While making profits and ensuring the continuous development of the company are important signs of progress, one of the most important parameters that are often ignored by many successful companies is implementing asset tracking systems.
No matter how successful your company, the lack of asset tracking capabilities can wreak havoc at any point in time. Your organizational operations might be running smoothly today, but the untimely loss or damage of equipment can lead to catastrophic failures. Added to this are risks of theft and misplacement. A company spends tremendous amounts of capital in procuring all the tools and equipment that it needs for its operations. Such tools are often complex and require constant monitoring and routine maintenance. Loss or theft of such tools can incur severe losses. Untimely breakdowns of certain vital equipment can halt operations altogether.
With the booming economy, the competition is fiercer than ever. Companies are racing towards applying the latest technologies to enhance their operations. This includes the implementation of robust asset tracking technologies. Barcoding is one such equipment management solution that is not only easy and affordable to implement but provides strong tracking capabilities.
Overview of tracking via barcoding
Barcodes are unique markings which when scanned through an appropriate device can convey all the information related to the tool or asset. Barcodes are usually printed on stickers or metallic tags which are fixed on a convenient location on the asset. Today, with the rapid progress in smartphone technology, employees can install scanning features on their phones and scan barcodes. This does away with expensive scanners and thus reduces the costs of implementation even further.
Advantages of using barcodes
Barcodes are often ignored due to their simplistic nature. However, they can reduce overhead consumption and are incredibly reliable. Some of their key advantages are mentioned below.
- Barcoding eliminates human errors. Traditional asset tracking solutions call for manually recording each and every asset. This can lead to misreading and unintentional errors in data entry. Through barcodes, information regarding equipment can be automatically collected without any error.
- No special training programs required for supervisors. The barcoding system is so simple that all they need to understand is how to use their smartphones for scanning the codes and appropriate formats of data entry. Added to this, through the use of this one system, supervisors can get a picture of the entire inventory or warehouse.
- Barcodes are extremely flexible in use. The data that they store can be seamlessly updated or modified to suit the changing needs. Barcodes can only store a wide variety of information regarding the asset.
- They are one of the most cost-effective asset tracking solutions that are available in the industry. All one needs is a printer and one can begin printing out tags and implementing equipment management systems. Since they work as stickers they can be fixed to a variety of surfaces leading to increased visibility and diverse use.
- Barcodes not only provide inventory visibility, but also movement control. By establishing appropriate checkpoints across the factory, supervisors can get constant updates about the use and movement of each and every tool. Additionally, by scanning the tool before use one can gain information regarding its access rights. Whenever a tool or equipment passes through one of these checkpoints, the scanned barcode will inform if the movement is sanctioned or not.
- Barcoding provides faster availability of data. The information that is acquired after scanning a barcode is directly sent to the central database. It immediately becomes accessible to the supervisor. He can even use a smartphone-compatible app to view the central-database and stay updated with the latest developments.
- Barcodes allow supervisors and company executives to make better decisions which are backed by data. With barcodes, they have information about their available resources and status of their tools. They are aware of their performances and their last scheduled maintenance. Armed with such data, managers and executives have a better visibility of their company and a thus make a better judgment call which caters to the immediate concerns of the company.
- Barcodes are perhaps the most user-friendly form of equipment tracking out there. There is little to no complex processes involved (except in automated database management) which makes it suitable for a wide range of industries. All kinds of industries such as heavy duty-industries, small and medium businesses and even manufacturing or commercial sectors can benefit from the use of barcodes.