A good portion of asset management systems, material, etc talk about tagging and scanning assets. There’s a whole bunch of questions around what type of tags work best and whether barcodes offer more advantages than QR codes. I’m not going there on this blog. I’m going to start at the beginning.

To tag or not to tag, that is the question? Or more accurately, what to tag?

I guess the question here is how far do you go with tagging? Do you want to tag every single asset, scan and link it to your system? That’s an option of course though I don’t think it takes a lot of brain power to realise that’s quite a commitment in terms of time and expense. You’d obviously need to balance that with the importance/significance of the asset and what the implications would be if the asset moved and you couldn’t identify it.

For example if you had 30 desks in a classroom, is it important to know which desk is which? Would it be important to know where it ended up when you found it? I don’t really have an opinion on that, only you can make that decision.

What I will say is that generally speaking the more information you have the more you can do with it.

I will also say too that when asset management is only a bit player in the whole show, as it is with schools, you’ve really got to challenge that generalisation.

In my experience with any system you have to balance the amount of data you collect with the commitment needed to keep it up to date. It stands to reason that the more you collect the more work you’ll have to put in to maintain it.

So what’s needed is a pragmatic approach to tagging. For example you may decide to tag the mobile, electronic devices in the first instance along with any other higher value items. If items don’t move because they’re fixed (lab benches for example) then do you need to tag them individually? You may want to consider tagging your desks and recording the range of numbers in your system, e.g. 0010-0040 for the 30 desks. Often it’s as much the linking to the system as it is sticking the tags on. Of course, in schools you have the added issue of children, consciously or unconsciously, picking at and ripping off the tags.

I could go on but for me it comes down to two things. One is to be informed so you can make the decision you feel is best for your school. The second one to build in some element of flexibility so that if you need to reduce or increase the number of items you’re tagging then your system will accommodate it.

With Every Asset Management, we have that covered!