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November 06, 2019 08:11 AM

The Complete Guide to Asset Tagging: Methods, Best Practices, and More

Asset tagging is very important for organisations planning to manage large volumes of business equipment in an efficient way. Companies can acquire different types of assets to facilitate their daily operations.

Different tools and equipment get circulated within various departments or even across different locations. This increases the risk that comes with misplacement, loss and theft. To reduce administrative overheads, companies have to track their assets carefully. The best way to do this is to label all the tools and equipment with asset tags and ensure they follow asset tagging best practices from the get-go.

Asset tags are basically adhesive labels that can be attached on equipment for better inventory control and easy asset identification. They contain unique asset codes or serial numbers that give specific details about the location, group or any other element of the asset. Today, two of the most popular asset identification methods are RFID and using Barcode labels.

Organisations can use barcode label asset tags to quickly and easily identify inventory across the whole organisation or in the entire supply chain. Barcodes are assigned a unique identification number or symbol which can only be scanned using an asset tracking software solution found in handheld scanners or mobile devices. Some barcode label software can even include maintenance schedules, warranty information, maintenance history for assets, and so much more.

Even though organisations use labels that scan and produce additional information about the item in question, they still require to come up with a proper asset tagging solution. Any company that uses asset tags for asset identification needs a clearly defined and efficient process that manages the assets. By tagging and monitoring assets throughout their lifecycle, they can plan and execute inventory control and ultimately business performance.

 

Asset Tagging Best Practices

Labelling assets is not an easy task. There are many elements at play such as the type of assets you want to label, the conditions the asset tag has to go through and the data one has to include in the label. Here are some asset tagging best practices that organisations should embrace:

 

Pick item IDs with care

If your employees tend to travel a lot with tools and machines, your organisation should learn to implement an asset labelling routine that incorporates the location, item, and department code within the item ID or AIN itself. To increase efficiency, one can assign different codes to different locations, such as TX for the branch in Texas. If you were to implement this, each device category can have its own specific code.

For instance, if you can input L00 for laptops, then choose a specific set of numbers to distinguish different departments, such as 100 for IT. The result showcasing a certain laptop from the IT department in Texas could be identified as TXL00100. This effectively enables one to know all the important details of an item right from the item ID.

 

Including Procurement Details

For high-maintenance assets, it is essential to record the year of purchase right on the asset label. This makes eases depreciation and maintenance management so that new items undergoing maintenance can be quickly identified for more exclusive examination. It also makes it easier to identify an item that is almost completing its useful life, therefore, no extra costs should be spent for its upgrade.

 

Use Color-Coded Tags

Companies that have new projects every season can find it hard to maintain different packing lists and have straight custody records. Regular businesses might get confused in differentiating assets from different departments, or assets that look similar but encompass different properties. To make it easier for you, colour coding makes asset identification seamless. For example, if you have the same HP laptops but one with 4GB RAM and the other with 8GB RAM, you can use different for either.

 

Customize Data

Depending on the assets you have, you can record specific data to have a database that actually provides worthy insights. For instance, barcode labels can entail the manufacturer's name, serial number and tracking number, including information on which project the asset is tied to. This makes it easier for employees to access detailed information of a certain item, and gather reports to improve future operations.

 

How Asset Tagging Improves Efficiency

Asset tagging can be very complicated if one starts off wrongly. Having an outline of your organisation’s assets in place can simplify asset tagging and support efficient lifecycle management. Firstly, one can choose the right labelling strategy by having a good understanding of your business goals and objectives. Ultimately, it will seamlessly encourage better efficiencies according to your operations. One can lower costs, improve equipment ROIs, and forego the risk of asset loss, theft and misplacement.