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Asset Tracking A Breeze For NSW Agriculture

Press Release:

With a requirement to check over 25,000 assets in over 80 locations across NSW, including everything from a digital camera to a tractor, it was essential that NSW Agriculture replace their slow, error-prone paper-based system with one that would improve efficiencies and reporting accuracy.

This they have achieved by installing TIG International’s Asset Tracking Tool (ATT). Established in 1890, NSW Agriculture is a modern and efficient State Government department leading the world in agricultural research, extension, education and regulation and provides practical farm production solutions for profitable agriculture and a better environment.

NSW is Australia’s most productive agricultural state contributing 27 percent, or $7.7 billion, of Australia’s $28.8 billion agricultural production and NSW Agriculture plays a vital role in this success. Headquartered in Orange NSW Agriculture has offices spread across regional and rural NSW. Tracking assets, which move between these offices, is a major task and it was becoming increasingly obvious that their manual system was just no longer viable.

Today NSW Agriculture are using TIG’s ATT system that includes eight Symbol SPT1700 scanners that were chosen specifically because they are robust and able to cope with a diversity of environments. The result is dramatically improved asset tracking that is entirely automated, takes less time and has reduced the incidence of unaccounted assets to the barest minimum.

“Once everyone has got used the system we expect a 40% efficiency improvement,” said Mr Adam Thomas, the Assets Project Officer for NSW Agriculture. “We’ve been really impressed with the assistance TIG have given us and with the quick uptake by our staff.”

TIG have refined the ATT system, sometimes on the fly, to suit the specific requirements of NSW Agriculture making it quite powerful, particularly when using multiple scanners at large sites.

Before each asset tracking exercise, asset information is downloaded from the SAP R/3 system to the scanners. They are then taken out into the field so that the barcoded assets can be scanned. If any barcode labels are damaged or missing, the asset number is entered into the system. Also, any changes that may be required can easily be entered on the spot. When scanning has been completed, the information collected is easily uploaded into the SAP R/3 system via the ATT interface, and all the required reporting is finalised.

NSW Agriculture say the ATT system is improving all the time as they continue to work closely with TIG in making adjustments.

Mr Brian McInnes, one of the officers responsible for the assets within his region, said “One of the research stations we visited recently to check on 1,600 assets is a big site and a lot of footwork is required to complete the job.  It’s great that we now don’t have to go back over ground already covered and we’ve saved at least two days work.”

“On this particular occasion only 12 assets were not physically sighted and with further investigation we were able to reduce this number to 5 which is the best result we’ve had in at least 5 years.”

Originally published on the Automatic Data Capture Forum (ADCA) Australian website (2002).