5 Signs Your Outdated Asset Monitoring Processes are Costing You Time and Money


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” A common misconception that’s particularly untrue when it comes to manufacturing. 

Things that aren’t “broken” can still end up costing significant amounts of time and money if they rely on out-of-date processes and tools. And by ignoring the problem, you could be missing out on countless efficiencies. 

We recently interviewed 250 senior leaders in UK engineering and manufacturing firms to uncover how they were monitoring their most valuable assets.

Interestingly, we found that the majority of businesses are losing huge amounts of time and money on loss, breakage and underutilisation—even though they don’t see their asset monitoring processes as “broken.”

We’ve put together this article to help you uncover where you could improve efficiency and save costs with your asset monitoring.

 So, here are five signs your outdated asset monitoring processes are costing you time and money.


1.You Use Manual Processes to Monitor High-Value Assets

In today’s world, automation is central to improving speed and efficiency, reducing errors, and giving employees time back to work on pressing tasks.

Yet, when it comes to critical assets, the majority of businesses are monitoring location, performance, usage and condition using manual processes—despite them being absolutely central to productivity and throughput. 

In fact, our recent research found that 42% of manufacturing businesses monitor assets manually using devices, while 42% use spreadsheets and 38% use paper. 

If this sounds like you, you’re in the majority. But it also means you’re likely spending more time and money on getting everyday tasks done. 

In our research, we observed a direct correlation between businesses that use manual processes and those that frequently struggle with losses in productivity and increased spending on replacements and repairs.

So, if you’re looking to increase speed and efficiency while cutting costs, investing in automation is a good place to start. 

2. You Struggle with Poor Data Visibility

Having access to accurate, up-to-date and consolidated data is key to making the right business decisions and helping operations run more efficiently. 

Yet, 49% of businesses say that they struggle with lack of data when monitoring high-value assets—with 39% finding lack of real-time data to be a particularly significant challenge. 

If this sounds familiar, you’ll know that lack of real-time data can lead to lots of real-time issues. 

For example, without live information on asset location, it can be all too easy to lose or misplace assets on-premises or during transit. As a result, you end up wasting time searching for that asset—or worse, being forced to spend money on replacing it. 

And that’s just one of many things that can go wrong when you lack real-time data on your asset’s location, condition, performance and usage. 

Instead, it’s a good idea to use an automated tool that automatically records and logs your data in one easy-to-access place. This will help you reduce errors, improve productivity and cut costs.


3. You Frequently Lose or Misplace Assets On-Premises or in Transit

The larger and more complex your manufacturing process is, the larger the scope is for you to lose or misplace items—and the larger the consequences are when you do. 

The average business spends 2.5 hours per week locating critical tools and components—with a quarter of all businesses spending 3–4 hours each week. 

That means, on average, locating assets is costing you 17 working days per year—just think about what you could achieve in those two and a half weeks you’re losing.

The majority of businesses (42%) attribute asset misplacement to a lack of data—but over a third (32%) say that using out-of-date tools is a key factor. 

In an industry where having the right assets in the right places at the right times is critical for production, there’s no room for production to be halted by out-of-date processes and tools. Are your processes in need of an upgrade?

4. You Struggle to Maintain Efficiency

As a manufacturer, you can only be as efficient your equipment and technologies allow you to be. And using out-of-date processes and tools can be a killer for your throughput. 

In fact, 36% of businesses say that using out-of-date tools prevents them from maintaining velocity of work in progress, while 33% say that having poor processes in place is a significant issue for maintaining efficiency. 

The problem is, struggling to maintain efficiency impacts every area of the business—whether directly or indirectly. This includes causing you to spend more time and money on your manufacturing processes.

If this is something that resonates with you, it’s likely a sign that you’d benefit from investing in new manufacturing technologies and processes so you can remain competitive. 

While every business has different needs, some of the key technologies your competitors plan to invest in within the next three years include inter-platform integration (78%), self-optimising systems (77%) and asset tracking (76%), among many others.


5. You’re Over-Spending on Repairs and Maintenance 

Having a tool break down in the middle of production is never ideal. Nor is having to spend money on expensive repairs to get a tool back in service. But repairs and maintenance don’t have to consume so much time and money. 

If you, like 27% of businesses, service assets based on a schedule (rather than use or need), you’re likely missing out on opportunities to save time and money with predictive maintenance.

One way to do this is by investing in asset health and condition monitoring, which gives you an overview of whether your assets are performing as they should be, any anomalies that might be showing and which issues could be stopping your assets from operating at their full potential. 

This helps you predict any unplanned downtime and address issues before they arise. This can save you big money in the long run.

Read the Blind Spot Report

If you found this article helpful, see our latest report to discover the key challenges facing manufacturing businesses in 2023—and how you can prepare for them. 


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