Why RFID for IT Asset Tracking?

Year-end IT asset audits can cause major headaches for property or asset managers in IT organizations. IT equipment that is audited, span the spectrum – servers, desktops printers, copiers, projectors, network equipment, laptops, tablets and  even smartphones. Both government and commercial organizations undergo the same tedious but essential process when it comes to trying to complete their year-end audits. We hear stories of asset managers crawling beneath desks and searching the dark corners of closets looking for misplaced IT equipment. These searches not only take up the asset managers’ time, but also the time of the equipment users themselves, thereby negatively impacting productivity across the entire organization.

1. RFID inventory scan is faster and accurate

With our RFID asset tracking solutions, one of our customers Lawrence Berkeley Labs who are tracking their IT assets in addition to their lab equipment, were able to reduce their audit time from 3 months to 3 weeks! The time needed to do an audit using RFID is a tiny fraction of what it takes to audit using barcode readers. It takes less than 10% of the time needed for a barcode scan. The improvement in productivity is even more dramatic if the organization had been doing audits manually, with pen and paper.

2. RFID allows more inventory audits due to its speed and efficiency

Most IT equipment, with the exception of mobile equipment like laptops and tablets, are expected to stay put for the most part. However, that is often not the case. Equipment might be removed because it isn’t working properly. It is quickly stashed in an already overcrowded closet – out of sight, out of mind. Someone retired or moved departments – their equipment could be swiftly repurposed for some other use within the department. All this happens without the knowledge of the uninformed asset or property manager. These are a few reasons why year-end audits tend to be such protracted nightmares.

Since RFID scanning is so efficient, asset managers are able to take periodic snapshots of their inventory all through the year, instead of just doing a single inventory survey at year end. This allows them to be able to detect a missing item earlier. Owners of the missing equipment tend to remember what happened to it, because of less elapsed time. Asset inventory is adjusted all through the year, with the asset locations updated during the periodic scans. So, when the year-end audit comes around, there are very few surprises with regards to missing equipment.

3. Reconcile inventory audit with one button click

Once the audits are done, reconciliation might also take an inordinate length of time. Figuring out the differences between your scanned list of assets and the list that your Finance folks (Finance list) have given you, can be tricky and cumbersome. Our AssetPulse IT asset tracking solution allows reconciliation to be performed with one button click, much to the relief of our users! The reconciliation gives you the list of assets in the Finance list that were scanned and found. It also provides you with a list of assets in the Finance list that still need to be found and a list of assets that were found, but were not in the Finance list.

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RFID in Manufacturing Helps Gain Better Visibility Into Production Data

RFID in manufacturing process

One of AssetPulse’s customers integrated RFID into the production work flow. Goods manufactured are embedded with unique RFID tags and each RFID asset data gets mapped to unique serial number of item being manufactured.

It is quite essential for management to get visibility into the number of goods manufactured in a given period of time and get other granular details like the quantity of the type of items manufactured per day, per shift and so on. Based on the production data, management can address any efficiency issues that might exist or bring about a process change for the better.

Without RFID all these information had to be tracked manually by feeding data into a spreadsheet or a register, which was prone to manual errors. Additionally, verifying produced goods involved manually sorting and counting them, which is quite time consuming. More importantly, archiving and reporting historical production data required intensive data mining.

RFID in manufacturing process

Now, with RFID asset tracking introduced in the manufacturing process, each and every item that gets manufactured is embedded with an RFID tag. AssetPulse asset tracking software feeds RFID data along with serial number of the item manufactured, time of manufacture, shift timing and other relevant information into a spreadsheet which is then packaged along with the production slip. RFID scanner is used to scan 100’s of produced goods in a fraction of minute and this is cross-verified against the production slip to ensure integrity of the production lot. Cross-verifying a production lot used to take at least an hour without RFID earlier.

AssetPulse asset tracking software archives the production data which is used for easier reporting and data analytics. If the manufactured goods are returned servicing or for RMA, then with the help of the unique RFID tag that is embedded, it is very easy to identify the manufacturing details of the product such as date of manufacture, batch and quantities manufactured in the batch etc. This data can be used in identifying production, QA or manufacturing issues and appropriate corrective actions can be taken.

Basically, RFID in manufacturing process provides visibility of the process as well as statistical data, all of which can be used for increasing efficiency. Want to know if RFID is the right technology for your tracking project? Contact us today.

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