Hardware - Do you track and label your assets?

Last updated by Chloe Lin [SSW] 4 months ago.See history

Most companies have physical assets and it is crucial to keep track of those assets: Are they in a particular location? Who are the assets with? Are they assigned somewhere else?

Businesses generally need to provide their employees with a multitude of assets. E.g.:

  1. Keyboards
  2. Mouses
  3. Laptops
  4. Workstations
  5. Mobile Phones

Keeping track of those assets is essential for the business to have any control over them, and having a spreadsheet with values for the assets and all that is not the best approach.

asset tracking
Figure: Bad example - Asset Tracking on spreadsheets is bad

In our day and age, we have better (and free!) systems that allow us to track the businesses' assets, including:

  1. Purchase Date
  2. Order Number
  3. Serial Number
  4. Model
  5. Which location that asset belongs to
  6. Which user that asset belongs to (or is in possession of/checked out to)
  7. Number of assets
  8. And even their depreciation value

All this in a nice UI that allows for you - or even your user themselves - to edit and check out assets.

Tracking is all fun and games, but what about knowing which asset is which? You also need to physically label your assets.

This means that after creating the asset in the system, it generally gets a unique ID within it, and you should generate a label (preferably with a QR or bar code for easy scanning) and attach the label to the asset in question. This makes it super easy to see the asset ID and name at a glance, and, in the case the asset is lost somewhere, anyone can easily scan the QR code and be brought to a site with instructions on how to return or notify the company that asset is lost.

There is a couple of exceptions to the above:

  1. When the items are physically small and can't have a tag on them you shouldn't put one on.
  2. When the items are too cheap they don't need to be individually tagged, having the total number + the number of items checked out to people is enough.

qr code v2
Figure: Good example - A professional label printed with the important asset info e.g. ID, name and serial number

A good system that does all this is SnipeIT. It has a nice interface, easy to use, maintain and upgrade. SnipeIT also generates labels for you, wiht an API to integrate with your current systems. It is free if you host it yourself!

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