There are lots of things that must be thought-out, planned and documented when implementing a asset tracking system. With over 65 years of experience in ID solutions, Metalcraft has assisted on thousands of successful asset tagging projects.
With so many implemented projects under our belt, we consistently see 4 things that tend to get overlooked or under-valued when an asset tracking system is implemented.
1. Total Number of Assets Being Tracked is Under-Estimated
When a business begins tracking its assets they often feel they have a good handle on what they want to track and how many assets they need to tag. Commonly though what we have experienced is that when customers actually start looking at their inventory or the totality of all their fixed assets it's quite a bit more than what they had originally thought or planned.
On average we see most customers that are implementing asset tracking need about 15% more tags than they originally thought due to additional items they did not account for or the scope of what they are including in their tracking program increase after project initiation.
2. Need For Software
Whether implementing a barcode or RFID asset tracking system, the need for software to make your asset tagging project a success is critical. Finding the right asset tracking software whether it is a simple application, a cloud-based offering or a propriety in-house system, identifying the right one for your particular application is necessary to effectively harness the technology your asset tags utilize.
3. Purchasing Tags & Labels Based on Price Rather Than Functionality
Choosing the right asset tag, in reality, is one of the most important decisions you'll make in developing your ID system. If the tag is not durable enough, have the appropriate adhesive, or constructed to last, then ultimately, it will cause issues, or defeat the entire purpose of asset management in the first place.
Make sure when choosing tags and labels to select the tag construction that will function appropriately and not be the weak link that causes the project not to fail.
4. Understanding How Metal Surfaces Impact RFID
When implementing a RFID asset tracking system it's important to understand how metal can influence the system.
First, metal and standard RFID tags don't mix. A standard RFID tag is not made to be read on a metal surface because of the radio waves will bounce off the metal surface and never reach the tag. If you are placing RFID tags on a metal surface, you will need an on-metal tag RFID tag. These tags are designed specifically to work on metal surfaces and perform well. Metalcraft offers a range of on-metal RFID tags including our patented Universal RFID tags that work no matter what surface they are applied.
Also in terms of metal, it's important to understand that a radio wave cannot pass through metal. In a passive RFID system, radio waves sent by a reader to power up a tag would reflect off the metal and never reach the tag; thus, it would not be able to respond. If you have RFID tagged objects inside a metal container, you would need to put a RFID reader inside the container to read the tags.