Tagging Fixed Assets Using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

The objective in tagging items using RFID is two-fold; first, once affixed, using RFID going forward makes future physical inventory counts much faster and easier to complete.

When scanning an RFID tag, line of sight is not necessary and multiple tags can be read simultaneously. This significantly speeds up the physical inventory process and requires fewer resources are involved.

Furthermore, using RFID in conjunction with real-time comparison to existing (back-end) data allows for real-time validation of logical asset information.

Second, using RFID allows for the real-time tracking of assets as they are utilized. Being able to quickly locate items as well as being aware when they move provides value.

Tagging fixed assets using RFID requires some planning and forethought. For example, when conducting an inventory and assigning an RFID tag to a specific item, you must be able to record the RFID tag number and associate it to the item it is to be affixed to. Keeping in mind that RFID scanning equipment will read all RFID tags in its read range; you must be able to isolate a single tag in order to make the association.

It is at this stage that you should also plan for the potential (future) failure of the RFID tag. RFID tags are comprised of electronics and therefore can be damaged and fail for a variety of reasons.  Given this, it makes sense to include a bar coded label in conjunction with the RFID tag that depicts the RFID tag number.

Incorporating a barcode with the RFID tags offers several benefits. First, when assigning the RFID tag to an item, instead of scanning the RFID tag, you can scan the bar code eliminating the problem of scanning multiple RFID tags simultaneously, when you really only want to scan one.

Further, if the RFID tag fails in the future, you would still be capable of scanning the barcode during physical inventory until such time as the RFID tag is replaced.

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