What Is An Asset Tag, Anyway?

scanning-asset-tagsIf you’re new to the world of asset tracking, you may be asking “What is an asset tag, anyway?” The simplest definition may be this one: An asset tag identifies a piece of equipment, tool, or other fixed asset 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; may be either curved or flat; may be laminated; and/or may have an adhesive backing.

What 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 at hand needs a tag, you’ll want to ask yourself if the item is business-critical; if it could pose a serious 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; and machines and equipment including power tools, medical equipment, turbines, and much more.

The purpose of an asset tag reaches beyond the identification of an asset. The barcode displayed on the tag often contains additional 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

Without a formal 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 extremely difficult to keep up with the unique information attached to each of your assets because it’s often in flux. Your inventory levels are changing constantly, items are being received and sold in various locations, and depreciation depends upon factors like the item’s age and condition. Assets may be moving throughout your organization, changing hands frequently. Each piece of equipment you own has its own insurance policy, warranty, maintenance schedule and maintenance history. Values must be tracked and reported for accounting and compliance purposes.

Steps to Tagging

If you’ve been considering the implementation of a formal inventory and/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 going to be exposed to the elements, you’ll want to purchase an asset tag that’s durable – one that can withstand such conditions. If you’re concerned about tampering, then you’ll be on the lookout for tamper-proof tags. Both options are available on sites like BuyAssetTags.com, which offers a full selection of tags and labels designed to meet your needs.

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

Asset Panda offers the most powerful, yet intuitive asset tracking platform in the world. Our online store, BuyAssetTags.com, provides a full 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.

To learn more, visit assetpanda.com



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