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The Best Type of Barcode for Asset Tags [2024]

barcode scanning asset

When it comes to managing inventory and keeping track of assets, it’s essential that you have a reliable system in place. The best way to accomplish this is by using an inventory management system, and the best system for entering your assets into your management system is barcode label asset tags. A barcode is an identifier, or label, that can be used for tracking a product, inventory item, or asset. The barcode has become so popular for general use, in fact, that there are a number of different types of barcodes that are designed for different purposes. We’ll take a look at the different types of barcodes that you can use for your asset tag barcode labels, for inventory management, and even for fun contests!

What is a Barcode?

A barcode is a type of printed image that can be scanned to identify specific items. There are many types of barcodes, but they all have the same basic structure: a series of lines that represent an alphabetic or numeric character. When you use a barcode scanner, it reads the information and sends it to a computer program that interprets the data for you. Companies use barcodes for a variety of purposes, including inventory tracking, storing information about inventory items, and for marketing. It is also possible to scan barcodes from your mobile device to complete tasks (such as logging into a computer system). Some barcodes are designed specifically for inventory management, while others are designed to be used with general barcode software.

different types of barcodes for asset tags

Why Use Barcodes for Asset Management?

We have already touched on the fact that many organizations use barcodes for inventory management and asset tracking. But what exactly are the benefits of using barcodes for asset management? Let’s take a look at a couple of the benefits of using for barcodes for asset management:

Easy to Track Assets

The best way to manage your assets is by keeping track of them. That is why we use inventory tracking systems. However, it can be challenging to keep track of all the different pieces of equipment and inventory that your company owns. However, barcodes make tracking and managing assets simple, since you can track each and every asset that your business owns with a quick scan of a barcode. There’s no need to read and manually type in asset ID numbers, and there is virtually no risk of accidentally entering the wrong information due to a typo.

Reduced Operating Expenses and Complexities

Another benefit of using barcodes is that it significantly reduces your operating costs and resources. Some of the most common issues with inventory are inaccurate records. Incorrect records mean that you have to purchase new inventory, or have resources tied up in inventory that is no longer being used. Using barcodes, however, means that you can reduce your operating expenses significantly by ensuring accurate and easy inventory records. Additionally, using barcodes to track your asset ID numbers rather than reading numbers and manually typing into a device can cut the amount of time needed for asset audits by as much as 70%.

Types of Barcodes

Code 39 Barcodes

Code 39 barcodes are great for printing on small and medium-sized products that can’t handle a QR code. The most common use for code 39 barcodes is when printing on packaging, such as for shipping and storage of products. Code 39 barcodes are often used in conjunction with a label printer. These characteristics make Code 39 a great symbology for inventory management and are our most recommended type for asset tag barcode labels. An advantage of code 39 barcodes is that they can be read with a wide range of scanners, including older scanners. Code 39 barcodes have five possible codes, making them useful for tracking a variety of items. Another great thing about code 39 barcodes is that they don’t require any special software to be read. As long as the scanner you are using supports barcodes, you are good to go.

Code 39 Barcode asset tag

Code 128 Barcodes

Code 128 barcodes are similar to code 39 barcodes in that they are a type of machine-readable code. However, code 128 barcodes are often used on the Internet and in general marketing, whereas code 39 is used in more specialized applications. Code 128 barcodes can be read by most scanners, and can be used for a variety of different applications, including inventory tracking and asset management. Like code 39 barcodes, code 128 barcodes don’t require any special software to be read. As long as the scanner you are using supports barcodes, you are good to go.

code 128 barcode asset tag

QR Codes

QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, are often used in marketing campaigns and contests. They are a type of 2D barcode that can be read by smartphones and other mobile devices. When someone scans a QR code, they are directed to a website or a landing page. Because of this, you can use QR codes for a variety of purposes, including inventory management. You can use QR codes for your marketing efforts or a contest, allowing you to direct users to a landing page or page on your website that tracks their entry. You can also use QR codes for tracking assets, allowing you a way to see where the asset is located or show how to return the asset if it is not the correct one. A downside of using QR codes is that, unlike other types of barcodes, QR codes aren’t nearly as versatile. They can only be used on specific devices.

QR Code Asset tag

RFID Barcodes

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) barcodes are a special form of asset tag that transmits the associated ID number via radio frequency. These special barcodes are often used for asset tracking because RFID-enabled scanners and readers can pick up multiple ID numbers at the same time. An RFID receiver simply needs to be within a few feet of an RFID tag to pick up the ID number which can reduce the total time needed for an asset audit. The main downside to using RFID asset tags is the high cost of both the tags and the reader.


Even though the best type of barcode for you will depend on the needs of your company, hopefully, this has served as a guideline. Generally, we recommend using a code 39 barcode for barcode label asset tags, however, 128 barcode is also a good option. While each barcode type has its own benefits, it’s important to ensure that whatever scanners you are using is compatible with the type of barcode you employ for your asset tags. With the right barcode, you’ll be able to manage your assets and prevent issues like inaccurate records and operating expenses!

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