Mobile Asset Tracking Software And Barcode / QR Code Scanning
Mobile asset tracking software uses smartphones to help businesses keep track of the field assets and manage assets service and maintenance. As other business productivity systems, asset management software has evolved from the locally hosted desktop software systems to the web based software with the supplementary mobile application. Assets management process benefits the most from the mobile software. Assets and equipment are often used on the job sites or at the client locations, where office computers with the desktop asset management system are not available. Mobile application for the asset management allows field technicians to quickly access equipment data on the smartphone by scanning a QR code, record asset GPS location, and record equipment maintenance on a smartphone. Completed asset maintenance forms are sent to a centralized cloud location in real time, and are accessible by all members of the team. This way of field assets tracking is much more efficient than filling out paper forms.
In order to look up asset information or record asset maintenance field technician needs to have a mobile device which is capable of:
Accepting user input and transmitting it to the computer where asset management system is installed
Scanning barcodes or QR codes to identify the asset
Until recently, the only devices with the above functionality were mobile computers with the proprietary software - something that only large companies could afford. QR codes and mobile technology are changing this, allowing companies of any size to digitize asset management process by using mobile devices in the field. Instead of the mobile computers field technicians can use smartphones that they already have in their pockets.
How You Can Manage Assets With QR Codes And A Smartphone
Mobile asset management software helps you eliminate all asset related physical paperwork. Instead of the phisical paperwork you will have digital records accessible from anywhere by the authorized personnel. After tagging field assets with QR codes, field technicians will use a mobile application as a barcode scanner for accessing asset information and filling out asset maintenance forms. Specifically, field employees can scan a QR code on the asset tag and:
Review recent service and maintenance history of the asset, including description of the problems and actions
Review asset information, such as spec sheets, operating instructions, emergency procedures, pdf documentation, drawings, etc.
Record performed services and maintenance on a smartphone using mobile forms
Record GPS location of the asset
Take photos and attach them to the asset maintenance mobile forms for visual documentation
Collect signatures on a smartphone
Submit asset GPS location and completed asset maintenance record to the server in real time
If no data connection is availale, save asset maintenance records on a smartphone and submit to the server when connection becomes available
Record assets check in, check outs, relocation
Here is a preview of how it can look like in real life.
What About Parts Used For The Field Assets Maintenance
Parts and supplies for the assets maintenance can be managed with QR codes and a smartphone as well - after all barcode scanning was used for the inventory management for a while. Now smartphones can be used as barcode scanners to perform inventory transactions, and can do more than the regular barcode scanners. Using a smartphone, a field technician can track what parts and supplies are used to service / repair an asset, and check inventory stock and locations of the required parts and materials. Administrator can always review what was used for a specific asset or specific work order.
QR Codes Vs UPC Barcodes For The Field Assets Management
Often when people think about using smartphones and barcode scanning, they automatically link this process to the QR codes. This is not entirely correct - UPC barcodes can also be scanned with the smartphones, so you can use either type of barcode. The word of warning though: there are many different formats for 2D barcodes, not all of them can be read by a smartphone. If in doubt - scan your barcode with any free barcode scanning mobile application. If you can scan your barcode there is no need to produce an additional QR code tag.
What Is Involved In The Initial Mobile Asset Management Software Setup
Initial mobile asset management system setup is the most time consuming operation, but it is not as bad as you might think.
Consider how much time you will save by
automating your asset managing tasks, and do not let it turn you off! Here is what you will need to do to start managing field assets
using QR codes / barcodes and a smartphone:
An asset management mobile application that can scan barcode or QR code and send recorded information back to the asset management software. Notice, this is not a generic barcode scanning mobile application! Generic QR code / barcode scanning mobile applications will simply show you what is encoded in a QR code. These applications can also recognize encoded url and redirect you to a website, or recognize a contact information and add it to your list of contacts. In order to handle asset tracking and maintenance you need a mobile application specifically designed for this purpose. This application should be able to communicate to the web based portion of the asset management software.
Enter or import your current assets into the mobile asset management system. If you have a list of the assets in any form, importing an asset list into the asset management software is fast and painless. If you had never managed assets before, you will need to manually enter existing assets into the asset management software. Luckily, you can do it in the asset management mobile application at the same time as you label assets with the QR codes.
Tag assets. If your assets are not labeled ith the UPC barcodes or QR codes you will need to label them. Usually a web part of the asset management software will allow you to generate and print QR codes by yourself, or you can order pre-printed QR codes. As a rule, you should be able to use pre-printed QR code labels or tags with the sequential numbers, and be able to associate an asset with a QR code by scanning it.
After these three steps are completed, you are ready to start using smartphones for the mobile asset management, and always have an accurate asset location, records and maintenance history.