A Beginners Guide to IT Asset Tracking

IT Asset trackingWhy implement an IT Asset Tracking Solution?

If you have been running your business for some time now, chances are you have probably found yourself at a loss when it comes to your IT equipment. Businesses often lack the necessary insights into their IT equipment usage and maintenance and hence base important decisions like procurement, budget allocation and asset retirement on guesswork and run-time needs. Consequently, these businesses end up either over- or under-spending on their IT equipment and frequently lose track of their valuable assets. They also run the risks of incorrect audit reports that expose them to huge fines. This is why you need an effective IT asset tracking strategy that can help track valuable KPIs and keep tabs on IT equipment. This guide will detail the basic steps that need to be taken when implementing an IT asset management solution.   Continue reading

Why your asset tracking software needs an on-the-go app!

asset management app

Asset tracking software isn’t just for keeping records. Logging details as dynamically as possible has increasingly become a necessity, especially owing to how complicated some industry workflows, vendor communications, and maintenance schedules have become.

On-premise versions cost a lot in terms of deployment and other hidden infrastructural costs, with on-the-cloud solutions being generally preferred across industries. This is not only because they save you money, but also owing to the increased data security and flexibility they offer. A great off-shoot of cloud-based equipment management software is the ability to use apps allowing instant updates from the field. The fluidity this offers to any company’s operations can be really invaluable. Below, we discuss 6 ways asset management apps have revolutionized equipment tracking across industries. Continue reading

Location Barcode Management with EZOfficeInventory

Location Barcode ManagementLocation barcode management helps you track your assets across a large number of locations quickly and efficiently. Not just this, but you can keep up with complex location labeling practices. For example, warehouses can often have a very detailed ID system, with 10.202.989.1.99 signifying warehouse # 10, aisle # 202, rack # 989, stack # 1 and at position # 99. Using our new location barcode system, you can now scan these numbers to get to the exact items you need in no time at all!

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Smartphone Based Scanners for Inventory and Asset Management

Setting up a Barcode Scanner with EZOfficeInventory (PC/Mac)

Barcode Scanner EZOfficeInventory

EZOfficeInventory enables you to effectively manage items by streamlining your check-in and checkout workflows. In this post, we’ll take you through using EZOfficeInventory to set up a Barcode scanner on your PC or Mac. To learn how to set up a Barcode scanner on the EZOfficeInventory mobile app, click here.

EZOfficeInventory gives you a lot of options to speed up checkouts and reservations. These include:

  • Selecting a few item checkboxes from the asset list and choosing the Checkout option from the Actions dropdown.
  • Using EZOfficeInventory’s mobile app to bulk scan labels and take actions.
  • Using the Cart to add items and check them out in one go. The Cart should be enabled from Company Settings → Add Ons → Cart Module.

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Bulk label scanning feature released, productivity boost alert!

Note: This post details an older version of our mobile app. To see the new mobile app in action, click here.

Think of it as a holidays gift from us, fall 2013 has been all about giving customers the features that they most desire. The ability to scan a number asset labels through a mobile device and then take actions on them in a single go was a much requested feature. We realized the time and effort reducing potential of this feature and are excited to announce its release.

Imagine checking out a camera, a tripod and a lens by simply scanning their labels and then selecting checkout on your favourite mobile device. No need to launch a browser, look up the assets one by one and then check them out sequentially! You can scan up to 25 items in a go and can be a mix of barcodes and QR codes. In the figure below, the user has already added 2 items into the scanning ‘shopping cart’. Continue reading

Using the Label Designer and third party (Avery) labels

EZOfficeInventory enables you to create and edit labels using the Label Designer. To access this, go to More → Print Label Templates.

Print Label Templates

Here, you can edit or delete older templates by clicking the relevant icons in the last column. You can also create a new template by clicking on ‘Add Print Label Template’. This can be done for both items and bundles.

Before we get into that, let’s see what the Label Designer does:

  • State of the art, drag-and-drop based designer. Just grab the data box and move it to the canvas below.
  • The choice of inserting QRCodes, Barcodes or both on the label to use with our mobile device based scanning feature.
  • All of an asset’s pre-defined fields can be printed on the asset label.
  • Similarly, all custom attributes (text, date, paragraph) are available for printing on the asset label.
  • Apply rich formatting to data fields (by double-clicking on the field’s data box)
  • Insert free-form text and easily apply styles like fonts, alignment, size, and rotation.
  • Ability to insert your company logo into the label.

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QRCode vs. Barcode – Issues, practices and recommendations

QRCode vs. Barcode

QRCode vs. Barcode

We regularly receive queries from clients confused on whether to use a Barcode or QRCode for asset labels,  their trade-offs and best-practices. This blog post will help answer some of the common issues. For information on how to set up a barcode scanner, click here.

We’ll start by an introduction to what the two are and their respective virtues.

Barcode:

  • Widely used for a long time
  • Contains an alpha-numeric sequence
  • Most assets come with manufacturer issued barcodes

QRCode:

  • A modern successor becoming popular very quickly
  • Greater data storage capacity and support for multiple data types.
  • Fast and reliable scanning for camera based devices eg, smartphones and tablets.

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Asset Labels for Tracking Inventory

Asset Labels are a key aspect of inventory management. When creating asset labels a few things you need to look out for include:

  1. Size – A label needs to be just large enough to be easily identified. Too big and it becomes an eye sore, too small and its utility diminishes
  2. Quality – We recommend doing a trial run with Avery Labels. We have quiet a few templates for them, just email us at info@ezofficeinventory.com. Once you’ve tried out the labels on assets, then its time to go commercial with durable ones. We can coordinate with your vendor if needed
  3. Information – At a minimum have a QRCode in there. That way, you can scan and have up to date information show up on your smartphone. But you’d probably like to add a few more words in there, like ‘property of …’, and possibly some asset identification number to help with manual look ups just in case you don’t have your smartphone handy to scan the QRCode

AssetLabelTemplate

We provide a feature rich template engine for designing the labels so your labels come out looking professional. Its a drag and drop tool from where you can drag any of the assets attribute and drop it into the canvas. Additionally double clicking any of the text widgets gives configuration options like its font size, orientation and alignments. You can also use the Text Box widget to write standard text across all asset labels.

And check out the scan report to see who and where an asset label has been scanned, we have markers on an interactive map to help identify the locations!

Making QRCodes useful with Asset Tracking Software

qrcodesQRCodes are a great tool for accessing pertinent data, given that the information has been encoded into the QRCode. For normal inventory tracking, EZOfficeInventory has always allowed direct access to data for logged in users who scan QRCodes. But what about assets that get lost and are found by a stranger. Chances of a stranger returning a lost item are slim to none when an item is found in an open environment e.g. a food court, a mall’s restroom etc.

Likely reasons for this being that most individuals would assume the original owner will return and find the item where they last placed it or that the hassle of tracking down the original owner to be too much. But WHAT IF QRCodes could be updated to display information such as “Oh Great, you just found our lost laptop. Please call 1408-xxx-xxxx and we’ll be really happy!”. Or how about, “This is the property of ABC corp and is NOT for resale, please contact us at …. to return”.

Well imagine no more, you can now set up QRCodes to update what they show in EZOfficeInventory. Go ahead, check it out and if your missing property ever makes it back,

pay it forward“! 

QRCode Versus Barcode: Best Practices and Recommendations