Asset Tracking, Maintenance With QR Codes and a Smartphone

In a previous article we described how businesses can efficiently manage inventory using QR Codes and mobile technology. These technologies are useful in saving time, money and streamlining operations in the areas beyond inventory management. Here are some ideas on how you can use QR Codes and a smartphone to track assets and equipment, streamline equipment service procedures, speed up and simplify inspections and audits, and even enhance safety.

...mobile assets are often in the remote places away from office and computers, and entering [their] data manually is not practical.

Asset / Equipment Tracking: Always Know Where Things Are

If you have mobile assets that employees are taking out / returning on a regular basis, or equipment that is moved between different areas of the building or between locations, it might be hard to keep track of equipment whereabouts and availability. There are several software packages designed to help companies to keep track of their equipment and assets. The problem is -- mobile assets are often in the remote places away from office and computers, and entering data manually is not practical.

Using smartphone and QR Codes - based mobile app really changes situation. Now any authorized employee can record check-in or check-out in seconds by simply scanning QR Code on the asset with a smartphone. The update immediately goes into the central server and becomes available to all authorized devices. Result -- no more wasted time and frustration! Any authorized person can access asset / equipment status and location from anywhere on the phone or office computer.

Equipment Procedures and Safety: Don't Forget Anything

Equipment operators spend countless training hours learning equipment operations, emergency procedures, and safety. But it is still easy to overlook something. Instead of searching for information in a paper manual, employee can now get necessary information by scanning QR Code attached to the equipment. Information can be organized by topic and made searchable, making learning faster and work safer.

Equipment Service: Do Not Reinvent The Wheel

Since companies started to use knowledge bases, productivity has increased significantly, and time spent on technical support decreased. Most of the problems are not new. Something puzzling you today in all likelihood was encountered and solved before. Knowledge base helps company employees to effectively use existing knowledge and save new information. The same concept applies to servicing equipment, except in many cases there is no readily available computer with internet connection to access equipment service history or search knowledge base.

Inspections and audits often involve double work.

QR Codes help with this problem as well. Technician servicing an equipment can scan QR Code, record what was done and send this information to the central database. Similarily, he can review service history of this piece of equipment - when service was performed, who did it, what was the problem and what was done.

Inspections and Audits: Make It Simple

Inspections and audits often involve double work. At first you take notes during site visit, then you have to re-enter everyhing in the computer in your office. In addition, paper notes can be misplaced or lost, resulting in more extra work and wasted hours.
QR Codes, combined with the processing software and mobile application, make this process simple and effective. Employees can create inspection forms via the web and then get the correct form on their phone by scanning QR Code on the equipment or infrastructure. Form filled out on the phone, along with accompanying photos, will be sent right to the central database and be available immediately for reviews and reports. The whole inspection takes less time, does not require re-entering data, and nothing is misplaced or lost!

Moving Further

These are just some of the ideas on how QR Codes, coupled with a smartphone and processing software can simplify your life, save time and money. There might be other applications of QR Codes technology. The general idea is: if you need to access or record information for an asset, equipment, infrastructure - QR Codes is the technology to use.

 
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