Barcode Technology has been used for over 20 years to track inventory in warehouses, manufacturing companies and supermarkets. The newest emerging application for barcode is the tracking of equipment, its location, user, condition and maintenance.
The use of barcode has proven results – recording equipment transactions are faster than manual recording and 99.99% accurate. And the tracking software is relatively inexpensive to purchase and easy to implement and use.
How to Associate a Barcode Label with the Equipment and Assets: Law Enforcement Agencies who want to reduce the loss of gear and save time tracking down which piece of equipment is checked out to which officer are starting to use barcode to identify these items. There are different methods of labeling the equipment and consumables with barcodes: A preprinted barcode label that is made of polyester material and laminated to protect the printing is common. For especially small items, 2-dimensional barcode labels are available. They are small “dots” – 3/8” in diameter – and made from durable materials. A third method often used is a “Barcode Book” – a catalog of items printed on a laser printer with a barcode identifier next to the item on the page. This is the least reliable method since the specific item is not labeled, but works for small consumables that are not returned once they are checked out.
How the Software Works: Checking the item In/Out is simple – select the appropriate icon and scan the ID badge of the person to receive the item, then the barcode on the item. Reports can be printed at any time showing the history of that particular piece of equipment. It can report when an inspection is due on items such as laptops, weapons, tasers and vests, and keeps track of the expiration date of consumables such as mace. It is easy to check in and out shotguns and long rifles for every shift. The system can report the overall value of the agency’s inventory which will allow annual budgets for equipment to be set. The inventory module will keep track of class B items such as batons, masks, gloves, and handcuffs. “I’m impressed with the simplicity and adaptability of a barcode equipment management system.
It’s affordable for almost all agencies, even those with just a few employees,” stated Bill Allen, Process Control Consultant.
Contact Rob Freeman – 800-342-3999