The Evolution of Asset Tracking and Inventory Management

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Asset tracking is extremely beneficial to your company. So is maintenance and inventory control, right? No matter which industry you can most relate to, can you imagine what it would be like without an inventory system? Let’s take a look at the past and see the evolution of asset tracking and inventory management.

From Punch Cards to Barcodes

In the previous years, before the Industrial Revolution, merchants and shopkeepers would do their inventory count by manually counting their inventory at the end of the day to check the number of units sold and the number of units remaining. This process of manually counting inventory took hours and even days. The count was inaccurate and prone to many errors. But then again, who can blame them after so many hours of work counting?

Following this, the industrial revolution happened. With its focus on efficiency, the industrial revolution valued the development of the punch card system in the 1930s. Within the punch card system, every item was represented by a different pattern of small holes. The small holes were punched into papers. Thereafter, plugging the cards into the computer allowed the registration and cataloging of the products. This system was not used for a long time, however, as it was deemed to be expensive, slow, and incapable of keeping up with the efficient businesses’ requirements.

After the punch card system, the barcode system was developed. Most people of this generation are quite familiar with the barcode system. The pattern of lines in every barcode holds the description of a different item. A barcode reader then scans the barcode and identifies the item. Many companies started to adopt the barcode in the 1940s. Nevertheless, the barcode system continued to develop and improve over the years. Hence, more and more companies from diverse industries from around the world chose to adopt it.

The barcode, however, only tracked items. It did not allow the integration of product information into a computer.


From Barcodes to RFID

Big companies with factories and warehouses had to integrate product information into a computer manually after the barcode reader scanned the items. They had to enter large quantities of data into Excel spreadsheets. At the time, there was no other way. Thankfully, such big companies found their solution in RFID, radio frequency identification technology. The adoption of RFID by warehouses and factories occurred in the early 21st century. With RFID, a microchip transmits details of the product to a data collection device. Such details include the product’s type, serial number, and manufacturer.

Numerous companies still use Excel spreadsheets to keep track of their sales and products. However, to save you from the cons of manual data tracking, Asap Systems has developed new asset tracking solutions for you. Their newest adoption of RFID in their Inventory System and Asset Tracking solution mobile application has taken efficiency to a whole new level. Check out the RFID asset tracking system and assess your need for this system according to your industry and inventory volume. Contact the support team in case of any inquiries.