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Tag, You’re It – How to Get Started with Asset Tracking Smart Labels

We all know the feeling of losing your keys or wallet. Now, imagine misplacing an expensive piece of equipment or a large shipment. Unfortunately, keeping track of valuable company assets can be a time-consuming task. And despite best efforts, lost or stolen property can significantly hurt the bottom line.

Like many aspects of business today, the key to asset tracking is working smarter, not harder. Asset tracking smart labels are an effective and convenient technology that companies of all industries and sizes can (and should) take advantage of.


What are asset tracking smart labels?

Assest tracking smart labels, also known as asset tagging, is the process of adding a functional label to products or equipment to improve traceability. These labels include a method of unique identification and scanning (which we’ll get into more later). When the tag is scanned, information such as time and location is connected to a database, which can be accessed by other credentialed users.

When it comes to this type of tagging, an asset can be a product, piece of equipment, or any other item that is valuable to the company and needs to be tracked.

Benefits of asset tagging

Asset tagging helps companies track their items in real-time or maintain comprehensive asset records. The technology simplifies inventory and manual tracking, streamlines recordkeeping, and improves accuracy.

Depending on your industry and needs, you can use asset tracking smart labels for:

  • Real-time traceability of equipment
  • Inventory control
  • Shipment tracking
  • Theft prevention
  • Improved maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO)

What’s the best type of asset tracking?

There are several types of asset tags – each with unique advantages and some drawbacks. High-tech options like radio frequency identification (RFID), near field communication (NFC), and GPS offer advanced capabilities, but they also require a higher upfront investment.

On the other hand, bar codes and QR codes offer many companies a cost-effective and practical entry into asset tracking. The printed tags are scanned by a laser scanner, optical scanner, or even a mobile device to access information or activate asset tracking.

Unique solutions for assist tracking labels

Asset tracking with barcodes or QR codes is relatively simple to implement. However, to get the most out of this strategy and technology, you may want to consider these three options.

  • Scannable durable labels

For assets that are exposed to harsh environments, such as in industrial or medical applications, the material and construction of the label are critical. Printing a barcode or QR on a durable label goes a long way in ensuring long-term use and reliable scanning.

  • Tamper-evident labels

Asset tracking can be combined with tamper-evident labels to further enhance security. If someone attempts to remove or alter the asset tag, the specialized material will break apart or reveal a pattern to visually indicate tampering.

  • Variable-data printing

Variable-data printing (VDP) makes it easy to assign a unique device identifier (UDI) to a product or equipment. This feature can provide granular data on the asset and can contribute to advanced analytics. In some industries, such as medical devices, VDP can help companies stay in compliance with traceability.

Designing and manufacturing tracking smart labels

If you’re ready to get started with asset tracking smart labels, the first decision you’ll need to make is the material for the label. At Tapecon, we evaluate your asset tag’s usage and environmental conditions to recommend the best durable label material.

The second major consideration is printing. Functional labels such as asset tags call for an industrial printing partner. Our printing team has extensive experience printing labels made to withstand harsh environments, including applications utilizing tamper-evident materials and variable-data runs. Finally, if your asset tag requires a custom shape or size, we can accommodate your specifications with our extensive custom converting services.

Let’s make something great 

With over 100 years of manufacturing experience, Tapecon works with product teams to solve challenges, create products, and enhance lives. Learn more about our labels and decals capabilities.

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