This article was first published by the Providence Business News on December 13, 2017 by Susan Shalhoub

Anyone who has ever worked in retail remembers the drudgery of manual inventory. Or we can’t remember what holiday decorations are stored up in our own attics. But what about when it’s mission-critical for your company or organization to know where all of its assets are, in real time? With the U.S. military a longtime customer, A2B Tracking Solutions has figured it out. President and CEO Peter Collins spoke with PBN about his company’s new commercial-asset tracking software for businesses.


PBN: What kinds of commercial businesses could benefit most from your new commercial-asset tracking software?

COLLINS: Any organization or business can benefit from RFID tracking and our platform can support the small business, department or the largest of enterprises, as we’ve done with the U.S. military for over 10 years. RFID asset tags can be applied to just about any item these days. The more common tracking applications include pallets, reusable containers, rental equipment, IT [information technology] and computer equipment, repairable items, lifesaving equipment, parts, final products and office equipment – any assets considered “important enough to track” in the eyes of the beholder.


PBN: What is the result of a business not being able to track its assets in an effective manner?

COLLINS: Any organization that’s not taking a proactive approach with technology to track important assets is either failing to improve their customers’ experience, jeopardizing its mission or wasting time and money. This is candid input after seeing many organizations “get by” using manual tracking or becoming numb to the waste related to poor tracking practices. A2B Tracking’s Commercial Asset Tracking platform is a breakthrough in affordable RFID tracking technology that is accessible from the cloud. The return on investment is extraordinary.


PBN: Explain briefly how the new platform works.

COLLINS: As an example of our capabilities, we’ve turned a smartphone into a powerful RFID asset-tracking tool that is accessible from the cloud. This can be viewed here. However, the A2B Tracking platform also manages all serialized assets and non-serialized stock in one system that can support any form of barcode- or RFID-technology. This makes the transition from barcode to RFID seamless. You start by signing up with the A2B Tracking software service, then we create RFID asset tags to apply to containers, equipment, parts, etc., and ship them to your door. We provide and install the fixed or mobile RFID hardware as needed, as well as all the necessary user training.


PBN: A2B says this technology can be customized as a company grows. How does that work?

COLLINS: New technology adoption is fascinating. Even the most innovative organizations don’t always like to take big risks, even though management books have you believe otherwise. RFID is a quantum step in productivity for tracking assets – however, many organizations like to start with one area of their operations. Once they see results, they want to scale. In this sense, we’re matching our customers’ desired approach to adoption.

For instance, A2B Tracking can enable the use of a smartphone for tracking equipment on and off an emergency response vehicle for fire departments. Big benefits can be gained by using mobile RFID and taking that first “bite of the elephant.” A year later, that fire department may want to add fixed readers to monitor equipment use in real time, without any human involvement. A2B Tracking is designed to handle that kind of start-small-and-grow approach.


PBN: What has response been like so far?

COLLINS: Incredible. My recent favorite is tracking the repair of sails in your local sail lofts right here in Rhode Island. When you drop your sail off for repair, the loft can track the sail through all parts of the repair process and when you show up to pick up your sail, they can find it instantly using the A2B Tracking software platform with RFID! No more long waits, which means more happy customers.


Susan Shalhoub is a frequent PBN contributor.