Asset tags are an integral part of any asset management system. They can come in different shapes and sizes, and they’re used by organisations in a number of different ways. In this article, we look at what asset tags are, how they’re used, and the benefit of them for asset management.
What is an asset tag?
Asset tags are tags or labels that are permanently affixed to equipment and other assets. They’re used to identify and track an asset for many purposes, including inventory, accountability, maintenance, and repair.
Asset tags can come in different shapes, sizes, and forms. They can also be based on standard barcodes, QR Codes, radio-frequency identification (RFID), GPS, or Wi-Fi, allowing the tag to be quickly scanned with the relevant scanner. The tag itself could be made from materials like foil, vinyl, or polyester, and come in a tamper-evident design. An asset tag is usually associated with a unique ID number for the specific asset, and the company name and logo could feature on the tag itself.
Smart Asset’s best-in-class asset management platform supports the use of asset tags. Find out more about our asset tracking module here and contact us now to request a demo or a free trial.
How are asset tags used for asset management?
Asset tags are used widely for asset management. They can be attached to fixed assets, including roads, lighting systems and machinery, as well as to mobile assets like furniture, equipment and computers. A quick scan allows you to access detailed information about the asset, including maintenance schedules and history.
Across industries such as healthcare, education, government, defence, manufacturing, and oil and gas, asset tags are integrated into asset management systems for a range of purposes. The core function of asset tags is to identify the specific asset. Other uses include tracking valuable equipment, inventory control, and assigning and planning the use of important items like surgical devices.
Asset tags are also used to ensure assets are operated in a way that satisfies safety and compliance protocols. In the utilities and telecommunications industries, highly durable asset tags are used to facilitate routine maintenance and rectify service disruptions more efficiently. In manufacturing, asset tags are used to plan maintenance, repairs, and manage the life-cycle of assets.
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Advantages of asset tags for asset management
Asset tags offer several advantages for asset management systems in any industry or organisation:
- Tracking - Individualised asset tags are fundamental for effectively tracking assets. The asset tag enables the monitoring of assets as they’re moved around, used, maintained, and repaired.
- Automation - Asset tags are designed to be scanned, eliminating the need for the manual inputting of details such as asset movements, check-ins, and check-outs. For example, in hospitals where valuable equipment is constantly moved around, scanners can be installed at specific points to automatically track asset movements.
- Speed and efficiency - Certain types of asset tags, such as RFID and GPS tags, don’t require line of sight to function. In the case of RFID, this means you can scan dozens of tags within a given area in a matter of seconds. For GPS tags, you can track asset locations in real time without manual scanning, saving you countless hours. This makes obtaining and keeping accurate records a streamlined and time-efficient process.
- Detailed data - Depending on the type of tag you use, you can collect detailed data on assets and environmental conditions. For example, with certain RFID tags you can check environmental conditions like temperature, pressure, and movement speed. This could enhance processes like safety, equipment preservation, and performance checks.
- Accuracy - Asset tags can improve asset tracking accuracy through automating the scanning process and eliminating the risk of human input error.
- Compliance and risk reduction - With faster, more accurate asset tracking, organisations could minimise risk whilst also establishing digital records to demonstrate safety testing, calibration, and other compliance activities.
- Security - Moveable assets could be at a higher risk of loss, theft, and damage. Asset tags could help prevent this by improving real-time visibility into location and by making accurate user and usage tracking possible.
- Usage, downtime, and disruptions - With accurate data on assets, you can undertake timely repairs and enhance your preventative maintenance strategies, which can reduce downtime and disruptions while optimising asset performance. Additionally, with a whole-portfolio view of all assets, you can assign, plan, and reallocate usage more easily.
- Costs and recordkeeping - Asset tags enable organisations to track the cost of purchases, repairs, and maintenance. This can improve ROI, streamline vendor management, and inform future procurement decisions. Asset tags are also vital for maintaining accurate records for tax-reporting, accounting, and depreciation purposes.
- Procurement to disposal - Asset tags empower organisations with a comprehensive view of their asset portfolio that allows them to better plan the entire asset life-cycle, from procurement to disposal. With accurate data on assets, organisations can better assess and plan for when assets need to be replaced. For example, if an asset has been underutilised, you might decide replacement isn’t necessary. Alternatively, if demand for an asset has exceeded availability, you might recognise the need to procure an additional unit.
These advantages can help organisations perform better and deliver improved services and products to their customers, driving higher growth and a stronger bottom line.
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An essential tool for asset management systems
Asset tags enable organisations to assign unique IDs to assets and automate the scanning of the asset. Depending on the type of tag, an asset tag could also perform extra functions, including capturing and storing environmental data.
The asset tag makes it possible for businesses to track assets as they’re procured, moved around, used, maintained, repaired, and disposed of. These features drive accuracy and greater efficiencies, offer granular insights, support compliance and security, and can minimise downtime and disruptions.
Looking for a best-in-class asset management solution? Smart Asset’s new generation, comprehensive enterprise asset management application incorporates a powerful asset tracking module that allows you to ensure transparency of and accountability for your assets at all times. Contact us for more information or request a free trial now.
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