Barcode asset tracking has become an increasingly popular solution within manufacturing operations in recent years. Barcode asset tracking software allows your company to track and manage your assets using a system of barcodes and scanners that provide real-time data and insight on inventory levels, asset locations, and maintenance needs. However, while barcode asset tracking is undoubtedly a useful tool, it is not a magic solution that can solve all of your manufacturing company's problems.

The Downfall of Barcode Tracking

One of the main limitations of barcode asset tracking is that it only provides visibility into the physical location of your assets. While knowing the physical location of your assets can be helpful in managing inventory levels and reducing waste, it cannot be used to address underlying issues with production processes or quality control. For example, if your manufacturing company is experiencing a high level of defects or inefficiencies in your production line, simply tracking the location of assets will not provide any insight into the root cause of these issues or even where in the process they might occur.

Another limitation of using barcode scanning for manufacturing is that it requires significant upfront investment in both hardware and software. Barcode scanners, labels, and software can all be significant expenses, especially if you are operating in a smaller manufacturing plant. Additionally, implementing a barcode asset tracking system requires training employees to use the new technology, which can take time and resources away from other important tasks.

Furthermore, an asset tracking barcode system can be prone to errors and inaccuracies. For example, if a barcode label becomes damaged or unreadable, the asset it is associated with may be misidentified or lost. After all, scanners have difficulty reading damaged labels. Similarly, if one of your employees accidentally scans the wrong barcode, incorrect data might be recorded in the system. These errors can result in workers mismanaging inventory levels or failing to track maintenance needs based on the faulty data. Ultimately, what might initially seem like minor drawbacks of barcode scanning quickly end up having a major impact on your company's bottom line.

Other limitations have less to do with drawbacks and more to do with the capabilities inherent to – or rather, absent from – the system’s very design. One such limitation is that barcode scanning is a reactive tool, not a proactive one. While an asset tracking software with a barcode scanner can provide real-time data about inventory levels and asset locations, it cannot offer predictive insights into future trends or needs. For example, if your manufacturing operations are experiencing a sudden surge in demand for a particular product, barcode tracking will not provide any data that can provide significant guidance on how to adjust production processes to meet this demand. This lack of proactive insight can make it difficult for companies to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing market conditions.

Finally, a barcode asset tracking system may not be suitable for all types of assets. For example, if your company has assets that are too large or bulky to be easily scanned, barcode tool tracking may not be a practical solution. Also, if your company has assets that are prone to damage, barcode labels are likely not going to be durable enough to withstand harsh conditions. In these cases, your company must find a better solution to tracking its assets.


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Link Labs RTLS Solution

While asset tracking with barcodes can be a useful tool for your manufacturing operations, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution and may not even address some of your core problems. Link Labs’ IoT asset tracking solution, however, provides the flexibility to tackle many of these overlooked problems as they arise.

Link Labs’ asset tracking solution is revolutionizing the way manufacturing companies manage their assets, including products, equipment, and personnel. By using our asset tracking devices, your company can track and monitor your assets in real time, providing greater visibility, accuracy, and efficiency across your operations.

In this regard, Link Labs’ asset tracking solution can provide a significantly more well-rounded alternative to barcode scanning. As we have previously discussed, barcode asset tracking enables workers to track and manage products as they move through the production process. However, barcode asset tracking can be a challenging and error-prone process, especially in large and complex manufacturing environments. This is where Link Labs asset tracking comes into play, offering several solutions that solve problems that barcode scanning can’t.

Automated Data Collection

One of the key benefits of our asset tracking solution is its automated data collection. IoT asset tracking devices automatically collect data about the location and status of your assets, eliminating the need for manual data entry. This can improve the accuracy and speed of data collection, simultaneously reducing the risk of errors and increasing productivity. Instead of scanning barcodes with their handheld scanners, our system automatically logs relevant location and condition information for accurate and up-to-date data. 

Improved Asset Visibility

Link Labs’ asset tracking devices provide real-time information on the location and status of assets, making it easier for workers to find and track them. This helps to reduce the risk of lost or misplaced assets and to improve inventory management. With this level of visibility and control, your workers can quickly and accurately locate assets across the manufacturing process, reducing errors and increasing visibility.

Enhanced Process Visibility

Our solution provides complete visibility across the entire manufacturing process, from raw materials to finished products. By maintaining this visibility, your operations can effectively identify bottlenecks and process inefficiencies and address them using direct data. By monitoring your assets in real time, your operations can adjust the production process for better overall optimization.

Condition Monitoring

Our asset tracking devices don’t stop at just location monitoring. They can also monitor the condition of your assets and provide alerts when maintenance or repairs are needed. This can help your manufacturing operations avoid unexpected downtime and reduce maintenance costs. By monitoring the condition of your equipment, you can quickly identify issues to reduce the risk of equipment failure.

Link Labs’ IoT asset tracking is a game-changer for manufacturers looking for an alternative to their limited barcode scanning processes. By providing automated data collection, improved asset visibility, enhanced process visibility, and condition monitoring, our asset tracking devices provide increased value where barcode scanners simply cannot. Our leading goal is to always provide your manufacturing operations with a solution that delivers greater efficiency, productivity, and cost savings than alternatives. Manufacturers that embrace Link Labs’ IoT asset tracking solution enjoy a major competitive advantage in today's fast-paced and dynamic business environment. If you want to learn more about Link Labs, asset tracking, and the ways we can help manufacturing operations excel, visit our website and book a demo today!

Why Barcode Asset Tracking Doesn't Solve Your Manufacturing Problems

Written by Carson W. Garner

Carson W. Garner is a proactive business development and marketing professional with the goal of turning opportunities into sales. At Link Labs, Carson is heavily involved with project management, sales, customer success, and he hosts Link Labs' podcast Get Linked. Holding a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing, Carson brings creativity, vision, organization, and dedication to the Link Labs team.

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