Asset management. It’s a monumental task for any business, in any industry. Tracking hundreds, possibly thousands, of technology assets around the office or job site can seem chaotic even on the best day. This is why for many businesses QR code scanning plays a necessary role.
You might be asking yourself, why not barcodes? It’s important to differentiate them simply because QR codes are more robust than barcodes, providing a URL directly to your asset using any free QR reader on a phone. QR codes are two-dimensional codes that can store text, binary, image, or URL data. Barcodes, however, can’t hold that much data. Your IT asset management system may need more data than what can be contained in a barcode.
If your IT service management (ITSM) strategy in 2021 has a renewed focus on customer experience and time to resolution, thinking through your asset management strategy and how QR codes fit into it will be important. If your employees can scan and quickly submit a ticket for the asset they are having an issue with, that’s a great customer experience without all of the back and forth with an agent to get background information. If your agent can quickly scan to get all of the background information they need, that’s a faster time to resolution.
Better asset tracking with QR codes isn’t a one size fits all for every business. Businesses across industries can implement this in various ways. Here are just a few use cases for bringing QR codes into your ITSM strategy this year.
- If remote learning has taught us anything over the past year, is that an efficient check-in and check-out system for students is critical to keeping them productive. Using QR codes on laptops that may be going home with students is the fastest way to ensuring that you, as an IT organization, have visibility into who has what asset. And, then when there is a service request or ticket submitted regarding this asset, you already have the historical information and location on that laptop.
- Airports frequently have an ever changing team of staff members in any terminal at any given point in time. Each terminal can host different airlines on any given day. So, how do you ensure that those team members have access to your service portal? The quick answer is, you don’t. But, that’s where QR codes come in. Placing a QR code on equipment throughout terminals means any employee can scan code and submit incidents. This way the agent on the other end knows exactly where that asset is located and can get to it efficiently without going through a human to set up time to triage.
Grocery and Retail
- Is there anything worse than ringing up a customer and the point-of-sale (POS) goes awry? Then you have to ask them to move to another lane. It hurts not just the employee’s productivity, but now a customer hasn’t enjoyed their experience with your store. By adding a QR code to these assets, any employee can scan the code on the POS system and submit incidents. In a matter of seconds and minutes, IT can be notified of the issue and on-site (if needed) to help resolve the situation.
- Another angle to QR codes that is worth exploring is RFID (an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification) in partnership with your QR codes or barcodes. This system allows you to track hardware assets in real time (or pretty close to real time), but it does come with a higher expense (you have to purchase a barcode scanner RFID reading equipment, and software). This system works best in a limited environment, like a warehouse, where you have control over the assets in a single space. Barcoding or QR coding with RFID is the most secure type of tagging, which is important for big pieces of machinery or technology that are living inside your warehouse. RFID in your asset tracking strategy is a mature step and something you will want to ensure your IT asset management software is ready to handle.
When it comes to asset management systems, some form of tagging on your hardware is necessary to help identify it and track it. There is a balance to strike among affordability, labor-intensiveness, and ease of deployment. But, by ensuring you are tagging your technology assets from the day you procure them, you are not only making the lives of your agents easier with all of the historical information, you are expediting incident resolution and creating an exceptional customer experience.
Account Executive – Americas at SymphonyAI Summit