Why Use A Barcode For Asset Tracking


Fun fact: Did you know that if you have a smartphone, then you already own a barcode scanner? It’s true! The small device that most of us can’t live without on a daily basis does so much more than we realize. Who knew that such a seemingly small tool can have a huge impact on the daily operations of a company or even an entire industry thanks to a simple scan of a barcode for asset tracking?

What is barcode asset tracking?

Comparesoft.com describes barcode asset tracking as “an easy to use and cost-effective way for businesses of all sizes to manage and track their physical assets. Whether being used for inventory and stock control or lifecycle management, there are two elements that make barcode asset tracking possible: a barcode label and a reader.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business, an organization or an industry (the manufacturing sector is a great example) that couldn’t benefit from comprehensive and accurate fixed asset tracking. Nearly every public-facing entity we can imagine depends on items like physical space, furniture, office supplies, land, industrial equipment and IT fixed assets (computer equipment and software) in order to function efficiently, generate revenue or otherwise maintain operations. Fixed assets are long-term, tangible pieces of property or equipment that a company or organization owns and uses in its operations to generate income. The value of these items depreciates as the assets are used. Depreciation must be recorded on the organization’s balance sheet.

Without a system of recordkeeping, organizations have no way to determine at any given time the fixed assets they own, what condition those items are in, and where those assets are located. An “out of sight, out of mind” approach leads to lost or stolen assets, ghost assets, a lot of guesswork come audit time, costly accounting and tax errors, wasted time and money, unpreparedness and general frustration.

Barcode asset tracking assigns a unique barcode to each fixed asset that, when scanned, identifies the exact location of the item along with other key attributes determined by the company. Working in concert with an asset tracking platform, barcodes can link users to such data as an item’s comprehensive maintenance history, maintenance schedule, check-in/check-out status, depreciation and associated photos, voice notes, videos or other records relevant to the item.

The benefits of tracking assets with barcodes

Barcode asset tracking delivers numerous benefits including increased inventory accuracy, faster asset data collection, lower asset tracking costs, reduced errors, simplified record-keeping and a relatively easy rollout process that requires minimal employee training.

Most modern organizations are really beginning to understand that barcode asset tracking is vital for their success – and not just for accounting and compliance purposes. By scanning barcodes, assets can be easily tracked regardless of where they are. A barcode can obtain real-time updates on a product’s location, whether it is being moved from one site to another or is in for a scheduled maintenance update. Using barcodes for asset tracking also reduces the risk of human error which can be devastating to a company if data is entered incorrectly.

Here are some additional benefits to consider when it comes to the relevance of scanning barcodes in asset tracking systems:

  • Captures of vast amounts of information about each asset
  • Increases data integrity
  • Increased accountability
  • Reduction of labor costs due to shorter time of inventory data entry
  • Immediate access to the location of each asset
  • Eliminates missed maintenance schedules

Barcode asset tracking on mobile devices

Simply put, combining the asset tracking function from scanning barcodes to a mobile asset tracking app provides immediate, real-time and accurate results, eliminates the inefficiency and potential for error associated with manual asset tracking, and saves companies time and money while promoting accountability among its employees.

There are dozens of apps available that give your phone the ability to scan barcodes of all sorts, from 2D to QR codes to the classic black bars. In the not-so-distant past, to keep track of a company’s vital fixed assets, administrators had to use a separate handheld barcode scanner to enter each item into their records. Those scanners were typically limited in number due to the fact that they were quite expensive. And just like most hardware, handheld scanners required service and eventually replacement. It’s no secret that we’re all trying to do more with less, scrutinizing the bottom line and searching for faster, more effective ways to do our jobs. And when it comes to asset tracking, the use of smartphones or tablets equipped with up-to-date asset tracking software featuring barcode scanning capabilities is revolutionizing the way assets are tracked.

Imagine the ability to manage the entire world of your fixed assets – including your IT assets – from your smartphone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no other equipment required. Asset tracking with barcodes offers unparalleled convenience when combined with a mobile scanner. This greatly streamlines the asset tracking process and makes it possible for companies and organizations to maximize the use of the tracking system by all stakeholders involved in the lifecycles of their fixed assets.

Asset Panda’s simple but powerful mobile asset tracking platform is steadily gaining ground as the true leader when it comes to asset tracking. Asset Panda’s free Android and iPhone/iPad mobile apps sync with the cloud and include a mobile barcode scanner, which is a key component of the software. When your barcode scanner is tied to an asset tracking app like Asset Panda, the entire lifecycle of each of your vital assets lives in the palm of your hand. Access your data anytime, anywhere within seconds. From your smartphone or tablet, you’re able to enter and view such information as where an asset is and who has it, check in/check out status, maintenance schedule, purchase/lease information, depreciation statistics, etc and so much more.

Keep track of IT assets with barcoding

IT asset tracking is a particularly essential part of the asset tracking discussion because IT is precisely where companies invest thousands, if not millions of dollars. The failure to maintain and accurately track these assets can make a significant and negative impact on the bottom line.

Among the most valuable benefits of IT asset tracking is the transparency it brings to your IT asset management efforts. Users have the ability to identify and eliminate problematic IT assets – for example, assets that have had repeated issues and are causing regular delays and other disruptions to workflow. Better visibility into your IT assets also helps administrators stop duplicate purchases before they happen and identify where available assets may be sitting idle so that they may be transferred to teams that need them. An IT asset tracking platform also helps companies stay on top of their records when fixed assets are removed from inventory. In the long term, accurate recordkeeping prevents the all-too-common occurrence of ghost assets, which result when companies continue to pay insurance costs for items that aren’t in their respective inventories anymore. They can also set up notifications to ensure that they follow the appropriate end-of-life replacement procedures for fixed assets. The ability to establish custom alerts helps IT managers keep up with routine updates and service, which doesn’t just keep IT assets running as quickly and efficiently as possible. It also reduces risk exposure, as slow-moving IT equipment that hasn’t been properly maintained and updated can make it easier for would-be hackers to gain access.

From a cost savings standpoint, with Asset Panda, your asset tracking system doesn’t require the servicing or replacement associated with handheld barcode scanners. Now you and your employees are able to cut back on wasted time (and money) searching for lost assets or trying to remember the last time a piece of equipment was serviced. And with Asset Panda, you’re entitled to an unlimited number of users at no additional cost, enabling you to add as many stakeholders as you’d like.

Simple and efficient tracking can make a profound difference in a company’s bottom line. Better resource management produces significant savings of time and money. Get a demo of Asset Panda today to learn more.


Audra London

Audra London, founder of Conceptual Communications, LLC, has over 10 years of writing, public relations and marketing experience and serves as an expert on press releases, media relations, feature writing, web content and marketing copy.

See Asset Panda in action

Our FREE demo will show how we can transform your asset management system