Asset Tagging Labor & The True Cost of Inventory Tracking

Asset Inventory Tracking

OK, so you're thinking of implementing a fixed asset tracking system. There are so many different things to consider hardware, software, even the asset tags themselves. It might come as a surprise that the one thing companies may take for granted (the actual asset tag) has a huge impact on the bottom line - and not in the way you might think.

Take a look at the following example.

Tagging 10,000 Assets

Company Profile

  • 10,000 fixed assets
  • Converting human-readable only system to a bar code system


  • Hardware Costs - 2 laser scanners w/PDAs; approx cost @$800/unit = $1,600
  • Software Costs - application software for PDAs (serial number cross-reference using old serial number system and applying a new serial number). Fixed asset software upgrade. Report generators. Training. Approx cost $1,500
  • Asset Tag Costs - Metal Bar code Nameplates @ $32.12/hundred (2" x 5/8") - $3,212
  • Installation of Asset Tags - cross reference of new bar code number to old tag number; application cost is $2.00/asset - $20,000

Total Cost - $26,312

Asset Tag as percent of total cost = 12.2%

Asset tagging as a percent of total cost = 76%

As you can see the cost of the actual nameplate or label is a fraction of the overall cost. The majority of the cost comes in the actual application of the nameplates or labels, which is why permanent asset tags are generally less costly in the long run and we develop product like the QuickTab Tag Dispenser to lessen those labor costs. Then it stands to reason that the more durable a tag is the less likely a company is to have to incur the most expensive part of putting together an asset tracking system - the asset tag application.