How To Choose The Best RFID System For Your Business

How To Choose The Best RFID System For Your Business

How To Choose The Best RFID System For Your Business

RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, is a powerful technology. Using RFID paves the way for total control and visibility over where your assets are within a room on a floor, an area in a manufacturing facility or even a particular location in an open building site. It provides automation, which means that you no longer need to manually update any of your asset locations, or even stock check your assets regularly.

Here you will be able to find out more about how RFID systems work and, therefore, how they will save your business time and money. The technology is relatively new having been around for only about 20 years. However, it has already created a powerful level of automation one could only imagine a few years ago.

How Fixed RFID Readers Will Transform Your Asset Tracking


An Introduction To RFID Asset Tracking

Asset tracking has come a long way in the past decade. Many companies are still using the old ways of spreadsheet asset tracking to manage fixed assets, tools, equipment, and IT assets.

Spreadsheet asset tracking has always had gaps, but it was only recently that these gaps could be minimised through the use of smartphones, apps, and cloud-based software.

Now, you can use asset tracking software to log all of your assets. These assets can have unique profiles, too, meaning you can add unique data, such as issues and maintenance information, to your assets.

This is where RFID comes in. When you’re using an asset tracking app, you can use asset tags to speed up asset discovery and audits. Most commonly, these tags will be barcodes and QR codes that are scannable with your phone’s camera. Then, when you scan one of these tags, the asset profile of the equipment it’s attached to will open on your app and the last seen location will update.


Overview of Types of Auto-ID Technology

Auto-ID technology refers to a group of technology you can use to create digital twins of assets. In other words, you will be able to stick a barcode onto an asset and use this barcode to discover your asset within your asset tracking software.

As your assets are unique, Auto-ID technology must be unique, too, as each barcode, QR code or RFID tag will be used to find a specific asset within your system.

Here is a comparison chart of some of the Auto-ID technologies that are available:

Auto-ID Technologies Overview


RFID Asset Tags

RFID tags are effectively a “supercharged” version of barcodes. These super-tag labels are made up of an RFID chip adhered to an antenna in order to interact with RFID hardware. 

Unlike barcodes, such methods of detection using radio frequencies do not require visual line-of-sight. Furthermore, an RFID reader is capable of reading thousands of RFID tags within a few seconds, providing a powerful new process to instantly detect the presence of large volumes of assets without the need to manually scan them one by one. This is why it is so appealing to businesses looking to automate their processes.


Active RFID Tags

Active RFID tags use batteries meaning that they have a longer read range. This is because active RFID tags continuously send out a radio frequency for an RFID reader to detect, thus increasing the overall read range, very similar to a phone.

The combination of reader and tag is critical when it comes to a decision, as ultimately these will be the two devices communicating with each other. You need to ensure that the read ranges of your RFID reader and your tags are larger than the gap between reader and asset while also taking into account that the highest read ranges will generally have the highest costs.

A caveat to active RFID tags is that their batteries will need to be replaced regularly. The larger the battery, the less frequently it will need to be updated and, generally, the larger the tag, the larger the read-range, too. But bigger isn’t always better as you can’t track small tools with large RFID tags and as bigger tags can be more expensive.

Active RFID tags, therefore, work within specific operations and the size of these tags can be a limiting factor in how well they work for you. Passive RFID tags have much more customizability when it comes to your operations and don’t require battery replacements.


Passive Long-Range RFID Tags

Passive RFID tags do not require batteries but have a lower read range. Whilst active tags communicate by sending out their own signal, greatly increasing the overall read range, passive tags only receive a signal meaning that their read range is typically 3-5 metres using normal RFID readers but some up to 20 metres for long-range RFID readers.

The most common passive RFID tag for long-range detection is using Ultra High Frequency (UHF) tags based on GS1 EPC Network standards. In essence, as they do not have internal batteries, they derive their power from the radio frequency emitted by RFID reader devices. These passive tags then utilise the power from the RFID reader to power up their internal chips in order to send their identity back to the reader. Find out more about the physics behind RFID.

These “EPC Gen2” tags do not require manual intervention after they’ve been stuck onto an asset and they can last about 20 years. They are also cheaper than active RFID tags with typically a much smaller form factor (some as small as a few specks of sand!).

Generally, this means that they’re more suitable for tracking smaller assets and more suitable when used in a more confined environment, such as a shop floor, lab, or office. 

However, the reduced need to interact with these tags also means they’re more suitable for hazardous environments, for example, so there is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the best tags for your use case.

Both types of tags can be customised to your needs and it’s important to note that certain tags will interact with certain materials. Many passive RFID tags, for example, will not work on conductive materials such as metal, so this is another thing to consider in your search for RFID solutions.

For passive RFID tags, there are three ways in which these passive tags can be read:
 
 

  1. Using RFID handheld devices capable of detecting tags within 5 metres range

    Setup:

    An
    RFID handheld reader is required

    Typical installation & Cost:
    Up and running in minutes. Cost for one reader, you’re looking at around £1000

    Capability: 
    a. Has mobility and can deduce location based on location tags or GPS of the smartphone
    b. The cheapest option with highest flexibility
    c. Better than barcode because can read hundreds of assets within seconds

    Challenges:

    But has similar limitations in that you need a user to bring the device near the tagged object to scan them

    Others:

    Great for stock check and check-in/check-out processes
  2.  

  3. Using Fixed RFID readers typically connected with 1 or more antennas capable of detecting a tagged assets within 10 metres area

    Setup
    :
    a fixed reader with 1 or more antennas, typically 4

    Typical installation & Cost:
    Up and running within 1 day given networking availability. Cost around £2500 per reader set

    Capability:
    a. Great for hands-free operation for any time tagged assets/equipment go past a particular zone location
    b. One can also have multiple antennas multiplexed to reader
    c. With itemit, you do not require any onsite middleware or servers
    d. Readers only require power in, you can use wifi to simplify network deployment

    Challenges:
    a. Once fixed to the ceiling or wall, they can’t be removed that easily unlike handheld
    b. For really high density tagged assets, 100% readability may not be achievable but not impossible. Realistically you’re looking at 90% to 99% (whoever promises you 100% in all circumstances will be lying!)
    c. Does not provide you with precise location within sub-metre, and only a zone location accuracy
    d. Require large number of antennas and RFID readers to read a large area e.g. warehouse
  4.  
     

  5. Using Real-Time-Location System (RTLS) RFID Readers that is capable of providing an pinpoint x, y and z location within a metre

    Setup:

    Phased Array RTLS, only one reader (with in built antenna) required to cover a wide area

    Typical installation & Cost:

    Up to about £9,000 per reader, but the cost per metre will be much lower than 2 above. Installation will take say 2-3 days for each reader

    Capability:
    a. New cutting edge technology that’s available only in the past year that we believe will revolutionise large scale RFID tracking with the lowest cost of infrastructure
    b. Provides true x, y, z location accuracy up to sub-metre accuracy
    c. Great for open space (like open warehouse/factory) as it can be mounted high up in the ceiling that’s 20-30 metres high
    d. Provide real-time movement of an asset sub-metre that can be mapped as a trail…

    Challenges:
    Not suitable for an area with low ceiling as this will increase cost per sq metre
    RTLS RFID Asset Tracking Comparison Chart


    How to choose which RFID Readers to use

    Location is everything when you’re thinking about the right RFID solution to use. There are a few considerations here, such as how large your location is and which type of RFID reader to use.

    While you’re assessing your operational zone, you need to take into consideration the type of reader you need. This is due to read range as, if your operational zone is sparse, you will need to affix readers to the ceiling meaning you will need a higher read range.

    This is also because the type of RFID reader will either track two dimensions or three. So, if you’re stacking boxes and wish to find where a box is on the Z access, you will need one type of reader, but if you’re tracking asset movements in and out of a room the X and Y axes will be sufficient.


    Handheld Reader Based RFID

    Sometimes, heavy infrastructure may not be needed or may not be the best option. For example, if you’re tracking small tools. Something to keep in mind is the value of your assets and the time-saving benefits RFID systems provide. If your fixed RFID system costs more than your losses, it may not be worth it. 

    In this case, we would recommend handheld reader based RFID asset tracking systems. Handheld readers work by emitting a radio frequency when you pull a trigger. This frequency then detects the RFID tags. 

    This means that it is similar to barcode or QR code asset management systems, as you still need to scan your assets manually. However, there are still time-saving and accuracy increasing benefits.

    Your handheld RFID readers will connect to your asset tracking app via BlueTooth and work as a tag scanning peripheral, similar to a barcode scanner.

    However, one of the benefits is that tags do not need to be visible to be detected by any handheld RFID reader. This makes handheld RFID effective for high-value asset tracking as you can conceal tags under the frames of paintings, for example, to remove the need to add a visible tag to your assets.

    This is also very useful when you’re auditing small tools. If you need to ensure your tags are in the location they should be, you can use the audit feature on your asset tracking software and simply pull the trigger. Your assets will be detected without the need to search for them and physically scan the tag.

    Similar to this, if multiple assets are moving in bulk, you will be able to use a handheld RFID-based asset tracking system to reflect the change with the same method of pulling the trigger. 

    The lack of line of sight allows you to detect smaller tools without spending any time physically finding them and also increases the capability for robust health and safety measures if your assets are hazardous.

    Zebra RFD8500 Handheld RFID Reader


    Typical Fixed RFID Reader (Zone based)

    These RFID readers work by using antennas. These antennas emit electromagnetic radio frequency fields that read a tag when it is within this field. The relevant antenna will then communicate with the reader which will, in turn, communicate with your asset tracking software. This also means that this system is binary, either the tag is in the field, or it isn’t. This is how the location is deduced.

    Fixed RFID Reader

    These fixed readers are typically supplied by Zebra, Impinj, Alien Technology and Caen to name a few suppliers.

    A common example of how you can use this system is by affixing antennas on either side of a door. The reader can then detect the direction an asset is moving in as it will pass through antenna one and then antenna two or vice versa.

    The electromagnetic field emitted diffuses outwards, creating something similar to a cone. If you mount your antenna to a ceiling this means that the higher an antenna is mounted, provided the floor is within its read range, the larger the surface area the tag will pass through. Therefore, if you can accommodate this, you can save money by increasing the read range of each antenna and can purchase fewer.

    You can even add hundreds of antennas to a single RFID reader to create multiple read-zones, this is called “multiplexing”. Multiplexing allows you to track an asset’s movements around a room, as it will pass in and out of one RF zone, into another, then another, and so on. However, in practice, multiplexing can cause a delay in the collection of location data as it can take some time to cycle between antennas. Hence, it is not suitable to track moving assets such as forklift or pallets.

    While the base cost of a reader package will be lower than a phased array system, these costs can add up depending on the number of antennas you need. This will eventually surpass the cost of a phased array system.


    Long Range Phased Array RFID Systems

    These readers are different to the typical RFID systems even with multiplexing – you can envision them as emitting highly dense radiofrequency waves in a straight line, similar to lasers. As these fields don’t diffuse in the same way as non-phased RFID systems, the read range can be significantly higher (up to 20-30 metres).

    Commonly, these systems are mounted high up to cover a large space such as that of a warehouse, factories or a large area of a building with a high ceiling The difference in this technology means granular movement is also detectable, as an RF field will detect specifically where a tag is as opposed to whether or not it is in a zone.

    Though the physics of RFID phased arrays is not new, it is only in recent years that this revolutionary RFID system has been properly productised for commercial deployments. Imagine that every single asset on your site, whether pallets, forklifts, assets etc are tracked in real-time with sub-metre precision in 3D space – this was not possible before, and not possible with conventional RFID systems currently in the market.

    Phased array RFID Vs. Non-phased array RFID


    Summary

    In summary, the RFID system right for you isn’t necessarily the most expensive with the biggest read range. In fact, for some situations, this won’t work for your asset tracking operations.

    After you’ve considered your locations and the day to day operations you’re performing, you’ll be able to start matching up the requirements with the capabilities.

    For example, if you need to track when assets move from one ward to another to track hospital assets without any manual input, a passive, non-phased array system will be sufficient. If you’re tracking where pallets are placed in a warehouse, it will not.

    Once you’ve mapped out your building and your requirements and once you have a good idea of which system you need, you can then reduce costs by knowing the science behind RFID. For example, when you know how high up your building’s roof is, you can investigate the read range of antennas and choose a solution that requires the minimum number.

    Planning is key to getting the best out of your RFID solution at the lowest cost possible, but when you know your requirements and the capabilities of each system, it becomes much easier to plan this.


    itemit’s RFID Asset Tracking System

    itemit is powered by RedBite Solutions, a company built on RFID expertise. RedBite has been working in the RFID sphere for over ten years and has the largest-scale RFID deployment active to date, deployed in over 60 countries worldwide.

    This means that our team is qualified and happy to consult with you to help you find out the specifics of your requirements and recommend the best RFID deployment for you. The team can also create a bespoke solution for your needs if required.

    Alternatively, you can take advantage of our off-the-shelf solution, itemit. itemit’s asset tracking software is a powerful cloud-based system that allows you to track specific asset information. The system is unique as it allows you to combine RFID, GPS, QR code and barcode technologies to give you the highest level of accountability, transparency and control possible.

    To find out more about itemit or to discuss a bespoke RFID solution, contact the team at team@itemit.com or call us on +44 (0)1223 421611. To check out the system and what it can do, you can also start a 14-day free trial by filling in the form below.

    RFID Asset Tracking System

    Choose a better way to track your assets

    Start your free 14-day trial now

    Instant access. No credit card details required.

    You're in great company

    or, download the itemit app to get started

    Related articles

    What Is RFID Asset Tracking And How Does It Work?

    What Is RFID Asset Tracking And How Does It Work?

    What Is RFID Asset Tracking And How Does It Work?

    RFID asset tracking gives you a clearer view of what you own and how your assets are behaving. When you’ve implemented your asset tracking software, you will:

    • Save time
    • Save money
    • Lose fewer assets
    • Know what you own
    • Monitor maintenance better
    • Keep an up-to-date fixed asset register

    The main goal of any asset tracking software is to give you more accountability over all of your assets. This can be tools and equipment, heavy equipment, healthcare assets, IT assets, high-value collections and more.

    Passive RFID Vs. Active RFID


    What Is RFID?

    RFID stands for radio-frequency identification. RFID is an auto-ID technology that allows you to match specific assets to corresponding digital profiles.

    In other words, your asset tracking software will have a register of digital profiles. On these profiles, there will be unique information, such as maintenance dates and the colleagues responsible for these assets.

    Then, RFID asset tags will link these digital profiles to their physical counterparts, bridging the gap between your software and your physical tools and equipment.

    RFID asset tags have two main types, passive and active. Both use antennas to communicate with external hardware via radio frequencies.


    Passive RFID

    Passive RFID tags have antennas but no batteries. This allows them to be smaller and easier to conceal, meaning these tags are more suitable for high-value collection tracking.

    Passive tags are passive as your external RFID hardware will “activate” them. So, if you have a handheld RFID reader, when you pull the trigger it will emit a radio frequency. This radio frequency will bounce off the antennas in a passive tag, indicating their whereabouts.

    Because of this, it’s possible to find the closest tag in a vicinity, meaning that even if you have hundreds of tagged assets, you can still interact with a uniquely tagged piece of equipment.

    Passive RFID tags also come in many different shapes and sizes. This is because most standard tags are conductive. So, if you stick them on metal, such as on a laptop, this will block the signal. Some passive RFID asset tags have subsequently been created to be less conductive, meaning they can be used on metal, ceramics, plastic, and more.


    Active RFID

    Active RFID tags have a battery, meaning that they are generally larger and more robust. Instead of bouncing a radio frequency, these tags emit their own.

    The benefit of this is that they can have a much farther read range, as the interactivity is when the frequencies collide as opposed to when the reader’s frequency hits the tag itself.

    The main drawback is that these tags need to be recharged to keep them working to the best of their abilities. While this can be integrated into your asset tracking operations, it may reduce the time-saving benefits that RFID asset tracking can provide overall.

    Active RFID tags can be a lot more robust, too, meaning you can use them on heavier equipment or mitigate a loss of frequency if you’re tracking equipment that will come into contact with chemicals or extreme heats.


    What Is RFID Asset Tracking?

    RFID asset tracking is the practice of using RFID tag hardware and RFID reader hardware to match physical assets to digital counterparts. 

    On your asset tracking software, you will have a register of unique assets. So, if you’re tracking a gallery, each painting will have its own unique profile, if you’re tracking tools, each tool will have its own profile and so on.

    RFID asset tracking has an instant and clear benefit. You can track assets at greater speeds and distances. This is effective for:

    • Health and safety concerns – you can track assets without having to come into physical contact with them. This can increase COVID security, but also allow you to keep a distance from dangerous chemicals or heats.
    • Concealment – you can conceal RFID tags where you can’t conceal barcodes or QR codes. This means that you can hide RFID tags in a painting’s frame and not reduce the value of the painting, but still track it.
    • Distance – as an example, if you need to audit assets within a hospital to fulfil healthcare asset tracking procedures, you can audit without interacting with patients from a corridor.
    • Speed – using radio frequencies means that you can “cut corners” with your asset tracking software. If you want to check that all of your assets are in the location they should be, you simply need to pull the trigger on a handheld RFID reader. The radio frequencies in the room will tell your software which assets are and aren’t accounted for.
    • Small asset tracking and bulk asset tracking – if smaller assets are RFID tagged, asset discovery doesn’t require a search. You can find the asset quickly with a handheld reader. This increases your accountability and also reduces the chance of human error, as assets are much likely to be unintentionally missed if there’s a wider discovery field.


    Handheld RFID

    The main benefit of handheld RFID asset tracking is that it speeds up multiple barcode and QR code asset management operations. The core is the same, only with the ability to track from a distance and at a much greater speed.

    QR code & barcode asset management also uses the auto-ID technologies of unique QR code and barcode asset tags. The difference here is that you need to use your phone’s camera and your asset tracking app to scan these auto-ID asset tags.

    With handheld RFID asset tracking, you can circumvent this. Handheld readers link to your phone via BlueTooth and work this way, meaning you get the benefits of speed, concealment and distance.

    All asset tag-related features are improved upon by using handheld RFID readers. For example, if you want to log that a group of assets has moved from one location to another, you simply need to pull the trigger and the handheld reader will do the rest. With QR codes, you would still have to scan each tag manually, which gives you time-saving benefits but not to the same extent as using RFID.


    Fixed RFID Asset Tracking

    Fixed RFID asset tracking is the most automation you can get when it comes to location tracking within your site. Fixed RFID readers work in the same way as handheld readers and use the same tags. So, it will still be a radio frequency interaction that creates the detection of an asset.

    Fixed RFID readers work a bit differently, however. They’re named as such as you will fix them to tactical locations in your building. The reason for this is as they’re used to indicate when assets move from one location to another. 

    These RFID readers use a constant electromagnetic field created with their antennas. This field allows them to also detect the direction an asset is moving in. When an RFID tag enters the field, this is detected, then the direction is detected by where it leaves the field.

    In practice what this means is that a fixed RFID reader can detect when an asset enters or leaves a room, a shelf, or any other location. Once this is logged, these readers can tell your asset tracking software this data.

    Overall this allows you to create a digital map of locations that plot out your building and place readers in the corresponding, physical locations. When an asset moves from ward A to ward B, the entire movement is automatically detected and logged, giving you a fully automated audit trail of where your assets are moving to and from.


    How Does RFID Asset Tracking Work?

    RFID asset tracking works by putting all of these capabilities together to create a set of operations that work for your business. Knowing that these technologies exist is the first step towards creating an RFID asset tracking system that works for you.

    The fundamentals have been set out, that RFID asset tracking works by linking digital profiles with corresponding, physical assets and adding data to these profiles.

    But the RFID capabilities are only one part of the puzzle when it comes to asset tracking. 

    First of all, you’ll know your needs as a business, so the upper limit of the ROI you get will depend on the viability of certain technologies. If there is a section of your asset logistics where people don’t interact with assets, for example, if they’re on a conveyor belt in a warehouse or airport, or if time-saving is more essential than cost-saving if you’re in a busy environment such as healthcare, fixed RFID asset tracking will create a much higher ROI.

    fixed RFID asset tracking planning
    However, the ability to log, monitor, and track your assets already creates a high ROI in a few areas.

    For example, certain features allow you to streamline asset-related operations. Namely, you’ll be able to use your system as check in check out software and issues management software as well as location tracking software simultaneously, without the need for asset tags.

    Using asset tracking software first and foremost gives you an accurate list of what your business owns, how your assets are being interacted with, and how they’re performing. This data is automatically added to an exportable and customisable fixed asset register, improving insurance, expensing, tax, and acquisitions procedures to name a few.

    RFID asset tracking software increases your potential ROI. This is because you still get the core elements of asset tracking, but also unlock multiple benefits on top of this, named in the “What Is RFID Asset Tracking” section. 

    So, the way RFID asset tracking works is up to your business and its requirements. If you only need handheld RFID asset tracking to track small parts or priceless assets, then RFID unlocks this possibility and this is how it will work for you.


    Combining RFID With GPS Asset Management

    You may have noticed that there’s still a potential gap in accountability. QR code, barcode, and RFID asset management work when your assets are on-site, but what about when your assets move and you’d otherwise lose accountability over them?

    This is where GPS asset management comes in. GPS trackers will ping your asset management software periodically to update the location of your assets.

    Therefore, if your assets are in transit between one location and another, you’ll be able to use GPS tags to verify that your assets are moving in the correct direction and that they make it to the relevant sites.

    GPS tags ultimately fill in potential gaps in accountability and transparency, as a GPS tracker-based system allows you to monitor assets when they’re in motion.

    This also goes for larger, outside environments, such as airfields. If your assets are moving around frequently, it won’t be feasible to periodically scan and update asset locations and it won’t be possible to use fixed RFID readers.

    Using GPS and RFID in tandem creates an unparalleled system where you can monitor where your assets are across the globe while you’re still at your desk, whether they’re being used on-site or moving across countries.


    Using QR Code And Barcode Asset Management

    There is still a place for QR code asset management, too. It may not be viable to tag all of your assets with RFID tags. This could be for a few reasons:

    1. Budgetary constraints – RFID tags are more expensive than QR codes and barcodes.
    2. Asset materials – as your assets will be made of a variety of materials, it’s most likely that you’ll need a variety of different types of RFID tags. In tandem with budgetary constraints, it will be best to use RFID tags where they create the highest ROI, rather than purchasing lower conductivity RFID tags to stick on laptops, for example.
    3. Lower ROI – the benefits RFID tags provide may not apply to your entire asset register. For a lot of IT asset management, you will benefit as much from QR code and barcode asset management as you will from RFID asset tracking, as interactions with laptops, for example, won’t have a significantly higher level of automation with handheld RFID readers as they will with QR codes.

    Overall, there are some circumstances where it’s best to use more analogue means as it will end up providing you with the same ROI as using RFID, without the need to spend more money on RFID asset tracking hardware.

    QR code & barcode asset management at its core works in the same way as RFID asset tracking. You will still be able to create a robust, accurate, and automated fixed asset register and save time. Where RFID is needed, such as with bulk asset tracking, is where it will shine and where it will give you a significantly higher ROI than conventional barcode or QR code asset management.


    itemit’s RFID Asset Tracking System

    itemit’s asset tracking software is unique. itemit is the only software globally that allows you to combine RFID, GPS, barcode, and QR code asset management capabilities.

    What this means is that you can get the benefits from every angle of your asset tracking efforts and create a powerful asset monitoring system with as few gaps in accountability as is currently possible.

    This is why itemit is being used globally and in every industry, with asset registers consisting of construction assets, healthcare assets, props, tools, IT assets, hardware, heavy equipment, high-value collections and more.

    The team is committed to two things, too. Simplicity and support. This is why our UI is simple and easy-to-use and set up and why we’re always happy to discuss and implement feedback. This is also why our fixed RFID asset tracking system is world-first.

    Our RFID asset tracking system works off-the-shelf and is affordable, as you’ll be able to rent fixed RFID readers for the first time in the technology’s history. We want every business to benefit from the time and cost-saving benefits of asset tracking, which is why we’re disrupting the RFID market and making it accessible to any and all businesses.

    To find out more about how itemit’s asset tracking system can help your business save time and money, you’ll be able to contact the team at team@itemit.com. You can also fill in the form below to start your 14-day free trial.

    Contact us today to find out more about how your business can use RFID.

    RFID Asset Tracking

    Choose a better way to track your assets

    Start your free 14-day trial now

    Instant access. No credit card details required.

    You're in great company

    or, download the itemit app to get started

    Related articles

    Using RFID Asset Tracking For High-Value Collections

    Using RFID Asset Tracking For High-Value Collections

    Using RFID Asset Tracking For High-Value Collections

    If you have high-value assets, it is essential to ensure that they’re correctly tracked, monitored and updated. You need to log and update information regularly for a range of purposes, whether it’s for auditing or to ensure that assets don’t go missing.

    Therefore, you need to use asset tracking operations to make sure your accountability remains high and your costs remain low.

    Conventional asset tracking software usually uses QR codes and barcodes. You then use your phone’s camera to scan these tags. This can create difficulties as you can’t stick visible things onto high-value assets. This is where RFID asset management comes in.

    high value collections


    What Is Asset Tracking?

    Asset tracking is the process of logging equipment, tools, and other assets onto a system and monitoring them. In the past, a spreadsheet would’ve been used, but this can create limits and gaps in accountability, control, and transparency.

    This is why asset tracking software creates an effective, robust, and clear view of what you own. With online asset tracking software, you can add unique asset profiles to your software. You can then use an integrated asset tracking app to track assets while you’re physically with them.

    In other words, you will have a web portal that is available for reporting, data analysis, and overseeing operations and an app where you can scan asset tags and edit assets onsite when you notice or make changes to an asset.

    The system will be cloud-based, meaning that any changes you make to the system using your app will also be reflected on your web-based system in real-time. This is great for reporting purposes, as you can report issues with an asset in front of you, then manage an exportable report of these logged issues.

    RFID asset tracking then gives you more automation and control over your high-value asset tracking operations.


    How Does RFID Work?

    RFID systems use RFID asset tags. The purpose of these is the same as QR codes and barcodes. With all of these asset labels, you’ll be indicating that an asset is unique within your system.

    Then, whenever you scan an asset’s tag in your asset tracking app, the asset’s profile will open, ready for edits. Every scan also updates the asset’s last seen location using your phone’s GPS data, too, as well as logging when the scan was made and by who. This gives you a clear audit trail for your assets.

    RFID asset labels have an edge over QR codes and barcodes, however, even if they’re passive RFID tags. This is as RFID asset tags use antennas to emit radio frequencies. You can then use external hardware that you can link to your asset tracking software to pick up these radio frequencies and read the tags.

    Effectively, what this means is that you can hide asset tags in a way that wouldn’t be possible with QR codes and barcodes, as QR codes and barcodes must be scanned with your phone’s camera.

    There are then two types of RFID asset tracking that you can implement which both give you different levels of automation and capabilities.


    Handheld RFID Asset Management

    First of all, you can use handheld RFID asset management. This is very similar to how you’d use QR code asset management. You’d stick RFID asset labels onto your assets and use a handheld RFID reader to scan these.

    The automation is provided by your asset tracking software’s functionality, as well as the ability to scan multiple tags quickly and from a distance.

    The benefit is also clear, as you can conceal these tags which is sometimes essential, whether it be for paintings or wine collections or other high-value collections that you don’t want to add a visible tag to.

    In terms of automation, if multiple assets are moving from one location to another, you’ll be able to use a Quick Add feature to log this change in your system simply by pulling the trigger on your reader. Then, you can also run audits to verify that your assets are all still where they should be, again, simply by pulling the trigger.


    Fixed RFID Asset Tracking

    Fixed RFID asset tracking also uses RFID tags. The benefits are slightly different here, as fixed RFID asset management allows you to log asset movements without any manual input.

    For example, if you’re working in an art gallery, you’ll be able to position fixed RFID readers above certain doors. Then, whenever one of your pieces of artwork moves from one location to another, the change will be logged in your asset tracking system.

    Fixed RFID readers can also detect which direction your assets are moving in, meaning they’ll be able to log whether your assets are leaving a room or moving into a room. This gives you a much higher level of transparency and accountability over your asset list.


    Tracking High-Value Collections

    You can apply a lot of these asset tracking processes to high-value collection tracking. While you still get the core of the system where you’re able to log and monitor your assets, you also get additional functionalities, levels of automation, and control over your asset list where it’s needed the most.

    So, if you need a fixed asset register for insurance auditing purposes, you’ll still be able to create and export this. Your asset tracking software will automatically keep this up-to-date, too, as any changes you make within the system are also reflected on your fixed asset register.

    You will be able to make use of a wide range of asset tracking features in your system, and your system will have been built up to ensure that you get more accountability, visibility, and control over your asset list.

    Overall, whether you’re tracking artwork, wine, or equipment, you’ll be able to keep a much better eye on it using RFID.


    Business Uses For RFID Fixed Asset Tracking

    The core of asset management is applicable to many different use-cases. Asset tracking software isn’t built with specific industries in mind, it is built with the basics of what every single business needs to know about their assets.

    Because of this, whether you’re tracking tools and equipment, implementing IT asset management, or working on construction equipment tracking, as you’re fundamentally tracking assets, your asset tracking software’s features will be able to help.

    Then, there will be features on top of this that you will be able to tailor and use to your own specific use-cases, such as equipment booking software capabilities, issues and maintenance management, and more!

    RFID can benefit businesses that want more accountability and more automation over their assets. One of the benefits, for example, is that if you’re in a busy environment, using RFID asset tracking means that you cut down time on your asset tracking operations. Another is that if you’re tracking small assets, such as lab equipment or small tools, you’ll be able to use RFID to detect the tools without having to find them yourself to scan the QR code.

    To find out more about how itemit’s asset tracking software can help your business save time and money and help you take back control of your assets, you’ll be able to contact us at team@itemit.com. You can also fill in the form below to start your 14-day free trial.

    RFID Asset Tracking Software

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    RFID Fixed Asset Tracking Software Is The Future Of Equipment Tracking

    RFID Fixed Asset Tracking Software Is The Future Of Equipment Tracking

    RFID Fixed Asset Tracking Software Is The Future Of Equipment Tracking

    Computers and phones have come a long way in the past ten years. This has opened up new possibilities and capabilities in every business-related operation. 

    Before these developments, fixed asset tracking was likely done on a spreadsheet, if at all. Then, as apps and software grew in their capabilities, software created new fixed asset management capabilities.

    There are high levels of automation and improvements when using fixed asset tracking software, as you’re able to create an automated fixed asset register progressively while interacting with your assets, rather than in bulk, off-site, and on a computer.

    Passive RFID Vs. Active RFID


    What Is Fixed Asset Tracking Software?

    Fixed asset tracking software is a cloud-based system that allows you to manage your fixed assets on your laptop and on your phone. Effectively, it gives you a full fixed asset register, showing you exactly what your business owns.

    Using your app and asset tags, you’ll be able to interact with individual assets and edit unique profiles related to them. This means that you can scan an asset’s tag and report damage against that asset, for example.

    All of these edits, whether it’s checking the equipment out, reporting issues, updating location data, or logging routine maintenance are all updated in your fixed asset tracking software automatically. Then, you’ll be able to export a fixed asset register of this data as a spreadsheet or a pdf, ready for the teams, such as accounting or insurance, that need to see it.


    How Is RFID Fixed Asset Tracking Software Better?

    Conventional fixed asset tracking software will use QR codes and barcodes to allow you to monitor, log, and track your assets. Every time you scan an asset’s tag, for example, your asset tracking system will use your phone’s GPS data to log the asset’s last seen location.

    While this is still a vast improvement upon spreadsheets and other out of date systems, depending on your needs, usage, or wants, this can still have limitations.

    For example, if you’re tracking high-value assets such as paintings or wine bottles, you won’t be able to stick a visible QR tag onto the asset. This is why companies such as REME are using RFID to track their assets.

    RFID tags work with antennas. This means that you can scan tags from a distance with a handheld or fixed RFID reader. Not only does this open up the ability to conceal asset tags, but it also allows you to utilise even more automation.


    Handheld RFID Equipment Tracking

    Handheld RFID readers are able to speed up conventional asset tagging features. Firstly, not needing to search for a tag on an asset and use your phone to scan it can save you a couple of moments, but the ability to pick up radio-frequencies opens up much more.

    For example, one of itemit’s features is Quick-Add. In itemit, you’re able to create physical locations as well as use last-seen location tracking. Then, if multiple assets are moving to a new location in bulk, you’ll be able to scan the assets’ tags in bulk. With QR code asset management, this will require a line-of-sight. With handheld RFID equipment tracking, however, it just requires you to pull the trigger on your reader.

    In a similar way, you’ll be able to utilise an auditing feature. This works by clicking “audit” in your location’s profile, then you’ll be able to scan your assets’ tags to verify that they still exist in that location. With RFID asset tracking, again, it’s just a simple case of pulling the trigger.


    Fixed RFID Asset Tracking

    Fixed RFID asset tracking is the next level, and it’s the future of equipment tracking. Handheld RFID asset tracking still needs a level of manual input. However, fixed RFID equipment tracking can totally automate your location tracking.

    This is highly effective in busy environments, such as in a healthcare setting, as with fixed RFID asset tracking, you only need to set up your system and that’s it.

    itemit is unique as it provides you with an off-the-shelf fixed RFID system that is easy to set up and start using. How it works is that when an asset moves from one location to another, a fixed RFID reader will pick up on this movement, as well as the direction, and either assign or unassign your asset from the location it’s moving to or from.

    Overall, both of these capabilities give you more speed, more automation, and more control over your fixed assets. This means that you’re able to gain a higher level of accuracy, avoiding ghost and zombie assets, while inputting less than half the work!

    To find out more about how itemit’s RFID fixed asset tracking software can help your business, you’ll be able to contact us at team@itemit.com. You can also fill in the form below to start your 14-day free trial. Contact us today if you’re interested in RFID!

    RFID Fixed Asset Tracking Software

    Choose a better way to track your assets

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    Why RFID Asset Tracking With Revolutionise Your Operations

    Why RFID Asset Tracking With Revolutionise Your Operations

    Why RFID Asset Tracking With Revolutionise Your Operations

    RFID asset tracking provides you with new levels of automation when it comes to tracking your critical tools and equipment. With fixed RFID, you’ll be able to totally automate location tracking, without the need for any manual input or edits.

     

    Coupled with effective asset tracking software, the amount of data you can use, view, and edit on the fly with RFID asset management is incredible, allowing you to:

     

    • Save time
    • Save money
    • Automate your operations
    • Share your workload
    • Keep a maintained fixed asset register of what you own
    Passive RFID Vs. Active RFID


    Speeding Up Audits With Handheld RFID

    First of all, you’ll be able to use handheld RFID asset tracking procedures to further automate your asset tracking. Handheld RFID works in a similar way to QR code asset management.

    Therefore, each of your assets will have a unique asset tag, linking the asset to a corresponding digital profile. On this profile, you can maintain critical financial, insurance, usage, and maintenance data.

    Handheld RFID speeds up and improves many asset tracking features, however. For example, if a bulk of assets are moving from one location to another, you just need to hold down the trigger on your handheld reader to reflect this change on your app.

    In a similar way, you’ll also be able to audit that assets are in the location that they should be. Again, all you need to do here is tell your app which location you’re in, press audit, and pull your reader’s trigger.


    Handheld RFID Asset Tracking Benefits

    Fixed RFID asset tracking gives you the next level of automation. Now, you don’t have to interact with your asset management system at all to record that assets have changed location.

    All it takes is a fixed reader in a tactical location (such as above a door-frame). Then, every time an asset tagged with RFID moves in or out of a location, the antenna will pick up the direction and log whether it is being added or removed.

    Fixed RFID is now easy to set up and works out-the-box when you use itemit. You don’t need extensive technical knowledge and massive set-up fees are a thing of the past.


    Using itemit As Your RFID Asset Tracking Software

    RFID asset tracking software is usable in many different fields. If you can’t use QR codes or barcodes as you need to hide an asset’s tag, in high-value asset tracking, for example, or if you’re in a high-pressure, high-speed environment, such as in healthcare, RFID asset tracking will make your life easier.

    itemit is unique as it allows you to combine asset tracking technologies. Therefore, you’ll be able to benefit from QR code asset tracking, RFID asset management, and GPS tracking simultaneously, all in one system.

    Overall, you can automate multipe operations and mitigate asset loss by ensuring the highest levels of accountability possible within your business.

    To find out more about how itemit’s RFID asset tracking software can help automate your operations, you’ll be able to contact the team at team@itemit.com. You can also fill in the form below to start your 14-day free trial.

    RFID Asset Tracking

    Choose a better way to track your assets

    Start your free 14-day trial now

    Instant access. No credit card details required.

    You're in great company

    or, download the itemit app to get started

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    How Does A Warehouse RFID System Work?

    How Does A Warehouse RFID System Work?

    How Does A Warehouse RFID System Work?

    RFID tracking is the future. With a fixed RFID system in place, you’ll be able to automatically track your stocks, the movement of equipment, and the status of your assets.

    Implementing a warehouse RFID system allows you to see how all of your stock and assets are moving. This way, you don’t need to manually update anything whenever an asset’s status changes.

    itemit has a world first, off-the-shelf RFID asset tracking system integrated, meaning now setting up your RFID system is low cost, quick and easy.

    Passive RFID Vs. Active RFID


    What Is A Warehouse RFID System?

    A warehouse RFID system is one which allows you to monitor the movements and status of your warehouse’s assets without any manual input.

    All of your tools and equipment will be tagged with RFID labels. These labels will then interact with your asset tracking software and update a variety of data.

    So, every time an asset moves from one location to another, your asset tracking software will automatically pick up where the change is happening and log it.

    This is incredibly helpful if you want to automatically log and track a workflow. So, if you have a variety of rooms attached to your warehouse which serve different purposes, you’ll be able to see which operations are happening to which assets.


    Handheld RFID Asset Tracking Benefits

    When you use a larger-scale warehouse RFID system, you will also be able to benefit from handheld RFID tracking. The difference between the two systems is that your fixed RFID system will use fixed trackers and your app-based system will use external handheld readers.

    As the same tags can be read by both handheld and fixed RFID readers, you will be able to contribute to asset management operations with more interactions if necessary.

    So, if you need to audit equipment in a location to verify that all of the assets that should be there remain, all you need to do is use an audit feature. Once you’ve added the feature it’s as simple as pulling the trigger on your handheld RFID reader and your asset tracking app will do the rest.


    More RFID Asset Tracking Applications

    Fixed RFID is incredibly helpful in construction equipment tracking, healthcare asset management, and high-value asset tracking.

    There are many benefits to using an RFID system, including speed, automation, and the fact that you can hide RFID asset labels. The ability to conceal labels, for example, means that you can track assets such as paintings, props, costumes, and wine bottles without affecting the value with a tag that must be visible.

    Fixed RFID and automation are also incredibly helpful in environments where speed is a must. For example, if you’re working in healthcare, you may not be able to spare time to track your assets. So, automating this mitigates risks related to maintenance, accountability, and transparency.

    itemit has a world-first RFID system that allows you to combine asset tags, too. This way, you’ll be able to set up your RFID asset tracking quickly and off-the-shelf, while also using GPS asset trackers and QR code asset management.

    To find out more about how itemit can help your business, you’ll be able to contact the team at team@itemit.com. You can also fill in the form below to start your 14-day free trial.

    Warehouse RFID System

    Choose a better way to track your assets

    Start your free 14-day trial now

    Instant access. No credit card details required.

    You're in great company

    or, download the itemit app to get started

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