Quickly understand the pro’s and con’s of using Barcode and RFID technology for asset tracking & management. Compare the costs, hardware and applications.
Barcoding in hospitals
NHS Trust required a flexible solution
The technician team in the Trust Services division within University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust uses FMIS Barcoding and Equipment modules to keep track of everything from high-end human patient simulators through to laptops and even syringes. The department not only need to be able to track and identify a wide range of fixed assets and inventory across different departments, but also require the flexibility to loan many of them out for periods to other areas of the Trust and beyond.
Equipment and Maintenance
FMIS Equipment and Maintenance module allows a full log of any maintenance work carried out to be logged and future work planned for and scheduled ensuring that maintenance plans are adhered to. The module’s full life cycle tracking functionality combined with the simple creation and disposal of fixed assets means that the purchase, warranty, repair, maintenance, assignment or transfer of equipment is centrally logged and easily accessible to staff members within the team at any time.
Integration of FMIS Barcoding with the Equipment and Maintenance module simplified the process of data collection and attribution significantly. FMIS arranged for the scanners and durable branded labels to be sent directly to the Trust in Bristol and worked with their IT departments to ensure that all hardware, IT security and sourcing requirements were met within budget. Even after implementation of the project, FMIS developers worked with the team to provide additional functionality to enable the handling of more complex equipment loans. The ongoing support package means that an experienced developer or consultant is available to answer queries and handle any issues.
Fixed assets audit at the Express
The Daily Express Newspaper Group needed to reconcile their fixed asset register entries in PeopleSoft through regular barcode audits. FMIS provided a mechanism where data was extracted using core PeopleSoft routines to identify asset groupings, scope and boundaries. These extracts were loaded into the FMIS Barcoding module and then used to produce a set of automated matching criteria. A set of keywords, codes and classifications were downloaded onto barcode readers which were then used for the final audit at different sites. The key requirement was to audit high-value asset categories.
Planning and preparation
A number of key boundaries, scopes and objectives are set for sections of the fixed asset register. The key words are analysed from the field asset categories and description fields and used to build up a set of key markers on the barcode scanners.
Extract from PeopleSoft
PeopleSoft has in-built facilities to provide downloads for the fixed assets barcode audit exercise. Some particular audit runs are taken from the test system to prove the concept. Some developer time is required to ensure the pre-built routines are optimised.
Load FMIS matching routines
Using customer and location knowledge, a set of algorithms are loaded into their fixed assets register, allowing the system to automate the matching of items loaded into the barcode scanner with the details uploaded from the fixed asset register.
Barcode scanners are used to load approximately 250 assets per day. Each asset is barcoded, and certain information entered from operator prompts on the barcode scanner. All data is uploaded through synchronisation.
Find matches and produce mismatch reports
Once the audit is complete matches are run and fine tuned until at least 90% of all equipment items are matched back to the fixed asset register using the intelligence built into the matching algorithm.
Produce bulk adjustments for PeopleSoft
Fixed Assets produces the results file in the correct format for PeopleSoft. This file is uploaded into PeopleSoft and a mass changes batch is run.
Produce final financial account in Fixed Assets
The fixed asset register within PeopleSoft has updated barcode, serial numbers and location information. Any disposals required are also processed. A match has been achieved between the physical barcode register and the fixed asset register.