Digital Transformation in Action: A Guide to Selecting the Ideal RTLS System for Your Business

March 14, 2024 by ivan

In an era of rapid technological advancement, companies across all industries are turning to digital transformation to gain competitive advantage and improve operational efficiency. At its core, digital transformation is about harnessing the power of technology to optimize processes, increase efficiency, and drive innovation in all aspects of a company’s operations. This can include cloud computing and data analytics, artificial intelligence, real-time location systems (RTLS), etc.

For companies, digital transformation isn’t just about incorporating new technologies into existing workflows; it’s about rethinking the entire business model and implementing a culture of continuous innovation. It often requires a fundamental change to many established systems, as well as a willingness to challenge traditional ways of doing things and embrace change at every level of the organization. Embracing digital menu QR code can be a part of this transformation, enabling businesses to enhance their offerings and streamline customer experiences.

One of the most important innovations is real-time locating systems, designed to streamline work operations, increase transparency, and improve decision-making processes. In this detailed guide, we will explain the features of RTLS and provide key selection criteria for your digital transformation goals.

RTLS: features and work

Real-time locating systems (RTLS) have been used around the world for over 20 years and are becoming increasingly popular. They offer companies a fresh perspective on business development, and the market for these systems is experiencing steady growth, projected to reach US$12.7 billion by 2026.


A real-time location system helps determine the real-time location of any object. When implemented within a company’s infrastructure, it allows for the creation of digital building maps, displaying the real-time location of people, equipment, tools, vehicles, and more. RTLS enables users to not only locate these objects but also control their movements and collect movement analytics.

System usage plays a significant role in digital transformation. Its implementation contributes to digital transformation by enabling companies to:

  • radically improve the safety of people and expensive equipment;
  • optimize business processes;
  • improve the quality of customer service;
  • increase customer loyalty;
  • ensure the efficiency of production and logistics processes;
  • reduce operating costs;
  • improve labor productivity by monitoring employees and work processes;
  • get a direct channel of communication with customers.

Effective utilization of RTLS technologies in a company’s operations requires several key components: sensors (beacons or tags), receiving devices (gateways), and dedicated software. Sensors can be strategically positioned throughout rooms or attached to mobile objects like vehicles and employee badges. These sensors transmit radio signals at designated intervals, which are received by readers and processed by the software. The processed data, including the precise coordinates of each object, is then displayed on a computer or mobile application.

Various technologies can be employed to implement an RTLS system. The most common are Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE), Ultra-Wideband (UWB), and Wi-Fi, all of which provide highly accurate object location, ranging from 12 inches to several feet. Additionally, all these technologies boast low energy consumption, ensuring low operational costs for the equipment.

How to choose the right RTLS system for your business

An important condition for effective digital transformation is the correct choice of an RTLS system for your specific business. When choosing the right technologies, you need to take into account many different criteria – from the object tracking goals and environment for implementing the platform to the company’s budget and the right supplier.


Due to the large number of technologies that differ in accuracy, range, and other parameters, you should determine the purposes for using the platform. For example, UWB has high accuracy but requires high implementation costs, so it’s more suitable for tracking expensive assets. RFID, on the other hand, is affordable but has a short operating range, and can require a huge number of tags when used at large sites. To accurately make your choice, you need to answer the following questions:

  • what the system will be used to track (people, assets, or both);
  • should you use stationary equipment or wearable tags;
  • what budget can be allocated to implementing the platform.

Implementation environment

If you want RTLS sensors to effectively cope with their tasks, you need to take into account the environment where they will be used. When selecting real-time location technologies, pay attention to the following points:

  • temperature, humidity level indoors;
  • type and characteristics of controlled objects;
  • storage options for goods and equipment;
  • the need for coverage (when placing objects in basements or deep rooms inside a building);
  • storage conditions.

Precision and technology

Accuracy plays a critical role in tracking, influenced by both the chosen technology and the frequency of location updates. Businesses have varying accuracy needs, with some requiring precise asset monitoring and others needing long-range tracking. For instance, tracking forklifts or wheelchairs requires less accuracy than monitoring smaller items like small packages in warehouses or infusion pumps in clinics. To achieve the desired level of monitoring precision, leveraging technologies like Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) is recommended.


Implementing real-time location technologies can increase the load on existing infrastructure. To address this, using a dedicated network designed solely for the platform’s operation is recommended. This approach helps maintain system functionality and minimize hacking risks. However, if a dedicated network is not feasible, careful integration of the positioning system into the existing network architecture is crucial.

Selecting the right supplier

The system’s quality and durability hinge on selecting the right supplier. Prioritize organizations with a strong reputation and extensive experience in the market. While trusted suppliers may command higher service fees, these are often offset by smooth system operation and reliable technical support, ultimately minimizing long-term costs.

Solution cost

Calculating the budget for implementing a real-time location system can be a complex process, as the cost depends on many factors, such as:

  • equipment and software;
  • installing beacons, tags, and reading devices;
  • IT integration costs;
  • current operating costs, such as electricity consumption, replacement of power supplies in sensors, and cloud storage;
  • after-sales service after project implementation.


When selecting RTLS technologies, it’s crucial to take a future-oriented approach aligned with your company’s growth trajectory. To avoid potential tracking limitations down the line, consider the system’s scalability as your business expands. While predicting the future of your business 5-10 years ahead is impossible, planning for additional capacity and maximizing platform flexibility will equip you to adapt effectively.

Bottom line

In conclusion, implementing an RTLS system necessitates careful consideration. By adopting a proactive approach, you can leverage this technology to achieve a fruitful digital transformation that enhances operational security, optimizes company operations, reduces costs, and ultimately boosts revenue.