Benefits of RFID for Rental Asset Tracking

Tracking assets is critical to correctly managing inventory levels and transactions. An RFID system offers big benefits for equipment rental companies when properly deployed.

For any equipment rental company, tracking assets in real time is critical to managing inventory levels and transactions. But many firms rely on outdated, error-prone manual data collection systems that drive up labour costs and collect data using unreliable methods. In this blog post, we take a look at how RFID can help.

Companies that rent out high-value equipment have always needed a reliable way to track and manage both customer and item information. The problem is, for many firms, “reliable equipment tracking” meaning identifying and recording serial numbers and item descriptions by hand, typing into Excel tables or software systems. This is labour intensive and produces data that has many inaccuracies due to inevitable human error.

Barcode systems, which also remain popular in recent years, offer an improvement over manual. But they’re still limited by line-of-sight requirements, one-at-a-time scanning, and labels that can easily get damaged or go missing.

Issues like these are the reason firms are turning to RFID for rental asset tracking. However, rental equipment comes in a wide range of materials and configurations, making tag selection and fitting more complex than for industries with more uniform assets. Yet, an RFID system offers big benefits for equipment rental companies when properly deployed. Let’s take a look at the top five benefits of RFID for rental companies.

1. Automates Transactions

The process of assembling rental kits and getting them through the door can be very labour intensive. You must locate the assets you need in your facility, recording them as you add them to the kit.

Existing methods make the data recording task in this step more time consuming than it needs to be. The item, many of which are large and unwieldy, must be manipulated so that the serial tag can be read, either by an operator or a barcode reader.

In contrast, RFID enables you to identify assets at a distance, often without line of site, automating and speeding-up transactions. To locate an asset, you just walk down the aisle with the RFID reader and pick up the inventory. Then, to allocate it to a customer, individual and batched items can be quickly read by one person using a handheld RFID scanner or with portal with fixed antenna. The system automatically reads the item’s ID, related to all essential product information in the database such as serial numbers and hours used, logging it as being checked out related to the customer order and date/time.

By automating transactions, RFID reduces the amount of time and labour necessary to get the assets into your customers’ hands.

2. Increases Kit Accuracy

Delivering kits containing the right assets (and the right number of assets) is critical. But when kits contain hundreds or thousands of assets, it’s difficult to ensure accuracy when your tracking system is based on manual or even barcode solutions.

One common problem occurs when you have similar-looking assets that operate differently. For example, coiled cable assemblies look very similar. Different lengths, different connectors, and different numbers of conductors may look the same, but are not at all interchangeable. If you’re assembling kits manually – identifying items by sight – it is easy to mix up items like this.

RFID provides a fast and accurate way to make sure the right assets (and right quantities) make it into each kit. With a RFID reader, you can identify a tagged asset in milliseconds and ensure you’re supplying the correct item using dedicated software.

3. Improves Inventory Management and Utilisation

Inventory visibility is an essential tool for asset rental companies. Only by having accurate inventory data can a rental company determine what assets are where and if they are available to supply to a customer.

RFID helps you collect accurate data including utilization levels, seasonal usage trends, and common rental time frames. This enables data-driven decisions to be made – like which asset mix will best serve a given customer’s need. It also prevents valuable capital from being dedicated to assets that do not produce revenue.

4. Streamlines Equipment Returns

Returning rental assets efficiently Is a key priority for rental company. RFID provides a fast, scalable way to confirm that the items you rent out, is returned, when and where – if you have multiple locations.

Utilising RFID solutions to help manage your inventory ensures accurate customer and item identification every time an asset hits your warehouse floor or staging area. As RFID-enabled check in and check out processes are highly accurate and asset–customer associations are established automatically, customers can be more easily held accountable when assets are damaged or incorrectly returned.

The business case shows that RFID offers a clear ROI for itself in the form of equipment loss and theft prevention, labour savings, increased customer satisfaction.

5. Automates Cycle Counts

Cycle counts are a major part of managing rental asset inventory. But manually counting serialised items is time-consuming. Using barcodes or pen and paper, usually involves a person handling every asset in the warehouse and then reading and recording the serial number.

In addition to being error-prone, auditing thousands of assets this way creates a huge demand on labour time – driving up costs.

RFID Is an automated form of data capture which drastically cuts down on unproductive man-hours. dedicated to warehouse cycle counts while vastly improving the quality of the data. This also allows cycle counts to be done quickly, inexpensively, and more often, so warehouse inventory can be kept accurate at a low cost.


To conclude, RFID technology provides an automated and reliable way to track rental assets. Additional benefits are reduced labour time, costs and more streamlined processes leading to satisfied and loyal customers!

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