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  Creating a simple asset tracking program  
  For most business owners, the biggest step in implementing an asset tracking system is getting over the fear of the work it’ll take to put in place. Many among us will remember the days of laboriously writing out labels and recording numbers in a ledger – a process that could take days for a few hundred items.

Today, though, using smartphones and either free or very common software, you can put a system in place more quickly than ever before.

The first step is to decide what information you want to record in your software. Most users buy their own information management systems like Asset Tracking Manager, but if push comes to shove and you don’t mind a cumbersome setup process, Excel and Open Office can be configured to work for this purpose.

For technological goods like laptops or media players, it’s usually a good idea to include serial numbers and, in another field, a general description of the good (“Dell X15Z-7502ELS laptop”).

If you’re using a color-coding tag system to tie the items to specific rooms, purposes or departments, you’ll want to include that information in your spreadsheet, too. If you’re setting up asset tracking for insurance purposes, it’s never a bad idea to include the item’s price or a code for its purchasing information.

Obviously, the most important field is the one that remains empty until someone checks the item out! If you already have an employee ID system in place that uses barcodes, you should be able to scan them along with the item to record who checked out the asset. Most asset management softwares will do most of the heavy lifting so you shouldn’t be stuck tinkering with Excel on your own.

Once you’ve decided what the scope of the information you want on each item is, you can begin attaching tags to them. It’s best to place asset tag labels where they’re not going to rub against other objects, or where people are going to touch them often – for a laptop with foam “feet,” on the bottom near the battery casing might work well; so might the side of the computer if there’s space unoccupied by input/output jacks, the power supply and so on.

As you tag, record the information you’ve decided to include. You might want to keep space in your spreadsheet for recording additional information, especially if you’re planning to check goods in and out (you’ll need fields for dates and possibly employee ID numbers if you want to be able to associate goods with a person).

Simple QR code asset tag

All you need is a tag and a phone to get a simple QR code asset tag system going.
 
 
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