The Value of Barcode Tracking for Tools and Equipment

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Your company relies on tools and equipment day in and day out. From small inventory items to large industrial equipment, each of these assets plays a vital role in your team’s productivity and, in turn, your organization’s success.  

This means that losing track of your equipment or finding it unexpectedly damaged can be detrimental to your business operations. Let's face it: it’s hard to improve your bottom line when you have a hole in your bucket. But with the right barcode tracking solution, you can easily manage your tools and equipment and increase accountability across your team. In this blog post, we’ll explore what exactly barcode tracking is, the benefits of it, and tips to select the right barcode tracking platform. 

What is Barcode Tracking? 

Barcode tracking is your ticket to plugging that hole in the bucket. It shows you what you have and where it is at all times and is one of the easiest, most cost-efficient ways to manage your tools and equipment.  

But before we take an in-depth look at barcode tracking, let’s get back to the basics – when we say tools and equipment, which industries do we have in mind? Virtually any business can improve efficiency with barcode tracking, but here are a few industries we frequently see: 

  • Construction 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Utilities 
  • First responders 

No matter the industry you’re in or the types of equipment you use, the concept of barcode tracking remains the same – it works by assigning a unique barcode to every asset. The ideal equipment management software should allow you to create and scan these barcodes so you can access an item’s full record history, including details like: 

  • Location 
  • Assignment status 
  • Maintenance schedule and history 
  • Relevant attachments like photos, voice notes, videos, etc. 

    4 Benefits of Tracking Your Tools and Equipment with Barcodes 

    Now that we’ve covered what barcode tracking is and how it works, let’s review 4 specific benefits it can provide your organization. 

    Faster Data Collection 

    With barcode tracking, you can capture vast amounts of information about a piece of equipment with a single scan. Whether you're logging a new item or auditing your equipment inventory, you can streamline once manual processes and get back valuable time. 

    Reduced Costs 

    Beyond saving time and resources, barcode tracking is an affordable and effective solution for businesses of all sizes. As your team continues to boost its efficiency and productivity, you’ll realize a high ROI. 

    Lower Risk of Errors and Downtime 

    Since barcode tracking helps you quickly and consistently conduct equipment inventory audits, you can easily stay on top of routine maintenance schedules or repairs to reduce downtime. Plus, barcode tracking also severely reduces the risk of human error when it comes to manual asset entry. Manual entry has a 1 in 300 character error rate, whereas barcode tracking’s error rate is 1 in 36 trillion characters. Is there even a competition at that point? 

    Access to Real-time Data 

    By conducting your equipment management workflows with a single scan, barcode tracking makes it easy to keep your records up to date at all times. And with a mobile asset management app, your field workers can easily access real-time equipment records on-site. 

    Barcode Tracking vs. RFID 

    When it comes to tracking equipment with barcodes, the actual barcode labels themselves are self-adhesive. Stick them on, point your scanner or mobile device, and your data is captured. So, you may be wondering, how exactly do barcodes compare to RFID tags? 

    RFID tags use chips to track assets, making them a bit more technologically advanced. You can scan tags up to 15 meters away, even if they’re out of sight. RFID systems also read multiple labels at a time, while barcode scanners are limited to one barcode at a time. They contain more storage space (4 million characters vs. 2,000 characters) and are more durable than barcode labels. 

    On the flip side, RFID tags are more expensive and less universal. Barcode labels typically cost a few cents each, while RFID tags can cost between $1-30 each. While you can use barcodes anywhere, RFIDs tend to be more location-dependent. Overall, barcode tracking tends to be a more cost-effective, easier-to-implement option than RFID tracking. 

    What to Consider When Selecting Barcode Tracking Software 

    To fully reap the benefits we’ve discussed here, you first need to find the right barcode tracking software. So, where exactly do you start? 

    First, consider a solution that doesn’t require you to purchase expensive barcode-scanning hardware on top of what you’re already paying for the software. Look for a platform that offers a mobile asset management app with built-in barcode technology to get the most value out of your investment (and streamline workflows!). Ideally, software with built-in barcode technology should also allow you to create and print your own labels, once again saving you money on added supply costs. 

    Finally, make sure your chosen software offers robust mobile audit abilities. No matter the number of tools and equipment you’re tracking, being able to conduct regular audits of your inventory will help you maintain accurate data, increase accountability, and even forecast when items might need to be replaced. 

    Give Barcode Tracking a Go with Asset Panda 

    It’s no secret that barcode tracking can increase accountability as well as time and cost savings for your organization. If you’re still wondering if one platform can really offer you all these benefits and capabilities, the answer is yes. The answer is Asset Panda. 

    With Asset Panda’s robust barcode tracking software, you can keep your equipment records up to date in real time with a single scan. When you can update your inventory from anywhere, at any time, you can truly increase productivity, accountability, and data accuracy. 

    But don’t just take our word for it – see how RISE™Robotics increases efficiency by tracking every single component that goes into their RISE™Cylinder with Asset Panda’s built-in barcode technology. 

    Ready to ditch manual equipment tracking? Request your Asset Panda demo today to speak with your product expert. 

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