Workplace Organization: Equipment Labels vs. Asset Tagging

asset tags equipment labelsBoth equipment labeling and asset tagging operate with the same objective: to make your workplace more manageable by organizing the things—tools, supplies, equipment, etc.—you use to do your job.

The biggest difference between the two organizational systems is this: equipment labeling simply identifies a tool and where it belongs, while asset tagging uses scannable codes to track precisely where an item is.

For companies that operate out of one, manageably-sized facility, equipment labels will probably be sufficient. For major corporations with facilities so big you might have to leave ten minutes before your meeting to ensure you make it on time, asset tagging might be the more viable option.

But large corporations aren’t the only ones who benefit from asset tagging over equipment labeling. Some companies’ operations are so spread out that asset tagging is the best option. For example, a towing company that covers a 100-mile stretch and has a few different facilities might benefit from asset tagging because the coding system allows them to see exactly where the desired equipment is located.

Assess your company’s needs. Here are a few questions to get you started in the right direction.

  • Which option best sets up my team for success?
  • Is my facility spread out? Do we often lose track of equipment/tools that end up resurfacing at other locations?
  • Is there a lot of borrowing between departments? Equipment Labels

Equipment labels should name what an item is, who it belongs to (the production team, the marketing department, etc.), and where it should be stored. Creating a tool organization system is an important step in the right direction, but these systems only work if workers know where to put them back. These labels are paramount to maintaining organization and improving overall efficiency.

Types of Labels

Adhesive vinyl—These labels are the most commonly-used choice. Made with industrial-strength material, these labels are made to perform well in tough conditions. With their stick-and-peel backing, installation and removal is easy and hassle-free. Typically, vinyl labels are easy to customize by adding unique text and OSHA-compliant headings, signal words, or symbols.

Stencils—a common solution for large equipment like forklifts and cranes, stencils are a great labeling tool for big assets. Stenciling requires both the stencil and spray paint. If the equipment spends a great amount of time outside, consider applying sealant or weatherproofing finish to extend the life of the paint.

You will need to evaluate the size and needs of your organization to first decide if your facility would benefit more from asset tagging or equipment labeling. If equipment labeling is the method you choose to utilize, you will then want to audit your facility for equipment needing a label. Afterwards, choose the right material for your needs and develop a plan for implementation.

Additional Resources