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What is Asset Management?

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Asset Management is also referred to as Asset Tracking. It is the ability to identify, track and report on the assets within your organization. Scenarios include tracking an asset as it moves from one location to another as well as ensuring the asset stays in the same place.

What is Asset Management

It may use a range of technologies to accomplish this including: barcodes, RFID tags, Mobile Computers, wireless networks and more. Depending on the technologies deployed, solutions be fairly low tech and quick to implement to very complicated long duration projects that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Asset Management Solutions

Generally speaking, the quicker and easier an asset management solution is to implement the less reporting and real time information will be available for reporting. Consider an IT company looking at two different tracking solutions for their servers. Solution 1 involves attaching a unique barcode to each and every server.

Once installed, each server will be identified and tracked by scanning the barcode and the information entered into a database automatically. Solution 2 involves attaching a passive RFID tag onto each server. The RFID tags, like barcodes are unique to each server but can contain much more information and can be scanned from a several feet away. While this varies by tag and environmental conditions – the tag does not need to be scanned from a few inches away like a barcode does.

Because of this, dozens or hundreds of RFID tags can be read in a few minutes which vastly improves the efficiency of each worker. As an added bonus – the organization can install RFID readers through their building and track the movement of their servers in real time whenever they pass by an RFID reader.

The Best Asset Management Solution

Both solutions require an extensive amount of time identifying and tracking each asset. While Solution 1 is cheaper and easier to implement, it requires much more time to track each asset. Solution 2 is much more expensive and harder to implement (especially if RFID readers are installed through the building). But it requires much less time tracking each asset and can even be automated.

There is no right or wrong way to track assets, instead the solution implemented depends entirely on the needs of the business. In some cases, barcodes may be exactly what is required while in other cases RFID tags are the best way to. The best solution comes down to two basic questions: How often do you need to track and report on your assets and how accurate do you need that report to be?

With proper management, you have an accurate and timely snapshot of the assets available to you. Some companies have even “found” assets they had believe lost. Knowing exactly what you have and where it is reduces expenses incurred with duplicate purchases and makes your organization more efficient by better utilizing the resources you currently have.

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