What Is An Asset Tag, Anyway?


If you’re new to the world of asset tracking, you may ask, “What is an asset tag, anyway?” The simplest asset tag definition may be this: An asset tag identifies a piece of equipment, tool, or other fixed assets with a designated and unique serial number or barcode.

An asset tag may be made of various materials, like plastic, polyester, vinyl, aluminum, or metal; it may be either curved or flat; maybe laminated; and/or may have an adhesive backing.

Which Assets Should Be Tagged?

Which items require an asset tag? While not every item needs an asset tag, the answer is more items than you may think. To determine if the item needs a tag, you’ll want to ask yourself if the item is business-critical, if it could pose a severe liability to your business if it’s lost, stolen, or malfunctions, or if it would be expensive to repair or replace it.

Examples include:

  • Computers, external hard drives, mobile phones and tablets, and other IT equipment.
  • Major appliances like water heaters, air conditioners, and refrigerators.
  • Company vehicles, including cars, vans, and trucks.
  • Office furniture.
  • Machines and equipment, including power tools, medical equipment, turbines, etc.

What is the Purpose of an Asset Tag?

The purpose of an asset tag reaches beyond the identification of an asset. The barcode displayed on the tag often contains data that helps business owners track and manage an asset throughout its entire lifecycle, curb loss and theft, perform audits of their inventory and assets, calculate values, keep up with routine maintenance, and much more.

Tag and Track Your Assets

Without a formal asset tracking system, companies typically rely on a manual process to track and manage their assets. Unfortunately, those processes almost certainly result in mistakes, from the occasional typo or accidental duplication to the oversight or gap in recordkeeping. It’s challenging to keep up with the unique information attached to your assets because it’s often in flux.

Assets may be moving throughout your organization, changing hands frequently. Your inventory levels are constantly changing, items are being received and sold in various locations, and depreciation depends upon factors like the item’s age and condition. Each piece of equipment you own has its insurance policy, warranty, maintenance schedule, and history. Values must be tracked and reported for accounting and compliance purposes.

The Steps to Asset Tagging

If you’ve been considering the implementation of a formal inventory or asset tracking system for your organization, choosing an asset tag is the first step of the process. If your inventory and/or assets are exposed to the elements, you’ll want to purchase a durable asset tag that can withstand such conditions. And if you’re concerned about tampering, you’ll be on the lookout for tamper-proof tags. Both options are available on sites like BuyAssetTags.com, which offers a complete selection of tags and labels designed to meet your needs.

Next, you’ll need an asset and/or inventory tracking software, including a scanner. This is where you have numerous options. One thing about which we can all be sure is that technology will continue to evolve. Ideally, you’ll want to find a flexible solution to incorporate new technologies as they become available. You’ll also want a user-friendly solution to encourage participation by every stakeholder involved in the lifecycle of your assets and inventory.

Asset Panda's Asset Tagging Software

Asset Panda offers the world's most powerful yet intuitive asset tracking platform. Our online store provides a complete selection of tags and labels for your needs, and our free mobile apps include a built-in scanner – so everything you need to track and manage your assets is as near as your smartphone.

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