How Can Your Customers Help Track Your Assets


Every business with assets in the field has some ways to track them. Some use pen and paper, and others use various software. It all boils down to how well the staff keeps the records of the assets. That’s where it meets its biggest challenge: one human error and the asset drops off the face of the Earth. Technology offers GPS trackers or beacons that broadcast their locations to nearby reader devices. But the expense is only worth it for high-value assets such as machinery or heavy equipment. What if you have thousands of assets in the field, such as portable toilets? What do you do if a customer moves the unit without notifying anyone or if the service person moves the unit and forgets to record it? We at AirVote are in the business of gathering end-user feedback from exact locations. When it comes to field equipment such as portable toilets, thousands of AirVote QR Smileys® are already inside portable toilet units, gathering restroom user feedback about their impression or cleanliness of the unit. For some of our customers, we already ask users to share their GPS location when they scan a QR Smiley with their smartphone inside the restroom. The system sends the user’s location, anonymous feedback, and any pictures/audio to the operator. But it does not tag the unit itself with that GPS information.

We started thinking, what if we “remember” the location the user shared and assign it to the unit as a likely location? Next time if someone else shares their geolocation from that unit, we update the unit’s location with the new GPS coordinates, and so on. In other words, like many successful crowdsourcing solutions, we ask the public who is interacting with the asset to pitch in tracking it.

As a result, the locations show on a live map.

It is not 100% reliable: a unit could be moved after the last response or if no one responds. But it could be an easy and practical way to catch some of them. The live map helps service people quickly find units around them, saving time and fuel driving around looking for a unit, especially if it has been moved.

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