Asset Tagging in Maintenance: Enhancing Asset Management and Efficiency

In this article we’ll explore the benefits and applications of asset tagging in maintenance and how you can implement it yourself with a quick step-by-step guide.
Asset Tagging in Maintenance: Enhancing Asset Management and Efficiency
Written by
Darren Stewart
Published on
April 12, 2023

Asset tagging is a practice employed in maintenance that involves labelling or marking physical assets with unique identifiers or tags. These identifiers typically include numbers, barcodes, QR codes, or RFID tags. Asset tagging serves the purpose of establishing an efficient system for asset identification, tracking, and management throughout their lifecycle. In this article we’ll explore the benefits and applications of asset tagging in maintenance.

The Key Benefits of Asset Tagging

Asset tagging is a powerful tool that revolutionises maintenance management by providing organisations with a host of key benefits. By labelling and tracking assets with unique identification codes or tags, businesses can enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and optimise maintenance processes. 

From improved asset visibility and accurate inventory management to simplified maintenance scheduling and reduced downtime, asset tagging empowers maintenance teams to take control of their assets, maximise their lifespan, and ensure optimal performance. With these benefits, asset tagging emerges as a vital solution that drives proactive maintenance practices, cost savings, and overall operational excellence.

Asset Identification

Asset tagging enables easy identification of individual assets within a facility or organisation. By assigning unique tags or identifiers, maintenance technicians can quickly locate and access specific assets when performing maintenance tasks.

Maintenance Tracking

The use of asset tags allows for accurate tracking of maintenance activities performed on each asset. By scanning or recording the tag during maintenance tasks, the maintenance team can maintain a comprehensive record of the asset's maintenance history, including repairs, inspections, and preventive maintenance. This information helps in assessing asset performance, identifying recurring issues, and planning future maintenance activities.

Inventory Management

Asset tags facilitate precise inventory management by providing a clear record of assets within the organisation. Maintenance teams can easily track the quantity, location, and condition of assets, simplifying planning for replacements, repairs, or spare parts. Asset tagging also helps reduce asset loss or theft as tagged assets are more easily identifiable.

Data Collection and Analysis

Integration of asset tagging with computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) or other software tools enables efficient data collection and analysis. Maintenance teams can capture data related to asset performance, maintenance activities, and costs. This data can be analysed to identify trends, evaluate maintenance effectiveness, and make data-driven decisions to optimise maintenance processes.

Preventive Maintenance Planning

Asset tagging supports the implementation and management of preventive maintenance programs. By maintaining clear records of each asset's maintenance history and requirements, maintenance teams can schedule and perform regular inspections, lubrications, calibrations, or other preventive maintenance tasks based on specific asset needs. This proactive approach helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and prolongs the asset's lifespan.

Regulatory Compliance

Asset tagging aids in compliance with regulatory standards and industry requirements. Accurate records of maintenance activities performed on tagged assets demonstrate adherence to maintenance regulations and provide evidence of compliance during audits or inspections.

Different Types of Asset Tags

There are several methods of asset tagging that organisations can employ to streamline maintenance management. These methods offer unique advantages for maintenance teams in tracking and maintaining assets effectively. Here is an outline of the different methods:

1. Barcode Tags:
  - Barcode tags are cost-effective and widely used in maintenance management.
  - Technicians can scan the barcode with handheld scanners to access asset information and maintenance history.
  - Simplifies inventory management and speeds up asset identification during maintenance tasks.

2. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tags:
  - RFID tags enable real-time asset tracking and maintenance updates.
  - Maintenance technicians can use RFID readers to locate assets, monitor their condition, and schedule preventive maintenance.
  - Ideal for large-scale maintenance operations where accurate asset tracking is crucial.

3. QR (Quick Response) Codes:
  - QR codes offer a convenient method for accessing detailed maintenance instructions and documentation.
  - Maintenance technicians can quickly scan QR codes with their smartphones to retrieve asset-specific information, including manuals, diagrams, and video tutorials.
  - Enhances efficiency and accuracy during maintenance procedures.

4. GPS (Global Positioning System) Tags:
  - GPS tags are beneficial for managing mobile assets or equipment deployed across multiple locations.
  - Maintenance teams can track assets in real-time, ensuring timely maintenance and preventing unauthorised movement or theft.
  - Particularly useful for remote or geographically dispersed maintenance operations like fleet management.

5. NFC (Near Field Communication) Tags:
  - NFC tags simplify maintenance tasks by enabling technicians to retrieve asset-specific information using NFC-enabled devices.
  - By tapping the device on the tag, maintenance personnel can access maintenance schedules, service records, and troubleshooting guides.
  - Offers a convenient and user-friendly solution for asset management during maintenance activities.

6. Data Matrix Codes:
  - Data matrix codes provide a compact and high-capacity option for asset tagging in maintenance.
  - Maintenance technicians can use specialised scanners to read the codes, accessing detailed maintenance procedures, and tracking asset history.
  - Suitable for small or irregularly shaped assets that require precise maintenance instructions.

Each of these asset tagging methods offers maintenance teams unique benefits in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility. Organisations should choose the method or combination of methods that align with their maintenance requirements, asset types, and available resources.

How to perform asset tagging:

Step 1: Determine Asset Tagging Strategy

Before starting asset tagging, decide on the strategy that suits your organisation's needs. Consider factors such as the type of assets, available tagging options (barcodes, QR codes, RFID), and the level of detail required for tracking.

Step 2: Create Unique Asset Identifiers

Develop a system for creating unique asset identifiers or codes. This can include a combination of numbers, letters, or alphanumeric codes. Ensure that the identifiers are easily readable and can be associated with the corresponding assets.

Step 3: Prepare Asset Tagging Materials

Gather the necessary materials for asset tagging, including tags, labels, barcode scanners (if applicable), and any supporting software or database systems for recording and managing asset data.

Step 4: Assign Tags to Assets

Physically attach the tags to each asset. Depending on the tagging method chosen, affix barcode labels, QR codes, or RFID tags in a visible and easily scannable location on the asset. Ensure the tags are securely attached to prevent loss or damage.

Step 5: Record Asset Information

Create a record of each asset and its corresponding tag identifier. This can be done manually using spreadsheets or through dedicated asset management software. Include relevant details such as asset name, description, location, acquisition date, and any other pertinent information.

Step 6: Capture Data with Scanners (if applicable)

If using barcode or RFID tags, utilise the appropriate scanners to capture asset data and link it to the corresponding identifiers. Scan the tags and record asset information directly into the asset management system or database.

Step 7: Validate and Update Asset Information

Regularly review and validate the accuracy of asset information in the asset management system. Update any changes in asset location, status, or maintenance history to maintain up-to-date records.

Step 8: Train and Educate Users

Provide training and instructions to employees or maintenance personnel involved in asset tagging. Familiarise them with the tagging process, proper use of scanners, and the importance of accurate data entry. Encourage adherence to the asset tagging procedures.

Step 9: Maintain and Review Asset Tagging System

Regularly review the effectiveness of the asset tagging system and make adjustments as necessary. Evaluate the need for additional tags, changes in the tagging strategy, or improvements in data management processes.

Step 10: Perform Periodic Audits

Conduct regular audits of the asset tagging system to ensure compliance and accuracy. Verify that assets are properly tagged, tags are intact, and the recorded information matches the physical assets. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can establish an efficient and effective asset tagging system that enables accurate identification, tracking, and management of assets throughout their lifecycle.

QR Code Generators

If you don’t have a CMMS to generate your own asset tags, you can still use a free QR code generator to create them and then print them out yourself as an interim solution. Here are some QR code generators that are relevant for maintenance teams:

QR Code: What Is It And How Do You Scan It | Avast

1. QRStuff ( QRStuff is a versatile QR code generator that offers a range of customisation options. It allows you to encode various types of information and provides options for colour, design, and logo customisation.

2. QR Code Generator ( This online QR code generator offers a simple interface and allows you to create QR codes with different content types. It supports URL, text, vCard, and other data formats commonly used in maintenance.

3. QR Code Monkey ( QR Code Monkey is a user-friendly generator that offers customisation options such as color, design, and logo embedding. It supports different content types, including text, URLs, and contact information.

4. QRickit ( QRickit provides a straightforward QR code generation tool. It supports various data formats and allows customisation of colors, sizes, and error correction levels for the QR codes.

5. ( is a reliable QR code generator that offers different content types such as URLs, texts, SMS, vCards, and more. It provides customisation options for size and error correction.

These QR code generators should provide you with the necessary tools to create customised QR codes suitable for asset tagging and maintenance purposes. Remember to test the generated QR codes to ensure they scan correctly before implementing them in your asset management system.

Download Our Preventative Maintenance Excel Template
Want a template to work from? Download our Excel Maintenance Template
Read about our privacy policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Simple Maintenance Software

Digitise Your Maintenance with FaultFixers

Facility Maintenance is Important. Try our maintenance system for free today.