The Basics of Asset Labeling

What is asset labeling and why is it important? Asset labeling is based on the concept of assigning a unique identity to each of your fixed assets. And, as a refresher, fixed assets are items a business purchases for long-term use and a company routinely uses to generate income. Some examples include: IT equipment, real estate, company vehicles, office supplies and other general equipment and tools, just to name a few.

The Benefits

Asset labeling allows a company to effectively track and manage those fixed assets. That’s helpful not only from the standpoint of knowing where each asset is located (many of these assets change hands and/or travel inside and outside the company premises), but also the ability to stay on top of updates and maintenance schedules, warranty information, depreciation, the condition of each item, lease or purchase information and much more.

Asset labeling works in conjunction with an asset tracking platform, which enables users to outsource the function of tracking and management while establishing parameters specific to the business. It’s possible to track your assets manually with an Excel spreadsheet or even pen and paper, but it’s only a matter of time before such frustrations as typos, duplication of effort, inadvertent omissions and other human errors occur. Because your asset-related data are a living, moving entity, attempting to track this information manually, quite simply, sets your company up for costly mistakes, wasted time and money. Whether you’re running a small business or a multinational corporation, making the move to an asset tracking platform is likely to increase efficiency and deliver bottom-line savings to your organization.

How They Work

You’ll begin by selecting the asset labels you want, and that’s an easy process. Online stores like give you a wide range of options, including durable labels that hold up in extreme weather and won’t degrade or fall off, and tamper-proof labels that protect your investments. Asset labeling is often established on a sequential numbering system, which is simple to incorporate. Some organizations add letters to a series of numbers in order to create subcategories – for example, distinguishing their IT assets from other equipment. When it comes to organizing your assets, the choice is yours! Depending on the sophistication you require, you might choose a 1D barcode, a straightforward means of identification or a 2D barcode, which can hold more data and may be read in any direction (so they’re easier to scan). QR codes are a commonly used type of 2D barcode. Several more advanced barcodes also are available – for example, RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, which may be placed inside an asset and scanned without being visible. We’re seeing more and more use of RFID labels as we continue to move toward a more connected society, or Internet of Things. Along with the barcode number you select for any given asset, you’ll also want to consider adding such information as the name of the asset, any relevant specs and your organization name.

You’ll also need to select a barcode scanner. With a quick online search, you’ll soon discover that they come with many different features and price points. However, what is undoubtedly the most convenient option for thousands of organizations is a mobile barcode scanner that enables employees to scan any item by opening an app on their smartphones. The success of your asset tracking efforts depends largely on how easy the system is to use. If you can implement a powerful, yet intuitive and streamlined system, your employees are far more likely to use it – and you’ll be realizing benefits like reduced asset loss and theft, simple audits, the elimination of confusion and savings of time and money – that much faster.

Asset Panda’s mobile asset tracking platform is the most powerful in the world – and that’s why clients worldwide trust us to help them track and manage millions of dollars’ worth of their most critical assets.


Courtney Roush

Courtney Roush is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist with 25 years of experience. Her favorite discipline is crisis communications – and it’s a highly relevant one in our present times.

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