Asset identification is a critical process for any business because knowing which equipment you have is essential to being able to track it. If your assets are labeled incorrectly, or if you have duplicate labels, you risk facing compliance issues, falling behind with preventive maintenance, and putting your assets at risk of being stolen or lost. Utilizing asset identification best practices with fixed and movable physical assets is the foundation of efficient asset tracking for your business.
Methods of Asset Identification
The most common method of asset identification is asset tags. Also known as asset labels, asset tags can be used to identify a range of physical assets, including equipment, tools, racks, and machines. These asset tags include serial numbers that serve as unique identification numbers. Asset tags may be made of foil, aluminum, premium polyester, or vinyl.
You can use barcode label asset tags to identify your assets. Barcodes also are assigned a unique identification number, which can be scanned into an asset tracking software solution with handheld scanners or mobile devices. All the asset data is contained within the program, empowering users to locate a specific asset quickly and easily. Some programs also include maintenance schedules, warranty information, and maintenance history for assets.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tags also are an option for asset identification. Unlike barcode tags, RFID tags do not have to be directly in the line of sight of scanners to be detected because RFID readers send out radio waves detected by the antenna within the tag. One disadvantage of RFID asset tags is their cost. Not only do RFID labels cost more than barcode labels, but RFID readers are more expensive than barcode scanners.
Benefits of Asset Identification
Proper asset identification methods give your company full visibility into your assets when paired with an asset tracking solution. You will know where your assets are located, even if they are used outside your business. You also will have records of asset usage and movement. With asset tags and an asset tracking solution, companies can note the condition of fixed assets to assist in scheduling maintenance, making purchases at appropriate times, and determining the value of your business more accurately.
Identifying and tracking your assets also makes it easier to report their depreciation. It makes more financial sense for you to depreciate the expense of fixed assets to account for their declining value than to report the entire cost of the asset in one year. When you track each fixed asset’s depreciation status, you file more accurate business tax returns.
Asset identification is your first line of defense against stolen and lost assets. It also is the foundation of asset management and tracking efforts for Field Service companies.
To speed up working with multiple assets it is the best to use a build in industrial barcode terminal like the Zebra TC25. It is a pretty affordable terminal for around $500-600 with great battery life. Pairing it with a handy field service software for asset management is a must, sign up for our trial!