How should I tag my assets?

Answered July 28 2019

Assets should be tagged by a unique identification number or barcode and categorized by a method that’s compatible with your accounting system. In addition, the type of asset tag should be selected carefully to withstand harsh environments, operate in specific working areas, and adhere to other company policies or situations.

Unique Identification

Each asset should have a number, barcode or RFID that’s unique to that item so it can be accurately tracked within your computerized system or CMMS. Some companies find it useful to start all items belonging to a certain department or division by a common number so it’s easy to see basic information at a glance.

If you’re using a barcode or two-dimensional labeling system, you can store a great deal of information about that asset within the code itself.


If you’re starting an asset tagging system from scratch, it is important to create a categorization system so that like assets are grouped together. Ideally, this organization matches your accounting system to make valuations or handle depreciation, replacement, and disposal tasks easier throughout the process.

One common schema method divides assets into four categories: information, software, physical and services. Asset tagging would be appropriate for physical assets, and this group can be further subdivided into furniture, computer equipment, maintenance-related assets, and technical equipment.

Types of Tags

wide variety of types of asset tags are available and can serve to identify many different physical assets. For example, some assets may require durable, heavy-duty tags that will be exposed to harsh chemicals or inclement weather conditions. Others may require security tags that can trigger alarm systems if items leave a particular area. Some tags can be fixed with adhesives while others use mechanical attachments.

Barcode tags must be accessible for a technician to see and scan it easily within a certain range while some RFID tags may be able to send signals over a longer distance.