How to prepare for better IT asset management by introducing the RFID technology?
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Last week, I went to Orlando to join the RFID Journal Live! 2013 trade show. It was a great opportunity to see the latest solutions using this technology. Talking to people and walking around the trade floors validated my belief that the RFID industry has entered into a maturing stage of growth.
Recently, I have written a few guest blogs on the topic of the RFID technology and what it means for IT asset management. Earlier this year, we have published a new white paper on why the development of the RFID technology has made asset management more urgent. We firmly believe that the increasing availability of reliable RFID solutions will serve as a catalyst for better asset management practices in some emerging areas, such as IT asset management.
So what do you need to do in order to embrace the opportunity to save money and improve operational efficiency by leveraging the RFID technology in your IT asset management practice?
- Understand that the performance of the RFID technology is highly reliable now, and you should be able to find the solution that meets the required performance standards. Also, there are many choices for RFID tags, with different reading ranges and form factors. We always recommend to our customers to work with the company MetalCraft I.D. Plates and Labels, and a glance at their website will probably convince you that.
- Do some simple calculation about the cost savings you can get by introducing RFID tags for your assets. A big cost component in asset audits is the cost of labor. Unlike the traditional 1D or 2D barcodes, RFID tags can be read in bulk and without line of site. Introducing RFID tags can save the cost of inventory audits significantly, often by 60-80%. The Social Security Administration has recently introduced RFID tags to manage assets in their data centers. They have reduced the amount of labor hours required for tracking their inventory by 90%.
- Don’t undervalue the benefits from avoiding the risk of losing critical assets. Losing track of assets leads to audit failure, fines, loss of government grants, and potential security breaches.
- Start with assessing your business processes. Technology solutions can only work if they support your business processes. The availability of a new solution can often serve as a catalyst for assessing and improving your current business processes. For example, what is your procedure for receiving and approving assets into the system? How do you input new assets or update existing assets? What are the procedures for scheduling assets or reassigning assets? Who have access to which information? What reports do you need on a regular basis? How often do you make asset disposal decisions? What are the criteria for disposal choices? Identifying and codifying these business processes will help you to find the right technology solutions.
- Decide on the metrics for measuring the success from improved asset management practices. Owning the goals on these metrics will help you get the organizational buy in and leadership support to implement the changes in the asset management practice. Some metrics to consider: reduction in staff hours for asset audits, reduction in loss of assets, improvement in audit reports.
At E-ISG Asset Intelligence, we provide the IT asset management SaaS solution eQuip! to help you manage the lifecycle of IT assets, including hardware and software. Our solution also support open source network discovery tools so you can track PCs and servers that are accessing your network but haven’t been entered into the IT asset repository. This is a very important feature because it’s a daily challenge for IT asset manager to reconcile the physical inventory with the asset database. This feature in our IT asset management solution eQuip! will make the life of IT asset manager much easier. To help you develop and implement the most appropriate RFID asset tracking solutions, we work with our partner Barcoding Inc., a leader in RFID technology implementation. They will bring the in-depth expertise and implementation experience to the team.