A Short Guide to Asset Tagging

Discover what asset tagging is, how it helps your organization and the best practices to follow when tagging your assets.

What is Asset Tagging?

Asset tagging is the process of placing labels on the organization’s various assets. Typically, these labels indicate key information about the asset, such as the product type, where it came from, the asset’s current location, and other bits of data. That way, it’s easier for managers, maintenance workers, and other personnel to track and gain a comprehensive view of an organization’s assets.

Tagging assets is critical when developing an asset management system but is often overlooked. Despite the simplicity of asset tagging, there are various approaches you can take and best practices to follow to ensure you keep a tab on all assets across different sites and warehouses.


Asset tagging is critical for an organization’s function due to various reasons. To start, tagging individual assets makes it easier for employees to track assets. For example, many companies label their assets using barcodes or similar systems, allowing them to instantly pull up various details about an asset, such as the product identifier, price (if the asset is for sale), and even the source of the asset.

On top of that, asset tagging helps prevent losses. When you have a bird’s eye view of your different assets, you can easily see where each asset is. Many modern asset tags can provide you with location data, so you can rest assured that unexplainable asset losses will be kept at a minimum.

Lastly, there are some industries wherein local government rules and regulations require organizers to tag assets. This measure ensures safety and transparency, which is why some companies must place tags on all their assets.

Types of Asset Tagging

There are different approaches you can take when tagging assets. It’s best to choose the type of asset tagging approach that works for your organization. However, organizations are encouraged to learn about all these types so they can select the best fit for their needs. Here’s a quick look at the different approaches to tagging assets.


These tags are typically in the form of a label, sticker, or metal plate, which can be scanned using a barcode scanner or smartphone. They are cost-effective and widely used for asset tracking. Barcode tags are relatively easy to implement and can store various asset information.


Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags use radio waves to transmit information to an RFID reader. They are known for their ability to track assets in real-time without direct line-of-sight, making them suitable for large-scale asset management.

RFID tags can be classified into two types:

  • Passive – no battery, powered by the reader’s signal)
  • Active – contains a battery for transmission

GPS Tags

Global Positioning System (GPS) tags are used to track the location of assets in real time. They provide precise geographic coordinates, making them ideal for tracking assets across vast areas. Thus, this type of asset tagging is commonly used for vehicles and mobile assets.

NFC Tags

Near Field Communication (NFC) tags are similar to RFID tags but operate at shorter distances. These asset tags are suitable for close-range asset tracking and management. They can be utilized in contactless payments and smartphone communication.

QR Codes

QR codes are 2D barcodes that can store more information than traditional barcodes. They are often used for asset tracking, and mobile devices can easily scan them. QR codes are versatile and can link to online databases or information.

Best Practices When Tagging Assets

To get the most out of your asset tagging practices, here are a few tips that you and the team should keep in mind:

Select the Right Tagging System

Choosing the right asset tagging method for your needs is an essential first step. For example, if you would like all employees to be able to scan asset tags when necessary, you can opt for QR codes as they can be scanned with a mobile phone and store much more data than traditional barcodes. Alternatively, you can opt for GPS tags if you require real-time location data of all your assets.

Create Standardized Practices

Once you’ve chosen the appropriate tagging system, it’s best to standardize the selected procedures for tagging assets. This practice ensures consistency and accuracy across the organization, making data interpretation and analysis more reliable. That way, there’s a smaller chance of human error, which can be costly when tagging assets.

Whichever your preferred tagging system is, managing them becomes easier with the right tool. A robust asset management solution like the SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) platform’s Assets can help you consistently implement asset tags by automatically generating unique identifiers for each item and registering all this information in one place.

Regularly Assess Asset Tags and Update Conditions

Asset tags require regular checks, as their visibility will change over time. So, it’s best to regularly inspect the tags as part of the asset inspection process and update them if they are no longer readable due to equipment damage and other reasons.

Train Employees in Effective Asset Management

Training employees on the importance of asset tagging and proper scanning techniques ensures that the system is used effectively, maximizing its benefits. So, managers are highly encouraged to implement comprehensive training programs for asset management.

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Leon Altomonte
Article by
Leon Altomonte
Leon Altomonte is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He got into content writing while taking up a language degree and has written copy for various web pages and blogs. Aside from working as a freelance writer, Leon is also a musician who spends most of his free time playing gigs and at the studio.