In my role as Manager of Engineering, I am also responsible for asset management. Fortunately for me, the City is relatively small, and keeping track of all the various pieces of equipment, computers, fleet, buildings, etc is not a huge task. However, one option that has been considered, and has worked in Municipal and Commercial asset management systems elsewhere is barcoding of assets and documents.
For most engineers barcodes are the last thing they want to have to think about, but it’s not just the barcode that’s important, it’s the Barcode Verifier that is important. This could be a handheld scanner, similar to the ones at the supermarket, but designed to read the barcodes for your assets and allow you to store relevant information in a database.
So where do you go to get this Barcode Verification Equipment? A viable solution need to have an online presence, online store, offer turnkey solutions, as well as parts and suppliers. These guys seem to offer all of that, in a website that is pretty straight forward. Barcode Verification and writing equipment is not cheap, but for asset management and document tracking in organizations of any size, barcodes, offer a simple secure way to manage a database of physical items.
I’m not sure how we are going to manage our assets, particularly with the requirements that have been imposed by higher levels of government on capital asset management, but a barcoding system seems like a good idea.