Innovative Tools And Asset Tracking for Utilities

Published 2018-01-03

Moving beyond “Where’s my stuff”? 

In today’s digital world, equipment, plant, staff and vehicles that were previously unreachable are now connected.  The “Internet of Things” is driving a proliferation of infrastructure, technologies and new approaches which can be exploited for tracking and exploiting business-critical assets in the field.

Moving beyond just locating and identifying assets, drawing valuable insights from the data they provide is essential.  A data-driven, end-to-end perspective and solution is critical to transform these dispersed assets into a unified information system that will reduce costs and build better business outcomes.

An explosion of tagging and tracking technologies are available now to: track the location of staff, machinery, tools, equipment, industrial plant, or vehicle assets.   You can choose from a menu of: QR codes, NFC, RFID, BLE, iBeacon, GPS.  Tags can report on locations: as they are touched, or scanned, from a short distance, in response to passing beacons or with the regularity you specify over a variety of networks.  They can report on their movement, health and on whether the machinery they’re attached to is switched on, moving, broken etc.  But these are just point capabilities and individual pieces of information.  They need to be brought together as an integrated whole to deliver more than the sum of their parts…

United Vanning have proven experience and technology know-how in delivering solutions and real business value within a data-driven integration platform.

In partnership with Software AG, and using their Digital Business Platform, United Vanning have delivered several innovative solutions to the Utilities industries.

Tools And Asset Tracking Innovation

Bringing data together brings the fuzzy view of missing, unknown and lost assets into focus.  One utility company estimated a hire cost saving in excess of £0.5m would result from increased asset utilisation combined with better informed hire and procurement decisions. 

A solution United Vanning recently delivered provides:

It delivered benefits across the following dimensions:


  • A field force mobile application that is mobile platform independent, securing the vital flexibility to change
  • Allows staff to self-serve with updates regarding their assets, condition information, fault reporting
  • Search the enterprise inventory for tool availability and request its assignment

User Interfaces

  • Light touch maintenance workflows that guide staff through the required tasks in a modern browser-based portal
  • Automated notifications of required activities with user task management
  • Administration screens allowing visibility and where it’s wanted control over tools transfers, maintenance, costing data

Plant and Equipment Repository

  • A managed database that is the source of truth for tools and asset data
  • Automatically updates based on changes in the field, faults / repairs, changes to staffing
  • Master data management to ensure accuracy and data alignment
  • Accurate traceability and reporting of maintenance and replacement costs


  • Real-time dashboards with interactive charts and the ability to drill-down e.g. on tools and asset compliance in the field and across the estate
  • Detailed MI reports monitoring the performance of processes e.g. audits in the field and publishing data for onward consumption e.g. tools and asset health in the organisation

This with NO dependence on the purchase of tags and tag readers -  These bring additional processes for tagging and additional maintenance overheads for the readers themselves. 

Asset records mirror actual asset ownership…

  • More efficient tools and asset maintenance cycles 
  • Visualisation of available equipment on a map display search by proximity to location
  • Further innovative solution add-ons e.g. Pelipod secure unattended distribution
  • Intelligent tools and asset scheduling and utilisation reducing wear and tear
  • Targeting predictive maintenance based on analytics ratings of equipment failures
  • Automatic work order scheduling based on equipment & location requirements
  • Automated validation of engineers’ competence to use transferred tools + alarms
  • Reduced travel, vehicle loading and carbon footprint

For more information about United Vanning and how our expertise can help you, visit:

Software AG offers the world’s first Digital Business Platform for Utilities.  Rapidly build and deploy digital utility applications for better decisions with streaming analytics, telemetry and M2M, and respond faster to shifting regulations.  To learn more visit:

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