The Luck of the Draw With Bar Code Guns

How was the Wild West won? Probably not with bar code guns. But if the cowboys of old needed a modern way to keep up with their various assets, then today’s revolutionary way of tracking assets and barcode scanning would have fit the bill!

In the “old days” – say early 2000’s – assets were tracked one of two ways:
  • a handwritten ledger
  • a shared electronic spreadsheet (ie Excel)

For a while, these were common, acceptable forms of tracking assets. But they were also quite time-consuming and prone to errors. One illegible letter or number written as an asset was entered or an accidental deletion of a column of data on an excel sheet proved to be very costly.

Then bar code guns (back to our Wild West reference) came into play. These are familiar tools we see every day at the grocery store, in retail outlets, etc. They simplified the process of scanning barcodes on assets or even SKUs of inventory and uploaded the data to one central location. This instant scan eliminated many of the errors seen with ledgers and spreadsheets. Now more accurate data was available about where an asset was, its check in/check out status, and when it was entered into the system.

But they had a downside. They were expensive, and often times needed by many different employees, so adding multiple to the budget was a heavy financial expense. With scanners being passed from one employee to the next or transferred between facilities – sometimes never to be found again, it was very common for these scanners to be lost or misplaced. They also broke down and needed a lot of maintenance and repair. Putting one out of service could impact productivity. If employees didn’t have instant access to the scanner, they may simply just skip the important step of tracking an asset – and that skip could affect other employees who needed that asset.

Thankfully, we’ve evolved from our Wild West, bar code gun days. Barcode scanners have come a long way they are now useable on tools that employees already carry — smartphones and tablets. Today’s barcode scanners capture all the necessary and most up-to-date data on an asset for its entire lifecycle. Asset tracking software comes with associated mobile apps that allow users to turn any smartphone or tablet into a fully functional barcode scanner. With one simple scan of a barcode, the scanner sends data to the affiliated asset tracking software and allows all eligible users to access and maintain the data anytime and from anywhere. From where an asset is and who has it, the check in/check out status, and a complete maintenance history, it’s all in the palm of your hand whenever you need it.

One of the most valuable features of Asset Panda and its asset tracking software platform is the integrated barcode scanning function that is included in the mobile app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices. Asset Panda users are finding that there is no need ever again to purchase expensive barcode scanning devices and any user with a mobile device can quickly search, update and maintain accurate asset records.

Asset Panda stores the complete lifecycle of every one of your vital assets. Once you enter an item’s code with the mobile barcode scanner, you can add supporting documents, photos, voice notes, and videos. Within seconds, you can track an item’s exact location, the identity of the person who has it, its check-in/check-out status, insurance policy information, lease/purchase information, complete maintenance history and appreciation/depreciation figures, among many other pieces of information.

Asset Panda is completely flexible and customizable, working the way you need it to. Users are able to set up custom fields, actions like notifications and alerts, link groups of data and generate reports. You can monitor check-in/check-out status, pull up lease/purchase, service contract and insurance information, review maintenance schedules, and even create work orders. Because the apps sync with the cloud, you have the assurance that the data provided is both real-time and accurate – which helps prevent errors, penalties and wasted time and money.

It’s time to say goodbye to those bar code guns of the past and hello to Asset Panda. Sign up for a free trial today.


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.

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