Particle unveils asset tracking system for supply chains

Particle unveils asset tracking system for supply chains (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider Particle has unveiled a new tracking system that can support IoT deployment across different segments within supply chains. The new system will enable businesses to track and monitor real-time locations of a wide variety of mobile assets.

“Many conventional offerings deliver only basic location tracking capabilities without any additional data gathering or status monitoring capabilities. Some of these solutions only offer location reporting at intervals of twice per day – far too infrequent to support the many sophisticated use cases we see in the market today,” said Zach Supalla, the CEO of Particle. 

Supalla explained that the tracking system is extremely flexible because it was built for users to configure and customize based on their needs. Conventional solutions in the market are usually off-the-shelf offerings, forcing businesses to choose between sacrificing essential functionality and building the solution from scratch – a complicated and expensive undertaking. 

Particle’s tracking system is also much more comprehensive compared to the current market offerings that only solve a piece of the tracking problem. Supalla contended that piecemeal solutions like that would not just be inefficient, but also introduce security risks, brittle up architecture, and cause functionality issues. 

“With over 200,000 engineers building on the Particle platform – many with large active fleets that are in production around the clock every day – customers have a level of confidence and assurance when they choose Particle,” said Supalla. 

Particle found the need to develop the tracking solution after it observed customers using their cellular IoT predominantly for location tracking of mobile assets like trucks, service vehicles, bikes and scooters. 

“We also recognized that other customers buying off the shelf asset tracking solutions are often faced with integration challenges, and bespoke solutions are typically very slow to implement,” said Supalla. “We keep a constant finger on the pulse of our customers’ needs, and those needs are what informs our product roadmap.”

Supalla pointed out that the asset tracking space is dramatically different from developing something like a cybersecurity firewall, because unlike the latter, asset tracking solutions do not have a common set of established needs that all customers prescribe to. The absence of a set “formula” would mean that customers’ have use cases that are highly idiosyncratic to their respective businesses. 

By working with its customers, Particle could identify the exact use cases and industries adopting the tracking technology. This helped it tailor the tracking system to best accommodate the specific needs of industries including transport & logistics, micromobility, manufacturing and supply chain. Supalla is confident that the solution can be made adaptable for other industries that rely on asset tracking as well. 

“The advancements represent a “rising tide lifts all ships” step for our portfolio,” said Supalla. “Customers that are not specifically addressing an asset tracking use case with Particle’s solutions will also stand to benefit appreciably, particularly as time goes on and more and more of our recent advancements infiltrate the rest of our portfolio.”