Asset tracking tags, like RFID tags, are designed to let organisations get the most out of their asset investments. RFID inventory tracking allows business owners to gain total visibility over what they have physically, to monitor and manage them at all times.
To minimise errors and maximise efficiency as much as possible, businesses must adhere to a few do’s and don’ts when using these tags, regardless of whether they are just getting started with them or have years of experience using them. Read on for a quick rundown on the best practices when using RFID tags for an asset-tracking system and ensuring its success.
Choose the right tags for the application
It is crucial to choose RFID tags with the right features and capabilities that meet the application’s needs to ensure a successful RFID system implementation. In addition, since there is a wide variety of options, it is important to consider the different variables involved in the asset’s requirements and operating environment. There is also the possibility of needing a custom RFID tag should the commonly available ones be found insufficient for its operational usage.
For instance, if things like extended readability over great distances or high endurance against the elements are a requirement, high-performance and UHF-enabled RFID tags will be necessary. Otherwise, passive and low-cost RFID tags will suffice for everyday usage in the warehouse.
Affix tags according to the manufacturer’s recommendation
Properly securing tags onto the assets is a key step in asset tracking since incorrect attachments could lead to them coming off and causing the asset to vanish from the tracking system, wasting time and the effort needed to retrieve them. For this reason, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on installing the tags so they remain in its proper place and avoid unnecessary troubleshooting.
Include relevant data in the tag
RFID tracking tags are only as effective as the data they hold concerning the asset; empty tags or those with insufficient information lack any tangible value. Therefore, make sure to collect, manage all relevant asset data and associate them with their corresponding tag for effective tracking over the asset’s lifetime. Otherwise, failing to include complete data will negatively affect operations and cause significant inefficiencies.
Regularly audit tags for accuracy
Updating RFID tags to keep them relevant for current use is essential in asset management. Periodically auditing these tags ensures reliable and accurate asset tracking that saves businesses a lot of time and money. Auditing in this context entails validating asset tagging data, making sure it is accurate with the correct information, remains properly associated with assets, and implementing any new asset changes or information. In short, accurate asset tracking relies on accurate asset tags, so regularly auditing the tags should not be neglected.
Choose tags that are not fully compatible with your working environment
As mentioned, choosing RFID tags that strictly meet the application’s requirements is critical and vital. Cutting corners will only lead to incompatible or damaged tags that can cause mis-readings or even give unreliable data that could introduce inefficiencies instead of accountability or, worse, asset loss. Therefore, be sure of the expected conditions of the normal operation of the tag, like humidity levels, temperature extremes, consider other factors that could impair its performance and go for the solution that ensures the right compatibility that will not lead to costly consequences.
Use tags that are not tamper-proof
There is always the risk of tampering with tracked assets, so investing in tags that are needed to be resistant to being compromised may waste time and money. Therefore, having dependable and tamper-proof asset management starts with secure, robust tags that are always guaranteed to maintain asset data integrity.
Forget to update the asset register
Although RFID tracking tags are incredibly useful, they only work as intended if the asset register is up-to-date. Whenever equipment is relocated elsewhere or disposed of, it is important to reflect these changes in the asset register so that the tags show their actual location or status. Delays in making these updates lead to inaccurate asset tracking, making it harder to track down asset information and, ultimately, major organisational headaches.
RFID technology is incredibly useful in enabling efficient asset management in virtually any industry and its usage, from retail to the supply chain and so much more. Thus, in order to achieve its full potential, it is important to follow the best practices in their installation, application and make them as effective as possible for tracking the organisation’s assets in accordance to its environment. These tags are only as useful as the compatible asset tracking system they are paired with, so it is crucial to focus on that aspect as well.