Efficient supply chain management is a crucial factor for your business’s ability to thrive in today's fast-paced market. It makes sense, then, that with the introduction of innovative tracking technologies like the Apple AirTag, there is growing interest in finding ways to utilize these devices to enhance supply chain operations. But while the AirTag does offer valuable features for tracking and locating personal objects, it is important to understand that it is not a panacea for supply chain challenges. In this blog, we will explore the limitations of AirTag to demonstrate why it will not fully address your current supply chain issues.

Why Your AirTag Does Not Solve Supply Chain Issues

We can say that AirTag falls short in providing effective supply chain visibility, but what is it about the device that makes this true? The answer is simple: AirTags have a limited tracking range that make them ineffective for large-scale supply chains, which often span across multiple locations. Additionally, the product’s dependency on the Apple ecosystem may pose compatibility challenges for partners and suppliers that use different devices. These devices also lack the advanced data insights and analytics capabilities necessary for informing the changes that help companies optimize their processes, and they are remarkably vulnerable to interference and tampering. These factors, when coupled with the associated costs of implementing the devices on a large scale, limit Apple AirTag’s suitability as a comprehensive supply chain solution. 


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AirTag vs. AirFinder

While AirTag devices do offer valuable features for tracking and locating  personal items, it is important to recognize that there are better options on the market for commercial use cases. Link Labs’ AirFinder solution is the best commercial AirTag alternative, and it is actually designed to help fix supply chain problems. Let’s take a look at a few areas where the AirTag falls short, but our AirFinder solution steps up to supersede expectations. 

AirTag’s Limited Tracking Range

AirTag utilizes Bluetooth technology to establish a connection between the tag and your Apple devices. Unfortunately, Bluetooth alone has a relatively short range, even in open spaces. This limited range renders Airtags ineffective in complex supply chain networks, which often consist of multiple large warehouses, distribution centers, and transportation routes. With this range, the device cannot effectively provide continuous, real-time visibility of items in transit, especially in scenarios where goods are moved across vast distances.

AirFinder’s Advanced Tracking Technologies

While an AirTag tracker relies primarily on Bluetooth technology, commercial asset tracking systems leverage a wide range of cutting-edge technologies for continuous, real-time visibility. For instance, our AirFinder solution utilizes GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular networks, and other technologies designed to span continuously across large distances. By utilizing devices with these specialized technologies, your operations will experience enhanced accuracy, wider coverage, and true real-time tracking capabilities, even in remote areas. This level of precision is critical for supply chains that involve long-distance transportation, multiple warehouses, or complex global networks, and it cannot be found with Apple AirTags.

AirTag’s Dependency on Apple Ecosystem

As previously mentioned, AirTag's functionality relies heavily on the Apple ecosystem. While Apple's ecosystem is popular and widely adopted on a consumer level, it is not universally utilized or even necessarily dominant in the supply chain industry. If your company is working with logistics providers  or partners who do not use Apple devices, these compatibility issues will limit the seamless integration of AirTag into your existing processes.

Airfinder’s Integration with Existing Systems

Link Labs’ AirFinder solution is designed to seamlessly integrate with existing supply chain management software, enterprise resource planning systems and telematics platforms. Our integration capabilities allow for the consolidation of data, facilitating end-to-end visibility and streamlined workflows. By incorporating asset tracking data directly into your existing systems, you can achieve a complete view of your supply chain all from a central location. But most importantly, since AirFinder is designed to be integration-friendly, you will never experience the limited compatibility challenges that you would with an AirTag.

AirTag’s Lack of Advanced Data Insights

Effective supply chain management requires not only tracking the physical whereabouts of your goods but also analyzing data to optimize processes, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions. Unfortunately, AirTag falls woefully short in this regard. While AirTag can provide location information for tagged items, it does not have the capacity for sophisticated data insights and analytics, as it primarily focuses on a basic tracking functionality that does not necessitate comprehensive analytics.

AirFinder’s Comprehensive Data Insights

Commercial asset tracking solutions like AirFinder are designed to go beyond basic location tracking capabilities. Instead, they provide rich data insights and analytics capabilities that you can use to optimize your supply chain’s performance. Our system gathers data on asset utilization, transit times, temperature variations, and other relevant parameters, all based on your unique needs. By analyzing this data, your business is better equipped to identify inefficiencies, streamline processes, and make data-driven decisions to improve overall efficiency and reduce operational costs. 

Airtag’s Vulnerability to Interference and Tampering

AirTag relies on Bluetooth technology, which can be susceptible to interference from physical barriers or other wireless devices. Because of this, AirTag's accuracy and reliability within dense warehouse environments or industrial areas with signal interference is often compromised. Moreover, AirTag's small size and simple design make it extremely vulnerable to tampering or removal, which can lead to inaccurate location data or loss of the tag itself.

AirFinder’s Durability and Security

AirFinder products are designed with durability in mind, built to withstand harsh environments, extreme temperatures, vibration, and physical impact. The robust construction of our devices makes them far more suitable to the rigors of industrial use cases within manufacturing, logistics, and construction, where reliability and longevity are essential for continuous and uninterrupted tracking of valuable assets. 

Our devices also offer enhanced data security. Link Labs’ commercial-grade tracking devices employ advanced encryption protocols to protect sensitive tracking data from unauthorized access or tampering. They utilize secure communication channels with industry-standard security measures, including secure cloud storage and user authentication protocols. Furthermore, our asset tracking devices offer granular control over data access rights, allowing you to define roles and permissions for different stakeholders involved in your supply chain. These robust security features come together to provide a higher level of data protection, ensuring that critical information about your assets remains secure and confidential.

AirTag’s Cost Considerations

Deploying AirTag devices at a large scale is an extremely costly endeavor. Your company will have to invest in purchasing and attaching AirTags to each individual item while considering ongoing maintenance, replacement costs, and potential subscription fees for utilizing Apple's services. From a financial standpoint, this may not be feasible for all companies, especially if you have a smaller business with limited resources.

AirFinder’s Lowest Cost in All Respects

Our solution offers a massive cost advantage compared to Apple AirTags. We offer a range of affordable options that cater to the specific needs of our customers, so you can stick to your budget and never pay for what you don’t want or need. Unlike AirTags, the pricing of our AirFinder solution is designed with business-scale operations in mind. We also provide further savings by reducing the need for component replacements through the durable, long-lasting design of our supply chain visibility software devices. 

Why Choose Link Labs’ AirFinder?

Link Labs' AirFinder solution presents the most effective choice for addressing supply chain issues. When you implement AirFinder, your business gains real-time visibility into its assets throughout the supply chain, mitigating common challenges such as loss, theft, and inefficient asset management. Our robust and reliable technology ensures seamless connectivity and wide coverage, and our scalability and customization options allow for tailored solutions that meet your unique needs. Further, with advanced data and analytics capabilities, AirFinder empowers you to optimize your processes, identify bottlenecks, and make data-driven decisions for improved efficiency and cost savings. Want to learn more about how Link Labs’ AirFinder solution can solve your current supply chain issues? Visit our website and book a demo today.

The Ultimate Guide to Cold Chain Logistics

Written by Carson W. Garner

Carson W. Garner is a proactive business development and marketing professional with the goal of turning opportunities into sales. At Link Labs, Carson is heavily involved with project management, sales, customer success, and he hosts Link Labs' podcast Get Linked. Holding a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing, Carson brings creativity, vision, organization, and dedication to the Link Labs team.

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