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The most important asset management tools

Learn what you need to know about asset labels and scanners, and what else you need beyond good asset management software to get your digital asset management started.

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What kind of labels are there?

To say that label types are a dime a dozen would perhaps be a bit of an exaggeration - but there are definitely many. The different labels are suitable for a wide variety of things. Some companies prefer RFID labels for a particularly fast asset-tracking process, as data can be captured without eye contact by means of radio frequency. Other companies use PET labels because of their special resistance so the labels can also be used in areas where they have to be particularly UV and temperature-resistant or scratch resistant.

Labels can thus be used to uniquely identify objects and store individual information specific to that object, which can be retrieved at any time.

Labels can be used not only for objects but also for entire rooms, which is a great advantage especially if you have several locations. Find out how best to choose your labels and what the special features of the individual label types are in our article on the "Best label types for your assets".

How to use barcodes when tracking assets?

Barcodes are particularly popular for digital asset management because they enable quick, easy, and, above all, unique identification of objects. Here, a distinction is normally made between one-dimensional and two-dimensional codes. Everyone knows the one-dimensional barcodes because they are displayed on every package in the supermarket and serve to quickly identify a product at the checkout. The data structure is ISO-certified.

There are also representatives of two-dimensional codes that are very well known. Probably the best known and most used type today are QR codes. These can usually be scanned with the camera of a mobile phone alone, which makes the scanning process much easier and enables every person in possession to use them. In addition, two-dimensional codes can capture information at a much higher density and are therefore particularly suitable for use in the industrial sector.

Find out everything you need to know about barcodes, why seventhings uses barcodes, and much more in our blog article "8 types of barcodes & how you can use them for inventory".



RFID - the innovation for your digital asset management!

Speaking of RFID tags, I'm sure it rang a bell with some of you, but what does it have to do with digital asset management?

RFID technology is an exciting way to create a particularly efficient digital asset tracking system. The term "RFID" means "Radio Frequency Identification", i.e. the localisation and identification of radio waves. RFID labels can therefore be read from a great distance without necessarily having to have visual contact with the respective label, which can save a lot of time, especially when there are many assets in large rooms.

In addition to the use of RFID tags in asset management, however, there are many other areas where we encounter the technology almost every day. Whether as a chip for pets, as automatic door locks, in identity cards, as a system behind cashless payments or as an anti-theft device for goods in the supermarket.

The possibilities for using the technology seem almost limitless. If you want to learn more about RFID technology, you can find all the answers in our article


Where to get labels for my assets?

Once you have decided on a type of label, the only question that remains is where to get it. You can usually get labels from the provider of your own digital asset management software, order them from a third party or print them yourself. All these approaches have different advantages and disadvantages.

We are often asked whether it is worthwhile and cost-effective to have your own label printer. The different types of printers also constantly raise new questions and cause uncertainty when making a decision.

To help you decide, we've put together the following blog article: "Do all businesses need their own label printer?" It shows you which label printers are available, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and what alternatives you have. 

Best practices when applying labels to your things!

Track assets in a matter of seconds: To make it nice and quick to record your inventory items, you should make some preliminary considerations about where you stick the label on the item. There are two main requirements for this: it should not be so present that it immediately catches your eye - but it should also be easy to find so that you don't have to search forever. 

What to look out for when first scanning your items and sticking the label for the first time, we have summarised in our blog article: "Where to stick labels when inventorying? Best practice tips for you."

Industrial Scanner scans cabinet with Laptop on top

Most important information about industrial scanners!

There must always be a counterpart to the selected labels - a scanner! After all, one is pretty useless without the other. An industrial scanner is used, for example, to scan one-dimensional barcodes or two-dimensional QR codes that contain a lot of information.

With the help of the scanner, this information can now also be read out. A scanner can also be a normal smartphone. Today's technology makes it possible.

Industrial scanners, on the other hand, are much more powerful than smartphones, but they also have to be purchased separately. Nevertheless, many companies also prefer to use a product that is directly intended for use. Especially for follow-up scanning, an industrial scanner can speed up the process immensely. With a long range of several meters, objects can easily be detected even without visual contact. The latter depends on the type of labels and the respective scanner.

However, since quality is known to come at a price, companies often ask themselves when it is worth buying a scanner, what kind of scanner they need and which one is best suited to their situation. In addition to numerous brands offering scanners, there are also many other decisions that need to be made and things to consider. For example, there are usually additional fees, as the scanners must first be linked to the respective app or software in order to transmit data.

Industrial scanners are therefore particularly worthwhile for companies that own and need to manage many items or have multiple locations. You can read about which scanners are available and which make sense for your company in our article.

How Smart Labels make your asset management as easy as possible!

While barcodes and QR codes can only be read optically, RFID labels and NFC tags are also referred to as "smart labels" because the reading of these labels can be done contactless. This saves a lot of time, especially when searching for the label.

Since smart labels are becoming smaller and more attractive in price, this technology is now also frequently encountered in everyday life - for example, at the checkout for contactless payment or when opening, starting, and closing a car.

However, there is much more behind the smart labels. The labels are so smart because they can also send information themselves and thus trigger an action or an impulse on an end device. So to speak, the labels communicate with the respective end device by themselves. The chips in the labels do not even need a direct power supply, as they can obtain the necessary energy from the field of the reader.

The main difference is that a "smart" label can not only receive information but also send it, whereas simple labels have to be scanned.

We have summarised what else is exciting about smart labels for you in our blog post "How smart labels make asset management easier".


NFC Reader with Smartphone

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