Bar codes

Sample bar codes printed by the MIE
(Click to enlarge)

When pursuing IT Asset Management, and specifically hardware asset management, it is advisable to take advantage of barcode and/or RFID technology.  Such technology can significantly reduce time and error rates in capturing data.

Our SaaS platform is fully compatible with hand held bar code and/or RFID readers, and we can integrate with any system that can either produce its data in an industry standard CSV file or stores its data in either Microsoft Access or SQL Server databases.

Our Preferred Bar Code Solution

Our preferred bar code solution is to use linear (2D) laser scanners with software by Brazos Technology.  Brazos Technology offers a SaaS back end, so there is no hardware or software to purchase (beyond the scanners and the software on the scanners).  Their solution integrates directly with ours, and their scanner solution enables important accuracy and efficiency features such as “preceder” codes.  “Preceder” codes allow you to scan bar codes in any order since the scanner software uses the “preceder” code to figure out into which field to store the data just read.  This is a very important speed and accuracy concept as it is easy to make mistakes with scanners (the perception is they’ll be accurate because they read bar codes, but accuracy depends heavily on how the human interface is designed.)

We prefer linear scanners for speed as well as ability to read very small bar code labels, such as are often found on racked equipment.

Recommended Bar Coding

We recommend numeric, 8 digit, bar codes in either 3 of 9 or 2 of 5 interleave format, with a MOD 137 check digit as the final digit.  We also recommend having these labels printed professionally and laminated.  (We can handle getting that done for you.)  That’s what we recommend as the primary asset identifier.  Additionally, to support using scanners to efficiently conduct receiving, disposal, and cycle inventory efforts, we recommend what we call “reference labeling”, where key information is labeled with bar codes (such as location, rack, employee).  The MIE supports printing bar coded reference labels on standard Avery label stock so that you can reference label your environment.  Where you don’t intend to apply actual labels, we usually recommend printing the reference label bar codes on paper and carrying them on clip boards when performing the scanning.