Best Practices for Tagging and Tracking with Asset Barcodes
The global asset tracking market will reach $36.3B by 2025. Clearly, smart businesses know the importance of asset tagging and tracking. And with asset barcode tags, tracking your company’s fixed assets is affordable and accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Asset tagging isn't as complex as it seems. Barcode tags in particular are a great way to bring organization and accuracy to the way you manage technology and important business equipment. With a few best practices and software, you can start reaping the benefits.
Read on to learn the ins and outs of asset tracking and how barcode tags compare to other technologies. We’ll cover some best practices for using asset barcodes and tracking software to make the most of your organization’s fixed assets.
What is asset barcode tracking?
Asset tracking is the process of keeping track of assets. It can be anything from a company’s inventory to a person’s personal belongings. Asset tracking monitors the movement of assets to know where they are and when they are used.
You can do this manually, but most businesses would benefit from using tagging and tracking technology. This will typically involve a unique tag or label, a scanner to read the tag, and asset management software. To track assets efficiently, many companies use barcodes or other methods like RFID tags (more on those later). Because they only require a black and white printed label, barcodes are a simple way of creating unique identification for your asset labeling.
Asset tracking is important for many companies and individuals. This is because it helps them manage their resources efficiently. This process is also crucial for businesses to avoid theft, damage, and loss of business materials.
Benefits of Asset Tracking
The first big benefit of asset labeling and tracking is that it allows companies to get the most out of their resources. Each asset’s tag can be linked to important information about the item, such as when it was purchased, when maintenance was performed, and even who used it last. When businesses have documentation about their assets, it’s easier to keep up with maintenance and plan for the costs of repairs or replacement.
Asset tracking is also important for financial recordkeeping. For fixed assets (property that a business uses to create value for more than one year), the Internal Revenue Service allows you to deduct depreciation. Accurate records of your asset’s value over time can save you money when tax season comes around.
It also makes sure that they are not losing important equipment through theft or mismanagement. For example, if an employee needs to use a piece of equipment, your asset manager can scan the tag and document who is using it. Then if the item goes missing, the company knows who used it last.
Additional benefits of asset tracking:
- Reduce inventory costs
- Improve productivity and efficiency
- Streamline operations
- Avoid theft by tracking employee movement
- Minimize shrinkage
- Identify trends
Companies must have a system that can provide them with information about their assets at any given time.
Asset barcodes vs RFID tags
Barcodes are one of the most common tools for asset tagging. Most people have seen them in retail stores. They typically look like a series of black lines or bars over a white background, and the label may also include a number.
A barcode scanner directs a beam of light at the label and identifies the barcode by the way the light reflects back. The barcode is linked to a digital record of the item. At a grocery store, the record might just be what the item is and how much it costs, but organizations can add other information about the item.
Radio Frequency-Identification technology (RFID) tags are another type of asset label. They use antennae and microchips to send information through radio waves. This more advanced technology can store more information in the tag, but it’s also a more expensive system.
Because they use radio waves instead of light reflection, you don’t have to be able to see an RFID tag in order to scan it. This makes them a good choice for tracking large quantities and inventories.
It’s important to note that neither barcodes or RFID tags track location in real time, like you can with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Both types of tags require a scanner for use.
Barcodes vs QR codes
Quick response (QR) codes are another well-known tag. Like barcodes, QR codes are unique black and white images. While barcodes are a series of lines, QR codes usually look like a pixelated square. Because the QR code is read in two dimensions (horizontal and vertical) it can store more information than a barcode (which is only read horizontally.
Obviously, barcodes and QR codes look different. Barcodes are usually a series of lines or bars. A QR (quick response) code is typically a pixelated square. Although QR codes are most often scanned with mobile devices and users to a webpage, they can also be used for asset tagging.
Benefits of tracking assets with barcodes
The biggest benefit of using barcodes over other types of asset tags is that barcodes are very affordable and accessible. You can easily buy customer barcode tags online, or you can even print them yourself. When choosing your labels, however, keep in mind any wear and tear. A barcode printed on a paper address sticker won’t stand up to water or friction.
If you’re concerned about how user-friendly a system is, barcodes are the tag most people are already familiar with. All they have to do is point the barcode scanner at the label. The drawback is that your employees will need to have a direct line of sight to the barcode.
Best practices for asset barcode tagging
There are many ways to create an asset barcode tagging system. Here, we'll discuss the best practices that will help your business be successful.
Categorize your assets
The importance of categorization is that it helps in finding assets with ease. It also helps in the workflow process by making sure that the right asset gets to the right person. This is especially important when you want to manage a large number of assets and are not able to find them easily.
Categorizing also helps with asset management.
Store essential information for each asset
Storing essential information for assets can help companies to make the most out of their tagging process.
Asset management is important for any business. It is important to store all the information related to an asset so you can use it in future projects. Tagging assets with relevant information helps the company to make use of them efficiently and quickly.
Choose barcode tags carefully
Asset tags help you keep track of your assets and make sure you can find them easily when needed.
You should choose tags carefully because they can also affect the organization of your files. It also impacts how they appear in search results and where they are stored on a computer or network.
Tags should be descriptive enough so that they can easily find the asset when needed again. However, they should not be so broad that it is difficult to tell what type of asset it is.
Choose the best asset tagging software for your business
Asset tracking software is a type of software that helps to monitor the location of an asset. It can help to track the location of an asset on a map or in real-time. You can also use it for other purposes such as inventory management. You can use it to track the progress of work across several industries, including education and government agencies.
Asset tracking systems are an important tool to help businesses keep track of their assets. It helps them to manage their inventory and track their assets. It also makes sure they are not wasting money on purchasing the same item twice.
Use color-coded barcode tags
When it comes to managing assets and their location, color coding is a crucial factor. The color codes help with the identification of assets in a cluttered environment and they also help in locating them easily. This is a simple and inexpensive way to help your team sort equipment without necessarily having to scan each individual asset.
It is important to use different colors for different types of assets. If asset tags are not color-coded, it becomes difficult for employees to know what goes where and what they need to follow up on.
Make sure barcode labels are easy to scan
In order to read a barcode, your scanner needs to have a direct line of sight. That means that when you tag physical assets with barcodes, the labels need to be in a place that’s easy to find and scan.
When applying asset barcodes, you should consider three important questions:
- Is the barcode easy to find?
- Is the barcode easy to scan?
- Is it likely to wear out or be damaged?
Customize your data
Asset tracking is a process of managing physical items as well as intangible assets. It is important to have customized data in asset tracking because it tracks the progress of assets. It also makes sure that they are not misplaced or stolen.
You can track assets manually or with the help of software. There are many methods for asset tracking, but they all rely on customized data collected by using digital tools.
Customized data helps companies know where their assets are at all times. This allows them to avoid issues like theft or damage that come from not knowing where their assets are.
Asset barcodes and asset tracking software
As we mentioned, good asset tracking software is key for organizing and understanding the data you’re tracking. An asset management system stores all the information linked to your barcode tags. Used with a barcode scanner, they allow you to instantly learn about an item and how it has been used and maintained in the past. Asset tracking software should also allow you to edit or add information linked to a barcode tag.
As with any piece of technology, companies have to consider ease of use for their employees. Asset tracking is an ongoing responsibility, so you want a system that makes it easy for your team to find and store the information they need.
RedBeam is a top-of-the-line asset management platform with an intuitive interface. All edits are logged in an asset’s history, giving you tons of context with just a glance. Along with allowing you to record the usual data, RedBeam also allows you to create custom fields for your specific needs.
Get help creating an asset tagging system today
In this article, we discuss the best practices for asset tagging. We hope you now have a clear understanding of what it is and why it's important for your company. With the help of asset management software, it's never been this easy to manage assets!
At RedBeam, we have the expertise to help companies create asset tagging systems. Our unique asset tracking software makes it a breeze to keep track of what you have. We are happy to help if you are struggling with this step!
RedBeam has formed a solid partnership with some of the leading manufacturers resellers in the asset tracking industry, including Zebra Technologies. With their cutting-edge technologies, Zebra helps us provide customers with a comprehensive asset tracking package that is fully compatible with RedBeam software. Zebra's products are backed by their exceptional warranty and guarantee that improves the speed and efficiency of asset tracking operations. As we are experts in Zebra products, we can offer customized hardware recommendations to match your business needs and budget.
If you are interested in learning more, contact us or check out our asset management solution.