9 min reading

20 June 2024

20 June 2024

6 Types of Asset Tracking Technologies and Which One is The Best for Your Business

6 Types of Asset Tracking Technologies and Which One is The Best for Your Business
6 Types of Asset Tracking Technologies and Which One is The Best for Your Business

Imagine always being aware of the exact location of your important items, no matter where they go. Modern asset tracking technology is like a high-tech way to keep an eye on your stuff.

If you’re reading this article, it means you are likely considering the best solution for tracking your assets. No matter what industry you are in — whether it is construction, healthcare, retail, agriculture or hospitality. Choosing the righе asset tracking solution is crucial for using your value assets effectively.

It is not a secret that implementing an asset tracking solution helps prevent financial losses, reduce costs on new equipment, and ensure productive and balanced use of assets.

Based on our over 15 years of experience, we can share examples like:

  • Warehouses dealing with misplaced inventory, leading to overstocking or stockouts, which disrupts order fulfillment and raises storage costs.
  • Logistics companies struggling to track shipments, causing delays and lost packages. Companies find it hard to track the location and status of their fleet vehicles, leading to inefficient routing and higher fuel costs.
  • Construction companies frequently lose tools on job sites, causing project delays and increased costs for replacements.
  • Hospitals having difficulty locating critical medical equipment like ventilators and wheelchairs, leading to delays in patient care and increased operational inefficiencies. However, you have to keep in mind that we have even more use cases for asset tracking for healthcare organizations.

Agriculture companies rely on asset tracking to seamlessly monitor and manage their equipment, vehicles, and inventory, enhancing operational efficiency, reducing downtime, and maximizing productivity. These agricultural companies are using some of the best practices for implementing LoRaWAN in their operations. As you can see, it’s clear that location technologies and asset tracking software are key across many industries, and it doesn’t take a long list of reasons to prove their importance.

In this article, we cover 6 of the most popular types of modern technologies for asset tracking and guide you in choosing the best asset tracking method for your business. Find here how to easy integrate asset trackers.

Transform Your Asset Management with TEKTELIC Asset Tracking

How Did We Choose These Asset Tracking Technologies?

With so many asset types of tracking systems available on the market, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Technologies like LoRaWAN, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and others can work well on their own or complement each other, depending on what you need for your specific use case.

To help you find the best asset location technology we have identified key criteria. Here’s what to look for when searching for asset tracking technologies:

  1. Precision in Tracking: The technology should provide precise and reliable tracking of asset locations and statuses.
  2. Real-Time Monitoring: The ability to monitor assets in real-time is crucial for timely decision-making and operational efficiency.
  3. Scalability: Your solution should be able to increase the number of assets (valuable equipment, vehicles, tools, and materias) and expand operations without a drop in performance.
  4. Cost-Effectiveness: Consider the expected ROI from the asset tracking system in terms of cost savings, efficiency gains, and enhanced asset utilization.
  5. Ease of Use: The system should have an intuitive interface and user-friendly features that require minimal training for employees.
  6. Support and Maintenance: Reliable customer support and maintenance services from the vendor are crucial for addressing any issues promptly and ensuring the system’s smooth operation​.

Based on these principles we have compiled a list with the best and most reliable, as selected by our technical expert with 2 decades of experience.

Just scroll down a bit and you’ll find the list you need.

The Best Types of Asset Tracking Technologies for Your Business

Among the wide variety of asset tracking technologies, we have decided to focus on the most advanced and commonly used ones. Let’s take a look at the main advantages and specific uses of each.

LoRaWAN-based asset tracking works by attaching low-power tags to assets, which send data (such as location or status) to nearby LoRaWAN gateways using long-range radio frequencies. These gateways then forward the data to a central server or cloud platform, where it is processed and made accessible through a web or mobile application. This system provides real-time visibility and management of assets over large distances with minimal power consumption.

TEKTELIC Asset Tracking Technologies applications

1. LoRa for Asset Tracking – Why it’s Best Asset Tracking Technology

LoRa WAN (Long Range) technology has emerged as one of the leading solutions for asset tracking due to its unique combination of features that make it highly effective and versatile. Here are some key reasons why LoRa is considered the best asset tracking technology:

  • Long-Range Coverage: First of all LoRaWAN IoT technology can transmit data over long distances, up to 10-15 kilometers in rural areas and 2-5 kilometers in urban environments. This makes it ideal for industrial equipment tracking over large areas without requiring multiple gateways.
  • Low Power Consumption: LoRa devices consume very little power, allowing for long battery life, which can extend to several years. This is particularly beneficial for tracking assets that are difficult to access or in remote locations.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: The infrastructure required for LoRa is relatively inexpensive compared to other technologies like cellular networks. This helps reduce the overall cost of deployment and maintenance.
  • Scalability: LoRaWAN networks can easily scale to accommodate a large number of devices, making it suitable for both small and large-scale asset tracking deployments.
  • Robust and Reliable: LoRa provides strong signal penetration, even through buildings and other obstacles, ensuring reliable communication in various environments.
  • Flexibility: LoRa can be used for a wide range of applications, from simple location tracking to more complex use cases involving environmental monitoring and predictive maintenance.
  • Security: LoRaWAN (the network protocol used by LoRa) includes built-in security features such as end-to-end encryption and mutual authentication, ensuring that data is protected from unauthorized access.
  • Global Adoption: LoRaWAN has a growing ecosystem with widespread adoption globally, ensuring a robust support network and continuous technological advancements.
  • Integration with IoT: LoRaWAN technology integrates seamlessly with IoT platforms, enabling advanced data analytics, real-time monitoring, and smart decision-making capabilities.

Pros of LoRaWAN:

  • Suitable for wide-area asset tracking without the need for multiple gateways;
  • Long battery life – up to several years;
  • Ideal for remote or hard-to-reach assets;
  • Cost effective for both initial deployment and ongoing operational costs;
  • Suitable for small and large-scale deployments;
  • LoRaWAN signals can penetrate buildings and other obstacles effectively, ensuring reliable communication in diverse environments.

Cons of LoRaWAN:

  • Limited Bandwidth: LoRaWAN is not ideal for transmitting large amounts of data due to its limited bandwidth. It is better suited for periodic or small data transmissions.

TEKTELIC’s LoRa Asset Tracking Solution

For many years, TEKTELIC has been providing the most effective LoRaWAN based asset tracking solutions across various industries worldwide. Our experts can identify the best asset tracking devices for your specific use case, whether it requires outdoor, indoor, or both environments.

TEKTELIC’s LoRaWAN Asset Tracking Solution provides a comprehensive, reliable, and cost-effective approach to asset management, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of industries and applications​.

Here’s a list of the most common applications of LoRaWAN technology for various industries:

  • Manufacturing Facilities: The STORK tracker enhances operational efficiency by monitoring the movement and condition of equipment and materials, enabling proactive maintenance and reducing downtime.
  • Healthcare: SPARROW trackers can be used in hospitals to track critical medical equipment, ensuring availability and improving patient care.
  • Logistics: PELICAN trackers help in monitoring shipments and fleet vehicles, reducing delays and improving supply chain efficiency.
  • Logistics and Warehousing: ORCA trackers can be used to monitor the movement of goods within warehouses and during transit. This helps in reducing the chances of lost or misplaced items and improves inventory management.
  • Personal Safety: SEAL trackers can be used by individuals working in hazardous environments, such as construction sites or remote areas, to ensure their safety. The device can provide real-time location data, enabling quick response in case of emergencies.
  • Employee Safety: CHICKADEE trackers can be used by employees working alone or in remote areas to ensure their safety. The device provides real-time location data and can trigger alerts in case of emergencies.

Stay Updated on the latest solutions, check out this article to find the newest and best sensors for human tracking.

Discover The Future of Human Tracking

2. GPS Asset Tracking Technology

What can GPS asset tracking technology do for you? It’s an intelligent system that uses satellites to monitor and report the location of your assets in real time.  

Here’s a straightforward explanation of how it works:

  • GPS Device: A small GPS device is attached to the item you want to track, such as a vehicle, piece of equipment, or a package.
  • Satellites: The device communicates with satellites orbiting the Earth. These satellites calculate the precise location of the device by measuring the time it takes for the signals to travel back and forth.
  • Data Transmission: The location data is then sent back to a central system, typically via the internet or cellular networks.
  • Real-Time Tracking: You can view the location of your asset at any time by checking an app or a website. This gives you real-time updates on where your item is located.
How to prevent thefts or make maintenance scheduling easier?

If you want to learn more about how TEKTELIC’s Asset Tracking Solutions can enhance your operational efficiency, we have a guide for you in the article – Main Benefits Of Automated Asset Tracking.

Pros of GPS:

  • Immediate Updates: Knowing the exact location of your assets at any time helps you manage and secure them more effectively. This reduces the risk of theft and loss.
  • Historical Data. Access to historical movement data helps analyze patterns and improve security measures.
  • Geofencing. Set up virtual boundaries that trigger alerts if an asset moves outside a designated area. This adds an extra layer of security.
  • Accuracy: High accuracy, typically within a few meters.
  • Range: Global coverage, effective outdoors.

Cons of GPS:

  • Indoor Limitations: GPS signals have difficulty penetrating buildings, which makes indoor tracking unreliable. This limitation means GPS is less effective for assets located inside warehouses, buildings, or other enclosed spaces.

TEKTELIC’s GPS Asset Tracking Solution

TEKTELIC’s GPS Asset Tracking Solution stands out as one of the best products in the market due to its robust features, versatility, and innovative technology. 

 Here’s why it is considered a leading solution and some of its key use cases.

TEKTELIC’s ORCA perfectly works for construction and heavy equipment, transportation, and logistics. It provides consistent monitoring and management of fleet vehicles in real-time, optimizing routes and improving delivery times.

TEKTELIC’s SEAL offers precise GPS-enabled location tracking and integrates BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for continued indoor tracking. This dual capability ensures comprehensive tracking both indoors and outdoors. Built with an IP67 rating, SEAL is completely dustproof and waterproof, making it suitable for harsh environmental conditions. This durability ensures reliable performance in any situation. This device was created for personal tracking for increasing employee safety. For instance, supervisors can monitor the location and movement of workers, providing real-time alerts for potential safety hazards, such as unauthorized access to restricted areas or proximity to high-risk equipment.

Searching for the best GPS tracking devices on the market? 

Our experts have reviewed and compiled a list of the 15 Best GPS Tracking Devices for you. Follow by the link and find the proven solution for your business.

TEKTELIC's GPS Tracking Devices

3. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Asset Tracking Technology

When it comes to equipment monitoring in warehouses, retail, manufacturing, or healthcare facilities the widely-used tracking tool that comes to the forefront is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Asset Tracking Technology.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) asset tracking is a cost-effective and efficient system that uses small, battery-powered beacons to send signals to nearby receivers, such as smartphones or gateways. This allows for real-time monitoring and management of assets. 

This technology is ideal for indoor environments and provides a versatile, scalable solution for various applications like warehousing, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing.

Pros of BLE:

  • Cost-Effective. BLE beacons are cheap and have long battery lives, often lasting several years, so you don’t have to replace them often. This makes it a budget-friendly option compared to other tracking technologies like GPS.
  • Easy to Set Up. You can easily integrate BLE with existing devices, like your phone or tablet. Just attach the beacons to your assets, set up the software, and you’re good to go. It’s straightforward and doesn’t require much technical know-how.
  • Versatile and Scalable. BLE works great indoors, like in warehouses or offices, where GPS might not work well. Plus, you can start with just a few beacons and add more as needed, making it perfect for growing businesses.

Cons of BLE:

  • Limited Range. BLE typically has a limited range of up to 100 meters, which restricts its use to specific areas or locations. This makes it less suitable for tracking assets across larger or more dispersed environments.​

TEKTELIC’s BLE Asset Tracking Solution

Across a wide range of tracking solutions, we always use time-tested Bluetooth asset tracking technology in all of our devices.

BLE technology allows the tracker to be used as a tracker and a beacon. It supports data transmission via both LoRaWAN® and BLE, allowing it to operate efficiently in diverse environments. This flexibility makes it ideal for various use cases, from indoor asset management in hospitals to outdoor tracking in construction sites​.

For exampleTECTELIK’s SPARROW stands out as a premier solution for indoor asset tracking due to its combination of advanced technology in a small size. The SPARROW tracker leverages both LoRaWAN® and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for seamless and reliable indoor positioning . This dual connectivity ensures robust communication and data transmission, providing comprehensive coverage and flexibility in various environments.

TEKTELIC’s STORK is a combination of precision, durability, and cost-effectiveness, that makes it an ideal choice for enhancing operational efficiency across such industries as Retail or Inventory Management. STORK maintains real-time visibility of inventory and high-value assets within warehouses and retail locations, reducing wastage and improving stock management. The device allows to locate, track and manage outdoor mobile assets on the move. This small but reliable device offers you such benefits as:

  • Low-Power GNSS for power efficient Outdoor Positioning
  • BLE & Wi-Fi Sniffing for Accurate Indoor Positioning
  • Rugged IP67 Design
  • Operation Temperature -40°C to +85°C
  • 5+ Year Battery Life with optional 12V External Power Supply.

TEKTELIC’s FINCH and ROBIN are one of the best indoor asset trackers based on BLE technology for personal tracking. Devices are designed to ensure personal safety and security in various environments, making them ideal choices for personal tracking. The main feaеtures for this devices are:

  • Versatile Panic Button.
  • Robust Connectivity. Combining LoRaWAN® and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Durability and Long Battery Life. ROBIN is designed with an impressive battery life of up to 15 years.

Safety with BLE Asset Trackers by TEKTELIC

4. Wi-Fi Asset Tracking Technology

Wi-Fi asset tracking technology uses existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to monitor and manage the location of assets in real-time. This technology uses Wi-Fi signals to determine the position of tagged assets within the coverage area of Wi-Fi access points (APs). Wi-Fi asset tracking technology is a robust, cost-effective and scalable solution for real-time monitoring and management of assets.

Pros of Wi-Fi Asset Tracking:

  • Geofencing Capabilities: Supports geofencing, which allows businesses to set virtual boundaries and receive alerts when assets move outside these areas.
  • Cost-Effective: Utilizes the existing Wi-Fi network infrastructure, reducing the need for additional hardware investments.
  • Accurate Location Data: Utilizes signal triangulation and advanced algorithms to provide accurate location data, often within a few meters.

Cons of Wi-Fi Asset Tracking:

  • Range Limitations: Wi-Fi has a relatively limited range compared to other tracking technologies like GPS or cellular networks. The effectiveness of Wi-Fi asset tracking is confined to the coverage area of the Wi-Fi network, typically up to 100 meters indoors.
  • High Power Usage: Wi-Fi tags consume more power compared to other low-energy technologies like LoRaWAN or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
  • Scalability Issues: As the number of tracked assets increases, the load on the Wi-Fi network also increases. This can lead to scalability issues, particularly in large-scale deployments where hundreds or thousands of assets need to be tracked at the same time.
  • Signal Interference: Wi-Fi operates on crowded frequency bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), which are also used by many other devices. This can lead to signal interference, reducing the accuracy and reliability of tracking data.

TEKTELIC’s Wi-Fi Asset Tracking Solution

Implementing the best features of Wi-Fi technology, TEKTELIC has come up with new trackers called STORK and  CHICKADEE that mix the best several technologies of GPS, Wi-Fi, and BLE. These asset tracking devices give you super accurate real-time tracking, stay connected reliably, and use power efficiently. So, you can always know where your important stuff is and keep it safe.

Now we want to delve you deeper to the unique features of CHICKADEE IoT asset tracker. This small accurate asset tracking device can help locate loved ones, especially children or elderly family members, in case they get lost or need assistance. Personal trackers can be crucial in emergencies, helping to quickly find and assist individuals in need.

The CHICKADEE tracker offers several main features that make it an excellent choice for personal tracking:

  • Compact and Lightweight: Its small, lightweight design makes it easy to carry or attach to personal items without adding bulk.
  • Long Battery Life: Designed for extended use, the CHICKADEE requires less frequent charging, ensuring it’s always ready when you need it.
  • Real-Time Location Tracking: Provides accurate, real-time location updates, so you always know where your important items are.
  • Easy to Use: The user-friendly interface and simple setup process make it accessible for everyone, even those who aren’t tech-savvy.
  • Reliable Connectivity: Utilizes Wi-Fi, BLE, and GPS technology to ensure strong and reliable connectivity in various environments.
  • Durable Design: Built to withstand everyday wear and tear, making it suitable for daily use.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Can send alerts and notifications to your device if your tracked item moves out of a designated area or is in motion.
CHICKADEE Personal Tracker

5. Passive RFID Asset Tracking Technology

Passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a common and widely used solution for asset tracking. This is a system used to monitor and manage assets by using small, inexpensive tags attached to the items. These tags do not have a power source of their own and rely on the RFID reader to power them up when they come into range.

Pros of Passive RFID Asset Tracking:

  • Cost Efficiency: Passive RFID tags are inexpensive compared to active tags, making them suitable for tracking a large number of items.
  • Automation: RFID automates the tracking process, reducing the need for manual scanning.
  • Scalability: RFID systems are easily scalable, allowing businesses to expand their tracking capabilities as needed.

Cons of Passive RFID Asset Tracking:

  • Limited Range: Passive RFID tags have a limited read range, typically up to a few meters. This makes them less suitable for applications requiring long-distance tracking​.
  • Interference from Metals and Liquids: Passive RFID signals can be blocked or reflected by metals and liquids, reducing their effectiveness in certain environments like warehouses with metal shelves or wet areas.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature can affect the performance of passive RFID systems, leading to inconsistent read rates.
  • High Initial Setup Costs: Setting up a passive RFID system requires investment in readers, antennas, and software infrastructure, which can be expensive, especially for large-scale implementations.
  • Limited Security Features: Many passive RFID systems do not include robust security features out of the box, requiring additional investment in security solutions to protect data.

6. NFC Asset Tracking Technology

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a subset of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology that enables wireless communication between devices over a short range, typically up to 10 centimeters.

Pros of NFC Asset Tracking:

  • Ease of Use: NFC is highly user-friendly, no technical expertise to use.
  • Low Maintenance: Since NFC tags are passive and have no battery, they require minimal maintenance.
  • Secure Transactions: NFC technology supports secure communication protocols, making it suitable for applications requiring data security, such as access control and payment systems.

Cons of NFC Asset Tracking:

  • Short Communication Distance: NFC has a very short communication range, typically up to 10 centimeters. This limits its use in scenarios where longer-range tracking is required.
  • Signal Obstruction: NFC signals can be obstructed by metal and other conductive materials, potentially affecting performance in certain environments.
  • Small Storage Capacity: NFC tags have limited data storage capacity compared to other tracking technologies, which may restrict the amount of information that can be stored on the tag.
  • Manual Interaction: Each interaction with an NFC tag requires a manual action (bringing the reader close to the tag), which can be time-consuming when tracking large numbers of assets.
  • Limited Automation: The short range and manual nature of NFC interactions can limit the degree of automation achievable in large-scale asset tracking systems.

NFC Technology on a mobile device

What are some Examples of Asset Tracking Technology Deployment?

Hospitals all over the world are using TEKTELIC’s SPARROW to make sure they know where things like ultrasounds, endoscopes, and patient beds are at all times. Just stick the tracker onto whatever you need to keep an eye on, and you’re good to go. 

This makes things run smoother in hospitals and makes it less likely for things to get lost, giving doctors and nurses more time to focus on taking care of patients. Thanks to SPARROW, hospitals get:

  • Improved workflow efficiency;
  • Reduced downtime;
  • Enhanced patient care outcomes;
  • Minimized risk of misplaced or lost equipment;
  • Increased focus of medical staff on patient care;
  • Better patient safety and satisfaction;
  • Optimal asset utilization leading to cost savings.

SPARROW seamlessly integrates into hospital infrastructure for easy deployment and offers customizable tracking capabilities to meet specific hospital requirements.

Curious to learn more about asset tracking in hospitals? We have expert content for you.


TEKTELIC's experts in touch

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of Asset Tracking?

Asset tracking solutions provide businesses with numerous benefits, making operations more efficient and cost-effective. By streamlining asset management processes, they significantly reduce the time spent locating items. These solutions help minimize losses and theft, ensuring your valuable assets are always secure. Optimizing asset use and delivering real-time data, they empower better decision-making and inventory management, ultimately driving business success.

What are the risks if an organization is not equipped with asset management software?

  • Increased Losses and Theft.
  • Inefficiency. Time and resources are wasted locating and managing assets manually.
  • Downtime and Delays. Difficulty in locating or maintaining critical assets can lead to operational downtime and project delays.
  • Financial Loss. Inefficient asset management can lead to unnecessary purchases and higher operational costs.
  • Poor Utilization. Assets may be underused or overused, leading to higher maintenance costs and shorter asset lifespans.
  • Customer Dissatisfaction. Delays and inefficiencies can impact service delivery, leading to customer dissatisfaction and potential loss of business.
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