Benefits and uses

Asset tags play an important role in managing inventory in any business, school or home, from large blue-chip corporations to small, junior and infant schools. One of the main benefits of using these devices is that they allow instant access to the location of goods and the level of inventories.

Most are printed or stamped with some kind of identifier to differentiate each one and the object to which it is affixed. Sometimes the identifier may be an alphanumerical code or serial number and often it is combined with a barcode. Using a barcode scanner that is connected to a computer database, it is easy for companies to know exactly what they have in stock at all times so that they can easily maintain their inventory levels and keep track for insurance purposes. More advanced versions may include radio tags (RFID), which can be used in conjunction with electronic GPS systems to pinpoint the exact location.

Theft prevention

Each year, millions of pounds are lost due to theft of information technology equipment in the UK, whether by employees or from outside agents. For example, a company may invest in expensive laptop which they issue to each employee and, without an asset tag, it may be impossible to know which one belongs to a particular employee. If that employee is ever terminated and decides to keep the laptop, it can be very difficult to know that one is missing; this is where they offer an invaluable defence against theft.

Often, just the mere sight of the label on an expensive piece of office equipment is enough to deter theft. Some labels are tamper resistant, leaving a mark or message, which warns that something has happened to the tag. Should a theft happen, asset tags can help to facilitate the recovery of the stolen goods since they provide a clear record of what was taken. Also, many insurance companies require the use of security tags for proof of ownership purposes in case a claim needs to be made for damaged of stolen property.

Finally, thwy are highly customisable. Companies can have them designed and printed with their corporate logo, which can help in marketing and increasing brand awareness.

Tag Buying Advice

Always make sure that you are buying a quality material. Some suppliers use very cheap materials that potentially can fall off or can get defaced after a short period of time. Cheap may cost you money in the long term, especially if you have to re-tag existing equipment.

Preparation of the surface is very important. Contamination of the surface, such as oil, grease, dust and other contaminates can adversely affect adhesion. If you are applying to low-surface energy surfaces make sure that they work, prior to purchasing!

Databases and software may require a scanner to enter data quickly and without error. Ask the manufacturer if they can supply a suitable scanner and if they have any software for you to use or test. Some professional software can cost thousands of pounds, where a text file or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet would suffice and is free.