While we’ve seen a drastic shift to digital and remote work in the past few years, managing the physical needs of our businesses—and thus those of customers, clients, and employees—will always play a role in the business world. This is especially true for capital-intensive businesses that rely heavily on their assets to generate revenue, like the transportation, energy, and hardware technology industries. That’s why we’re going to cover exactly what asset tagging is and 4 reasons why businesses should use asset tagging in 2022.
What is Asset Tagging?
Asset tagging essentially entails affixing each physical asset with a tag or label to identify and track data about it. Data could include the asset’s location, users, maintenance schedule, and even its depreciation value. Businesses can utilize this technology on both fixed and mobile assets, spread across multiple locations.
When used in conjunction to asset tracking software, asset tagging allows businesses to track and analyze data across all assets, providing a more holistic view of the businesses’ capital. Asset tagging is one component in the larger network of the Internet of Things. Allowing your business to operate through the IoT boosts efficiency and allows you to scale.
Different types of tags collect different data, like theft prevention, inventory tracking and control, real-time tracking, and MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) schedules. The main categories of tags are barcodes, RFIDs, QR codes, and GPS tags.
The Benefits of Asset Tagging
Let’s delve a little deeper into the benefits of asset tagging.
- Streamline processes and save time. If you operate in a workplace containing many moveable assets, looking for assets manually can cost you valuable time. Especially in industries like healthcare, where time can literally make the difference in saving a life, having constant access to an asset’s location is critical. Indeed, a 2018 survey of 1000 nurses found that they spent roughly 6000 collective hours each month hunting down medical equipment for their patients. Attaching GPS or RFID chips to all of these assets would dramatically reduce this time.
- Mitigate theft and loss risks. Whether they’re spare parts, inventory, or other tools, tracking assets can help businesses to recover their assets instead of purchasing new ones.
- Make assets more efficient. Tracking asset data and evaluating inefficiencies allows businesses to continually improve the way assets are used. For example, tagging assets like machinery with a barcode could bring up a database housing all of the information about that asset, like repairs, maintenance schedules, and usage information. Resolving many small issues can lead to big changes in a business’s ability to scale.
- Decrease administrative costs. Like in our earlier example of nurses spending excessive amounts of time manually tracking down assets, housing asset data in an automated system reduces the amount of time businesses must spend having employees enter and track asset information. Especially in today’s labor crisis, businesses can’t really afford to be inefficient with human resources. Utilizing employee work hours as productively as possible is key to many businesses staying afloat.
What Kinds of Assets Should You Tag?
Not every asset needs a tag. Generally, you should track an asset if:
- The asset is critical to the business’s operations,
- The asset is a hefty liability risk should it fail; and
- The asset will lead to significant losses if damaged, misplaced, or stolen.
While all industries have their own niche assets, types businesses should include are computers and their associated hardware, office equipment (TVs, phones, printers, etc.), appliances (tracking maintenance on refrigerators, dishwashers, AC units, etc. will account for repairs, depreciation, and other related usage), Machines and tools (power tools, turbines, transformers and other equipment necessary for operation), vehicles.
Assets that reside outside will likely need more durable tags, while assets with a high theft rate or are more easily stolen would require tamper-evident tags.
There are certainly the right kinds of asset tags out there for your business, with new innovations hitting the market every day. Asset tagging is one of the best ways to prepare your business to stay ahead of the competition in the future.