A Definition of Asset Tags
Asset tags are identification tags attached to assets. Assets are defined as physical property, and fall into two primary categories:
- Fixed assets – Also known as infrastructure assets, fixed assets may include road signs, bridges, tunnels, water and sewer systems, dams and lighting systems, land, buildings, equipment, and machinery that is attached to a building.
- Moveable assets – Moveable assets refers to physical property, such as furniture or equipment, which are not part of or attached to a building. Moveable assets also includes commonly moved business items, such as computers and printers.
What is an Asset Tag?
Asset Tags are attached to both movable and fixed assets for useful life identification, inventory control, “work-in-process” (WIP) and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) tagging.
Benefits of Asset Tags
Asset tags offer a multitude of benefits to businesses and organizations spanning every industry. Asset tags are the foundational component of effective asset tracking systems, enabling organizations to accurately record and monitor moveable assets as they move throughout an organization. Fixed asset tags are useful for automating documentation and collecting valuable data regarding asset utilization, automating routine maintenance, and tracking repairs.
For moveable assets, asset ID tags are a valuable tool in loss prevention. Assets shared among departments or those that frequently flow throughout an organization are often easily lost and, sometimes, stolen. The use of asset tags with built-in security features, such as tamper-evident asset tags, enable organizations to keep tighter control over assets that are rarely ever in the same location and provide a deterrent to theft of high-value assets.
Uses for Asset Tags
Asset tags and asset tag labels enable organizations in a variety of industries to track and monitor valuable assets. Below are a few of the industries in which asset tags are commonly used as part of a larger asset management initiative.
- Healthcare: In hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings, asset tags are used to track valuable medical and scientific equipment. Asset tags enable healthcare providers to provide efficient and cost-effective patient care.
- Education: From audio-visual equipment to computers, educational institutions have a variety of assets that can be tracked and monitored with asset tags.
- Government: Government agencies rely on asset tags to track, map, and monitor both fixed and moveable assets, ranging from office equipment to outdoor street signs.
- Warehouse: The warehouse industry relies on valuable equipment and machinery to transport products from location to location. Asset tags or inventory tags prove beneficial for streamlining workflows and providing better inventory control.
- Defense: The defense industry has very specific guidelines and regulations concerning the proper asset identification. Asset tags specially designed for these uses meet current guidelines and regulatory requirements.
- Oil and Gas: Asset tags are valuable tools for automating the work of LDAR technicians, in addition to reducing compliance risk by reducing or eliminating the errors resulting from manual data collection.
- Utility: Utility companies benefit from specially designed asset tags capable of withstanding the harsh outdoor elements, enabling organizations to more easily identify, locate, and rectify service disruptions, in addition to streamlining routine maintenance operations.
- Telecom and Cable: Telecommunications and cable companies, much like utility companies, serve broad regions through a variety of assets placed strategically throughout a service area. Asset tags enable telecom and cable companies to effectively map assets, manage ongoing maintenance, and streamline service delivery to consumers.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing environments rely on heavy-duty equipment and machinery that requires ongoing maintenance and repairs. The manufacturing industry requires asset tags that are durable enough to withstand the harsh environments that exist within the manufacturing field, providing readability throughout the lifespan of these expensive assets.
Types of Asset Tags, Asset Tag Options, and Examples
There are a multitude of types of asset tags, many designed for use in specific applications requiring superior durability or other features, such as tamper evidence to deter theft or unauthorized transfer. Asset tags include industry-specific asset tags, such as
- Warehouse bar code labels and UID labels designed for the defense industry,
- Asset tags designed to streamline record-keeping and reordering, such as two-part asset labels,
- Metal asset tags, such as durable aluminum asset tags and aluminum bar code labels, offering extra durability for both indoor and outdoor applications
- Asset tags for added security, such as tamper-evident asset tags
Other examples of types of asset tags include:
- Utility asset tags, including utility meter tags, pole tags, and bar code labels.
- Traffic sign asset tags for retroreflectivity and asset management compliance.
- Work-in-process bar code labels to provide readability for the life of assets in the harshest environments. Work-in-progress bar code labels are often used as asset tags for equipment.
- LDAR tags and steam trap tags for leak detection and repair programs.
- Warehouse rack labels, including multi-level warehouse rack labels, cold storage rack labels, and magnetic warehouse rack labels, among other asset tag solutions designed specifically for use in the warehouse setting.
- Foil asset tags, also known as foil labels, for security and durability that offer readability through the life of your assets.
These examples represent just a few of the many types of asset tags available to meet a variety of application-specific requirements. The variety of specially designed asset tracking tags available enables businesses to design a customized and comprehensive asset tag solution meeting application-specific requirements throughout the entire organization.
Recommended Reading on Asset Tags
For more information on asset tag solutions and best practices for asset tracking, visit the following articles:
- 50 Asset Tracking Tips: Solutions and Strategies to Help Successfully Track Your Business’s Most Valuable Assets
- Small Businesses Realize Increased Profits and Productivity with Asset Tracking
- 4 Goals for Asset Management
- 5 Best Practices for Inventory Management That Apply to Every Business