Asset tagging systems are one of the most crucial parts of asset management. Companies need efficient ways to keep track of their assets and prevent equipment from being lost or stolen. Asset tagging can take up a fair amount of time and resources, so companies usually only tag assets that are important to their business or cost a significant amount.
Assigning unique IDs to all your important assets allows you to monitor their location and user history. Asset tagging systems are usually set up using asset management software, such as BlueTally, for optimal convenience. You can integrate this software across different devices to ensure everyone uses the same asset tagging system.
What is Asset Tagging?
Asset tagging is the process of assigning IDs and labels to different equipment, which makes asset tracking more efficient. You can assign digital IDs using asset management software, such as BlueTally, and print out those IDs to make physical labels. You can attach these labels to your assets to ensure they’re physically traceable.
For example, barcode labels can be scanned to check for an asset’s ID. There are different types of labels you can use depending on the type of asset you’re tagging. Some assets are highly valuable, so you should opt for higher security tags, such as tamper-proof labels.
Asset tagging systems should include important details about your equipment:
- Current Location
- User History
- Maintenance Details
Why are Asset Tagging and Tracking Systems Important?
Easily Find Information
Asset tagging makes it easy to find important details on a piece of equipment. You can just look up an asset on your tagging system or scan a label to bring up all the information you need. You can add new tags to your asset tracking software to keep it up to date.
Increase Work Efficiency
Having an online system for registering your assets can increase work efficiency by reducing manual labor. You no longer have to individually log all your asset details onto paper or spreadsheets, which are prone to human error. Asset management software comes with many useful tools that streamline the process, such as automation and checkout systems.
Keep Track of Asset Locations
Asset tagging systems allow you to track your equipment location and checkouts easily. You can see which department is currently using them and who loaned out the equipment. Accountability for assets is made easy- all you need to do is contact the department to see if they still have the asset.
Prevent Loss of Assets
You can prevent asset loss by checking an asset’s user history on your management software. For example, if a department that’s supposed to have an asset state otherwise, you can look at the user history to see who previously checked it out and contact them about it instead. This makes relocating misplaced assets more efficient.
Better Inventory Organization
You can streamline your audits using asset tagging systems, which offer various features that help you better organize your inventory:
- You can compare new audit reports with older ones to quickly check for errors
- Multiple people can verify assets at the same time, which improves efficiency
- Keep track of upcoming audits to better manage work schedules
What Kind of Assets Need Tagging?
You should only be tagging assets that are critical to your company or highly valuable. Basically, if losing an asset causes a negative impact on your business or loss of money, you should be tagging it. This doesn’t only refer to important equipment, but can also include infrastructural assets that improve your work setting, such as air conditioners.
The type of assets that need tagging differ from company to company. You’ll need to decide what assets you want to keep track of ultimately.
There are two main types of assets:
These are assets that can’t be moved. Examples include:
- Security Systems
- Road Signs
- Computer Software
- Large Machinery
These are assets that can be moved. Examples include:
- IT Devices (computers, monitors)
- Machines and Tools (drills, turbines)
- Office Equipment (printers, TVs)
- Furniture (chairs, cabinets)
- Vehicles (trucks, cranes)
- Common Appliances (fridges, water heaters)
How to Create an Asset Tagging System
Creating an asset tagging system has two main parts: digital tagging and physical tagging. If you’re creating a system from scratch, we recommend you start this process during an inventory count to make it easier for you to register all necessary assets.
Step 1: Create an Asset Inventory
Find an asset management software like BlueTally, and use it to create an inventory for all your relevant assets. Make sure you know what kind of assets you want to tag before starting this step.
Organize your assets by category and status. For example, a laptop would be categorized as ‘IT’ or simply ‘laptops’ if you have a lot of them. If there’s already a classification system in place, use one of the default categories or add a new one if none of them fit.
As for an asset’s status, it should tell you whether it’s currently in use or has been loaned to someone. Make sure to include that person’s name and department.
Step 2: Assign IDs
Once you’ve registered all your assets, it’s time to assign IDs to each one. An ID should be a unique series of numbers that can be used to identify an asset. Give each asset its own ID number. You can clone assets in BlueTally to automatically get a unique ID - you’ll just have to change the asset details.
You can also add a barcode or QR code so you can quickly scan IDs for information. This will also come in handy later when you’re printing out labels.
Step 3: Add Asset Details
Along with assigning IDs to your assets, you should be adding other important details to the tag:
- Serial Number
- Purchase Date/Cost
- Depreciation History
- Checkout Log
- Maintenance Schedule
Include all the information you would want to know about an asset when scanning its ID.
Step 4: Physically Tag Assets
Finally, it’s time to tag all your assets physically. You will have to first figure out what type of tag you’ll use for each asset since there are a few to choose from. Pay attention to an asset’s value and location. For example, if an asset is of low value, you can use cheaper tags like adhesive labels. They’re easy to apply but can become damaged or faded in hot temperatures, which could lead to problems scanning later down the line.
Once you’ve decided what tags to use, upload the necessary data from your asset tagging system and print out the labels. Then, attach them to your assets.
Make sure the labels have all the necessary information on them, such as:
- ID Number
- Company Name
- Company Address and Contact Details
Here are some examples of tags you can use:
These are one of the simplest tags you can use and only require a barcode scanner to be effective.
These tags are very convenient to use since they can be scanned using mobile devices.
These are smart barcodes that use radio waves to send data to an RFID reader. You can make tamper-evident RFID tags, where the label stops functioning once removed. If the tag is placed on another object, readers won’t be able to scan it.
These are smart chips you can quickly scan with your phones, like the ones used in contactless credit cards. You can download NFC reader apps or use your phone’s default reader.
How to Choose the Right Tags
Choosing the right tags ultimately comes down to your budget, the asset in question, and the location.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How durable does the tag need to be, and what material should it be made of?
- How valuable is this asset, and would it be prone to theft?
- How much would it cost to make this tag?
Best Practices For Asset Tagging
Assign Teams for Asset Tagging
Asset tagging can be a time-consuming process. It involves a lot of printing and attaching labels, so it’s best to assign specific teams to handle the physical aspect of asset tagging. You can even get them to make new labels as preparation for future tagging.
Don’t Move Untagged Assets
Tell your team to always check that an asset has been registered and tagged before moving them. This prevents misplacements and asset losses from occurring.
Use the Same Tagging System Across Your Software
Use the same tagging system across your company software to make sure everyone is using the same system. This prevents any overlap from occurring.
Asset tagging systems are a great way of keeping track of all your equipment’s locations and other details, such as conditions and maintenance schedules. It allows you to organize your inventory better and quickly access relevant information about your assets. Tagging your assets involves assigning them an ID number and attaching a physical label.
Asset tagging systems are usually created using software like BlueTally. We’re a free asset management software that offers various tools, such as checkout history and changelogs, to help you manage your assets more efficiently. Try out our features using our free demo, or sign up for free today.