Asset Tagging

What Is Asset Tagging?

Asset tagging is the process of affixing tags or labels to assets to identify each one individually and track data, from real-time location to maintenance history. These tags can be assigned to both fixed and movable assets across multiple sites and warehouses, providing a holistic view of owned assets.

Asset data collected through tagging can include real-time location, users, purchase history, maintenance schedules, and depreciation value.

Asset Tagging

Why It’s Important to Tag Your Assets

Asset tracking with digitized tools has long been essential for asset-intensive businesses, but it all begins with asset tagging. Choosing the right tags to collect data on physical assets is crucial. Tagging mission-critical assets helps prevent theft, improves inventory control, and enables real-time tracking.

  • Save Time and Resources Locating Equipment: In environments with numerous movable assets across multiple locations, manually searching for a specific item can be time-consuming. Asset tagging allows for quick identification and location tracking, especially with real-time technology like RFID tags and GPS trackers. In healthcare, for example, quick access to medical assets can save lives and countless hours otherwise spent searching.
  • Reduce Costs Associated With Loss and Theft: Tagging assets with trackable tags and labels ensures their whereabouts are always known. This information in an asset register minimizes the risk of losing critical revenue-generating assets, such as spare parts, tools, or stock. For instance, job site theft costs the construction sector $1 billion annually due to a lack of asset visibility.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Successful Asset Tagging

The asset tagging process comprises four essential steps:

  1. Assigning a Unique Identification Number: Each asset is assigned a unique ID number to distinguish it in the asset tracking system. This number aids in reordering, maintenance, and accounting.
  2. Choosing a Suitable Tag or Label: Various options exist for tagging assets, each with distinct characteristics. Factors to consider include durability in different environments and security capabilities. Options include RFID tags, GPS trackers, NFC tags, barcodes, and QR codes.
  3. Creating an Asset Profile: Accurate asset data matching the intended asset is essential. This information is used to create detailed profiles accessible through the asset tagging system. Data may include serial numbers, manufacturer details, purchase dates, locations, conditions, values, and expected usable life.
  4. Affixing an Asset Tag: Once assets are identified, and profiles are created, tags are affixed using pressure-sensitive adhesive methods or mechanical attachments.

Different Types of Asset Tags and Labels

Several tags and labels are available for asset tagging, each with its own advantages:

  • RFID Tags: RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags offer long-range and accurate data reading. Passive and active RFID tags are common choices, with applications in various industries. For example, RFID technology improved stock accuracy from 70% to 98% for a retail company.
  • Barcode and QR Code Labels: Barcode labels, scanned with handheld devices or smartphones, are cost-effective and popular for asset tracking, particularly in warehouses and stock rooms.
  • GPS Trackers: GPS tracking communicates with satellites to provide real-time location data, making it suitable for large movable assets like equipment and vehicles.
  • NFC Tags: NFC (Near Field Communication) tags offer two-way communication, transmit data between electronic devices and tags, and are equipped with faster processing speeds and better accuracy.

Selecting the appropriate asset tags and labels is essential for effective asset tagging. Consider factors like durability, size, barcode vs. RFID, tracking software compatibility, tamper-proofing, customization options, and your budget.

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