Waste management companies invest a substantial amount in acquiring roll-off containers. To get the most out of their containers, asset managers must know the current and past location of every asset. To help managers make informed decisions, businesses must invest in setting up an advanced asset tracking system that uses asset tagging software and other advanced tools to generate critical data.
Asset tracking methods: An overview
Most businesses around the world either use QR code inventory labels or barcodes for tracking inventory.
Developed in the 1960s, barcodes include data in a machine-readable form. A barcode includes information related to the product that is tagged. Earlier, one-dimensional barcodes were used. These barcodes included parallel lines and were scanned using a handheld device, known as a barcode reader. One-dimensional or 1D barcodes can only store information horizontally, from left to right. These barcodes can hold between 8-25 characters.
Later, two-dimensional variants were developed. These variants use different geometric patterns, including rectangles, hexagons, and dots. 2D barcodes store data horizontally and vertically and can hold anywhere between 1-2000 characters.
Thanks to the improvement in mobile technology, smartphones have become smarter than ever before. Mobile devices such as smartphones manufactured today come with advanced in-built cameras that can scan barcodes. To get started, all the user needs to do is download the app version of the inventory management software their business uses.
Improvement in technology has simplified the lives of millions of individuals employed with businesses using a barcode inventory system. Earlier, asset tagging used to be an overwhelming task as employees had to keep on moving with bulky handheld scanners. No more. Employees can now use their lightweight mobile devices to perform their asset tagging tasks.
Every time a barcode is scanned, the inventory management software captures data related to the product. This data is updated in real-time and can be used by inventory managers to make important business decisions.
Over the years, many businesses have started using Quick Response Codes or QR codes for asset tracking. First used in 1994 by the Japanese automotive industry, QR codes are machine-readable optical labels that contain information related to the item to which they are attached. QR codes include black squares arranged in a square grid against a white background.
QR codes use four encoding modes to store data. When a user scans the code with their mobile device, the asset tracking software sends data related to the product to the user’s device that translates machine-readable data into a language that can be understood by humans.
QR codes are more efficient than barcodes. A QR tracking label can be swiftly scanned, which helps speed up your checkout process. In a warehouse, QR asset tags help the warehouse management team perform asset tagging tasks swiftly. Team members can utilize the time that they save to perform more critical tasks.
Thanks to the improvement in mobile technology and the unparalleled efficiency of QR code tracking and management platforms, QR codes have become ubiquitous. They are not just used for inventory tracking but also for marketing products and services.
Tracking assets using an app
You can use QR tracking labels or UPC barcodes to track your assets. For your convenience, we have broken down the entire process into simple steps.
1. Create a list of roll-off containers to be tagged
The first step involves identifying the roll-off containers that you want to tag. Based on the environment in which your containers would be used, choose a media (can be glass, paper, metal, or plastic). If, for instance, the assets will be extensively used in a factory environment, use a metallic medium. Once you have identified the assets to be tagged, set an asset categorization system.
2. Get your barcodes/QR codes
Creating your QR asset tags is very easy. All you need to do is visit a QR code generator website. Once you are there, enter information related to the containers you want to track. The final step involves downloading your QR codes.
If you intend to use barcodes for asset tracking, you must get a GS1 Company Prefix that can be used as the basis for creating unique numbers.
Once you have your QR codes/barcodes, decide the printing method that best suits your needs.
3. Insert information related to your roll-off containers in the system
After generating your QR codes/barcodes for your roll-off containers, the next step involves entering data related to containers such as their asset value, date of acquisition, and serial number into the asset tag software.
After feeding important information into your system, affix your QR asset labels on your roll-off containers. Place at least two labels on every container.
4. Download asset tagging software
Once everything is set, your employees can download the asset tagging software from Google Play or Apple Store. Once they have downloaded the app, they can start scanning roll-off containers with asset tag labels.