3 Ways to Take Construction Asset Tracking to the Next Level 

construction asset tracking

We don't need to tell you that planning and executing construction projects call for a lot of moving parts and coordination. There are budgets to manage, timelines to hit, stakeholders to align—and, of course, a whole lot of construction assets to track. 

Assets include system components, moveable equipment, building materials, or even rooms or areas. Each asset plays an essential role in a project, which is why teams must find ways to track and manage them as efficiently as possible.  

Traditional tools that many teams use today (e.g., spreadsheets) aren't conducive to effective asset tracking because they lack features that enable real-time information sharing and integrations with other systems.  

And while project schedules are helpful, they're often static and don't contain the most updated project info. On top of that, some teams or subcontractors track updates independently, leaving other stakeholders out of the loop. 

There are many challenges around asset tracking, but the good news is that digital tools like the Assets Module in Autodesk Build are making tracking easier and more effective.  

Check out our recent LinkedIn Live for an in-depth look at the feature. We discuss how power users are leveraging Autodesk's tools for asset tracking, and we offer tips to help you get the most out of the module.  

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The current state of asset tracking today  

As mentioned, spreadsheets are one of the most common ways assets are tracked today. That said, while they work for simple workflows, teams executing large and complex projects will find spreadsheets cumbersome.  

Aside from being difficult to scale, spreadsheets keep information static, and they're not ideal for long lead times. Plus, spreadsheets are hard to use in the field, so teams often resort to clipboards and manual data entry.  

Moving your asset tracking into a construction-focused digital platform is the best way to overcome these challenges. This gives you a single source of truth for all asset data and simplifies processes for various stakeholders. It also gives you more visibility into an asset's lifecycle—from the fabrication into operations—which streamlines project commissioning and handover.  

All of this helps construction teams stay on schedule, lower project costs, improve transparency, and reduce risk. 

3 ways to get more out of asset tracking 

Here are some ways you can use Autodesk Build's Assets Module to manage assets more effectively.

1:Define scope and work packages

Depending on the project or stakeholders involved, teams may view and manage assets in different ways. Autodesk makes it easy to do this through the Asset Module's intuitive categorization capabilities and custom fields. 

With Autodesk, you can build your asset hierarchy using categories. This gives you a parent-child view of how things are grouped, making it easy to drill down on specific assets. So if you need to track items from a GC's perspective or the viewpoint of a specialty contractor, you can organize your assets accordingly and optimize for those views.   

Let's say you do a lot of offsite work and need to create prefab spooling packages. You can configure the system for your specific scope and work packages to make it easy for teams to access the assets they need, whether in the office or the field.  

And when categories are combined with custom fields, users can track all project hierarchy as it relates to physical bills of material, drawings, models, etc. They can then map those assets appropriately to get a clearer view of the project. 

Most importantly, every user within the system can define what's important to them. So whether you're a project manager who needs a high-level status update or a contractor who wants to see if a component has been installed, you can do that easily with the Assets Module in Autodesk Build. 

2: Link references

Autodesk enables you to link assets with other project components (e.g., checklists, schedules, etc.), making it easier for you and your teams to see how the project ties together.  

Even better, when assets are changed, or anything shifts within the project, all that information is automatically updated and will be reflected in the version history.  

Most importantly, you can link assets to your project schedule 

Integrating the Assets Module with the Schedule Module in Autodesk Build allows you to take a schedule line item and reference it to an existing asset. You then align it to your master schedule so everyone has the most updated information regarding due dates and status updates. 

Linking assets to your schedule also does wonders for collaboration. It enables you to keep everyone in the loop when changes are made, which reduces miscommunication and unnecessary back-and-forth. 

3: Utilize QR codes

One of the things that sets the Assets Module apart is it goes beyond asset tracking by enabling you to implement asset traceability.  

Each item in the system has a unique identifier that will map back to a specific item in the asset list.   

For instance, if you have prefab overhead assemblies built into the system, you can identify specific areas in the building where they might be located and tag them accordingly. All of that can then be toggled with the barcode feature that can read traditional barcodes and QR codes. 

From there, you can leverage our mobile interface and use predefined QR codes printed on labels attached to kits, assemblies, or panels. Each unique ID can be located with the QR code from our system, which will automatically bring you back to that specific assembly and assets list so you can trace, track, and manage each asset in real time. 

Better asset tracking starts today 

Effective asset tracking is crucial for successful construction project delivery. Autodesk Build's Assets Module provides an intuitive and customizable solution for managing assets to streamline processes, improve collaboration, and reduce risk.  

With the capabilities to create categories and custom fields, link assets, and use QR codes, the Assets Module helps you and your team stay on schedule, lower project costs, and improve transparency.  

Don't miss our recent LinkedIn Live on asset tracking. Catch it on demand and start improving your asset tracking today. Ready to level up your asset management in your projects? Learn more about Autodesk's Asset Management software.      

Pete Majewski

Technical Solutions Executive, Autodesk