Methods of Tracking Your Assets
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Several methods of tracking your assets exist. And because each business is unique, what works for one does not necessarily work for another. There are really no wrong solutions, just solutions that work best for a given outfit. Methods of tracking your assets, also known as asset management, have several connotations. The most widely used definition refers to financial matters, investments in particular. Pension or mutual funds, stocks and banking matters all are a part of asset management.
Another method of tracking your assets has to do with fixed assets, or in layman’s terms, physical items. Examples of this type of asset includes store inventory like in retail or wholesale businesses or equipment like forklifts in a factory. In an office atmosphere, it could be the computers and desks that are fixed assets.
Tracking Physical Assets
For our purposes here, we will discuss the more tangible methods of tracking your assets – those physical items you have to keep track of for your business. Management of assets affects a company’s balance sheet, so increasing importance has been given in recent years to methods of tracking your assets.
Let’s think about how businesses, especially retail businesses, kept track of their stock and other inventory before computers, software and other technology. They had to physically tally everything and take notes by hand to account for their assets. It was a time consuming, tedious process. Retail businesses took quite a bit of losses due to shoplifting, losses they would not realize until it was inventory time.
Asset Tracking with Barcodes
With the advent of barcode technology electronic surveillance, asset tracking grew exponentially. A barcode, or UPC which stands for Universal Product Code, is an inventory tracking mechanism that was specifically created for grocery and other food stores. With the mass volume of items coming and going from these stores, it was essential to know when inventory on certain products was running low and when to order more. Not only that, scanning a barcode vs hand entering a price, the checkout process for customers was dramatically shorter.
This barcode technology made its way to other retail and commercial outlets. Today, even libraries have place barcode labels inside their books which makes for better check in and check out. And for those businesses which have multiple locations or large warehouses, this scanning technology for barcodes goes even further. Now, employees can scan inventory and other items via their phone or other portable devices. These devices would then be plugged into a computer or network and download the information it scanned.
In addition to barcodes, there is electronic surveillance using magnetic technologies as well as radio frequencies. Devices can be hidden within a product’s packaging unbeknownst to consumers and would-be shoplifters. If that product is not scanned using the proper equipment to deactivate that device, then an alarm is raised. Just think about buying a something at a mass retailers. When an item that has not been scanned exits the store, an alarm will sound.
With the portability of this technology, methods of tracking your assets have never been easier. The hard part is determining what method would work best for your purposes. Not only that, there are countless types of software and hardware options to think about too. Barcodes Inc can assist in setting up your asset tracking. Shop now or talk to an expert today.