When we talk about asset tracking, what are the best strategic solutions on the market? It’s easy to say that GPS tracking is the best way to go; who doesn’t enjoy knowing they can pinpoint exactly where their missing phone is with the Find My Phone app? But GPS isn’t the only way to go, and arguably, may not even be the best route for you and your business. Enter your old friend, the barcode.

Each has their merits as a good business tool and they do have similarities. Both are easy to install and use, you can access pertinent information on any type of device (eg. tablet, phone, etc.), and you can tag almost anything for tracking purposes; however, this is where the similarities end. There are a few important factors to consider when choosing the right asset management tool.

In today’s age, it’s a near guarantee you’ve used the almighty Global Positioning System, commonly referred to as GPS. Travelled anywhere or gotten lost and had to find your way on Google Maps? That’s GPS. “The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of at least 24 satellites. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, with no subscription fees or setup charges.”

What that gives you is a relatively accurate, real-time location that you can access anywhere (with Internet access, that is). However, in order to pinpoint locations, chips and trackers must have a power source. If you’re using a battery, that means periodically checking and replacing them in order to take advantage of their benefits. Plus, you’re relying on satellites and frequencies, so if the item (or you) are in a low-coverage area, you’re better off with a hope and a prayer.

What sets barcode scanning apart? Well for one, it’s much more cost-effective than GPS tracking. If you’re a small to medium-sized business or start-up, implementing a barcode system for your assets won’t break the bank. In fact, once you’ve installed a system, adding more barcodes for your items can be as simple as printing them off on a home printer. What about the scanner, you ask? Your smartphone will do.

Here’s the thing: you won’t be getting any real-time location on your barcoded car or laptop but that also means you never have to worry about a dead battery again. Not only will you never have to buy another battery again but you can stop worrying about whether your lost item has, in fact, died while out.

While getting exact locations is difficult, the accuracy of a scanned barcode is 99.9%. It’s fast and can trust what’s recorded on your dashboard or app. Empower your employees by trusting them to take what they need, when they need it, and bring it back in good, working condition. If they lose or damage it, you know who’s accountable and can take action accordingly. Plus, you’re not invading their privacy by tracking their movements through satellites. We’re sure your employees will appreciate this!

Lastly, and perhaps we should’ve started with this, barcodes and scanning is fun and efficient. There’s a reason why barcodes still exist in our ever-evolving world. “The first scanned item was a pack of Wrigley’s Gum in 1974 and we continue to scan items in grocery stores, shops, our couriers, etc. It’s easy, accurate, economical technology and everyone loves a scan gun.

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