Lists and spreadsheets were once very common methods used by colleges and universities to keep track of a variety of assets. However, these days, affordable technology makes it simpler to keep better track of everything from reference books to laboratory equipment. QR codes and smartphones are revolutionizing the way these schools keep track of their assets.
The Current Dilemma
If you work for a college that relies upon spreadsheets to keep track of assets, then you no doubt understand just how arduous certain processes can be. For example, you’ll need to know exactly how many assets you have, where they are, how old they are, and in some cases, whether they’ve been properly maintained for compliance reasons. Collecting this information is difficult, and keeping it up to date requires endless data entry. What’s more, spreadsheets have a huge margin for human error; one wrong number, and a college or university could find itself in a heap of trouble when it comes time to file their taxes.
Traditional Barcodes and Scanners
There’s no denying that traditional barcodes and scanners are certainly a huge step up from paper lists and spreadsheets, but even these are considered antiquated. Barcodes can only store so much information, and the scanners used to read them cost a pretty penny to buy, maintain, and replace. You’ll also need to purchase separate software that integrates with the scanners, allowing you to upload the information from multiple barcodes once they’ve been scanned. It certainly makes things simpler, but it still doesn’t offer the best and most effective way to manage college and university assets.
QR Codes and Spreadsheets
QR codes are better alternatives to traditional barcodes because they can hold far more information about your assets. You won’t need special equipment to read them since just about every smartphone manufactured in the last five years can read a QR code via its camera. The best part is that the QR codes are attached to not only the application that your faculty can download to their phones, but also a cloud-based software that makes it easy to get information about your assets at absolutely any time, from anywhere with internet access. Unlike spreadsheets, paper lists, and traditional barcode scanners, information is sent to the cloud from your smartphone – in real time – with each scan.
Making Things Simpler
If your college or university needs to keep track of the location, maintenance, and depreciation of 500 laptop computers, relying on antiquated methods could end up costing you in the end. Colleges and universities are audited all the time, and all it takes is a couple of mistakes to create a huge problem. Thanks to today’s innovative technologies, including smartphones and QR codes, keeping track of assets is much simpler. It’s also more effective and far more reliable.
If your college or university is still using antiquated methods to keep track of assets, it’s time to graduate to QR codes, smartphones, and cloud technologies. Not only will it help save your school money in the end, but it will also save precious time and allow faculty to focus more of their attention on the students where it belongs.