06 Apr Considerations for Purchasing an Asset Tracking System
How to Find the System that Works for You
Nearly every company has asset tracking needs, whether it is tracking a few hundred items or tens of thousands. This task quickly becomes overwhelming and labor-intensive when businesses do not have the right tools. For this reason, businesses often turn to asset tracking system to take the guesswork out of where their assets are located.
But not all asset tracking systems are alike, and some will work better for you than others. With all the software and hardware solutions on the market, it may be difficult to know where to begin your search. To help you determine a starting point, here are a few questions to get you started.
Before You Buy, Ask Yourself These Questions
As you weigh your asset tracking system options, here are a few questions to consider:
- How many items will my system track?
- How many employees will take inventory?
- How many locations need this technology?
- What is the timeframe in which asset management is done?
Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options. AB&R offers asset tracking software for enterprise-level and mid-market asset businesses. For those in the mid-market levels, we often recommend they invest in simple, easy-to-use software such as Assetworx. This software scales to your business’ size and needs, providing hourly sensor reports, alerts when assets are on the move, and more. This system is easy to set up and runs either as a SaaS or using Microsoft .Net. Larger companies may benefit from a more robust software solution.
One added benefit to asset tracking software is that most developers offer a demo or trial period that lets you test-drive the system before investing. And if you need a second pair of eyes, you can always give us a call for a site survey!
RFID Vs. Barcodes: Which Should I Use?
Just like with asset tracking software, hardware solutions vary by company, asset value and budget. Barcoding is a simple, cost-effective way to track your assets, but it requires an employee to manually scan each asset. If a company has hundreds of thousands of assets that need to be scanned by a small group of employees, it may find this method inefficient. On the other hand, RFID is a bit more expensive but provides automated data collection. If your assets are inexpensive and easy to replace, you might not find RFID cost-effective.
WHEN TO USE BARCODE ASSET TRACKING
A barcode asset tracking system is best for businesses with few, inexpensive assets that they would like to track. In this structure, one or several employees will individually scan each asset’s barcode to count it during surveys. Barcodes are a good choice for companies that prioritize asset location over compiling data for analysis. This system is generally the easiest and cheapest to implement, and it requires little training.
WHEN TO USE RFID ASSET TRACKING
If your company has many expensive assets to track, an RFID asset tracking system may work best for you. Unlike a barcode scanner, an RFID reader can scan multiple assets at a time, even those that are out of its line-of-sight. Additionally, RFID enables you to view and manage assets in real time, which employee last handled an asset, and when it has been serviced (if applicable). One common use for RFID tracking is in the IT sector, where companies track thousands of dollars’ worth of computer servers. Unlike the barcode system, implementing an RFID system takes more time and will require you to train your employees. Additionally, if your assets are relatively inexpensive, you may not find this method cost-effective.
WHEN TO USE BOTH
For many companies, choosing between barcodes and RFID is not practical. They see more value in incorporating both, using RFID on expensive assets that need high-level oversight, and barcodes for less expensive items. While RFID is a great investment and improves your oversight overall, the cost significantly increases the more items you need to track, making it more cost effective to supplement with barcodes. Many companies use this system. In fact, it is so popular, that our asset tracking software is compatible with both RFID and barcodes!
READY FOR THE NEXT STEPS?
Are you ready to see which solution is right for you? Give us a call! Rely on our 40 years of experience to help you streamline your asset tracking.
WE’RE HERE FOR YOU.