to learn how to turn asset tracking into a competitive advantage.
Supply Chain
Cuong Tram
May 21, 2024
Container cargo, freight truck cargo, plane, rail, and ship to show that assets can be tracked no matter the mode of transportation.

Asset tracking’s next transformation is being powered by cellular IoT

It’s no surprise that businesses are increasing their spending on IoT given the significant improvements it can deliver. In a 2024 McKinsey study, 65% of enterprises indicated they are increasing their spend in IoT. One area of significant tech investment is the nearly $5B asset tracking industry and the benefits of connectivity through cellular IoT.

Just a few years ago, asset tracking was primarily used to provide the physical location of an asset. With sensors using a variety of connectivity options, organizations were able to keep track of assets on the move. Now, as cellular IoT devices and connectivity are becoming more affordable and efficient, many organizations are moving beyond location tracking into deriving benefit from information about the asset.

Leveraging IoT data for operational improvements

Cellular IoT is an ideal solution for asset tracking to deliver reliable connectivity and broad geographical coverage across use cases. Now in addition to fleet tracking, organizations can get more information about the asset itself - and from cellular IoT-powered sensors - to improve operations, increase safety, and improve employee/customer safety.

  • Take the trucking industry for example. With more than 3 million truck drivers on US highways alone, safety is always top of mind. And tire pressure is one of the danger zones. Low tire pressure can lead directly to a blow out. With real-time information from IoT sensors on the tires, pressure can be closely monitored and trucks routed to service quickly before undue wear on tires or worse, an accident.
  • Similarly, device status and maintenance is vital in remote patient monitoring. This industry is growing rapidly at a CAGR of 28% yearly through 2028 globally, fueled by an aging population, COVID healthcare device growth, and expanding healthcare reach into underserved communities. In this use case, knowing the status of the device is critical. Any interruptions in service can affect customer care. Plus, the ability to monitor the devices and push out updates with zero customer involvement helps streamline operations and lower costs.

Turning IoT data from assets into business value

Armed with data from the IoT assets, businesses can find new ways to improve their products and create new competitive advantages. Let’s take a look at how cellular IoT is changing something we all love - FOOD!

Let’s start at the ground, literally

Projections indicate that feeding a world population of 9.1 billion people in 2050 requires increasing overall food production by some 70 percent between 2005/07 and 2050. That is a huge reason why the smart farming market in the US alone accounted for $19.5B and is expected to reach $53B in 2032. IoT is key to putting the “smart” in farming with devices and applications to improve agriculture across the entire process. Precision farming and irrigation monitoring/control are the top use cases, with both helping to ensure that plants get precisely the treatment they need. Soil monitoring, temperature and humidity monitoring, and water and air monitoring are also helping farmers use their resources more efficiently to increase their yield.

One of Hologram’s smart farming clients, Fieldin, installed IoT devices on more than 5,000 farm vehicles which constantly feed data into the cloud for analysis. “The problem with agriculture is that you don’t have good connectivity everywhere,” says Yonatan Horovitz, Co-founder & Chief Autonomy Officer. “Different network providers may be the better choice, even in one area of a farm versus another. And, we don’t know which beforehand. We need to have one provider that provides us the ability to toggle and connect to all the networks that are available.” That’s exactly where cellular IoT from Hologram delivers the reliability and broad geographic connectivity across thousands of acres in many commercial farms.

From the farm to ports

IoT can also provide significant cost savings and consumer advantages in logistics and the transport of goods. With real-time tracking of assets, retailers can see detailed information about product transit time and environmentals (like temperature and humidity) to improve their efficiency and reduce costs. Real-time tracking ensures customers have accurate information on inventory levels and helps retailers better meet rising consumer expectations.

By partnering with Hologram, transport system provider Purfresh and supply chain tracking service Escavox gain access to reliable, global connectivity that connects IoT sensors in their shipping containers, monitoring conditions along the produce’s journey. Constant IoT connectivity and analytics help Purfresh and Escavox reach their goal of getting food to its destination in better condition which helps retailers earn a higher price and reduce waste. Purfresh devices have connected with up to 126 different carriers in 54 countries in a single month. With Hologram’s flexible pricing, Purfresh and Excavox were able to access all those carriers without overages or paying for unused data.

Getting the produce safely to consumers

Let’s look at the delivery and trucking industry again. In the US, 70.5% of food transportation in the US is via trucks. One way to make it safer for those drivers is to provide two-way video in the truck cab. This provides security, helps them log hours, and also can provide training assistance for new drivers. Dash cams also are very useful in monitoring risky drivers for additional training to improve safety, as well as providing important information for any insurance claims. Live video delivers huge benefits and huge amounts of data. With 5G’s faster data throughput, Hologram’s cellular IoT handles large data transmission reliably making real-time video possible and affordable.

What to look for in a cellular IoT provider?

Connectivity is key to extracting the most value from your connected assets. There are five key things to look for in your cellular IoT provider:

  • Reliability. New Dual-Core SIMs feature two fully independent mobile cores on each SIM that seamlessly switch to a backup network in the event of an outage.
  • Commitment. Look for a cellular SIM provider that includes uptime guarantees in their contracts and 24/7 support to resolve any issues quickly.
  • Performance.You need a low latency and high throughput solution to handle the data that’s going to be unleashed - more telemetry plus video and advertising - without swapping cellular IoT SIM cards.
  • Simplified management. Robust dashboards and analytical tools give real-time visibility into device activity and performance, so you can keep operations running smoothly.
  • Global coverage. Start with a provider that can seamlessly connect to carriers across the world to ensure your user experience is consistent.

Ready to learn more? We’re here to answer your questions and help you on your journey to powering your business with cellular IoT.

Connect with one of our Connectivity Specialists for a free consultation.

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