How asset tracking aids Laboratories Institutions in Saving Money, Time, and Worry

SmartX HUB RFID for Check-In / Check-Out of Labs Equipment

Organizations spend millions of dollars on test and measurement equipment in labs and manufacturing. Regardless of which type of lab it is –  Electronics, Schools, Universities, Pharmaceutical, Biomedical or any other engineering or scientific lab or which type of manufacturing  Industrial or Clean rooms, issues of equipment traceability remains the same. 

Every year, these institutions lose thousands to millions of dollars per establishment simply because they are not accurately tracking and measuring their assets, such as as supplies, computers, and high-value lab equipment.

Well run organizations have a pool of equipment that can be used by multiple departments or divisions. Further, they want to leverage high value capital equipment across organizations, even though they might reside in a specific area. Equipment managers, with their myriad of responsibilities, face challenges tracking the lending out of equipment. 

Honor systems where the borrower details what is being borrowed including the type of equipment and its serial number have good intentions but often fail in execution. Few organizations can afford to have someone manually check-in and check-out equipment. Even manual systems with an actual human managing the process are not foolproof because engineers and scientists are often borrowing equipment after hours or on the supplies, computers, and high-value lab equipment.

More Issues from Improper Asset Tracking

In addition to financial concerns, a plethora of other issues arise when laboratories, and universities don’t maintain solid records of their assets. The following issues could easily be rectified with a robust asset tracking system in place at these institutions:

a) Without software to track and manage assets, schools, colleges, and universities are only left with the option of manually recording and handling inventory using spreadsheets or even regular text documents. Unfortunately, manual asset tracking results in a decrease in both productivity and efficiency across the entire establishment. For example, manually entering and tracking assets uses up lots of time, as does doing audits by hand instead of automating them with asset software. Such time could be saved and put to better use in advancing the laboratory institution’s goals and needs if employees were freed up from manual asset management.

b)As previously mentioned, not tracking assets with a flexible management system often results in items going missing, or being lost entirely. Even with a good emergency or backup fund in place, many educational institutions don’t have enough money to cover replacements for all their missing assets (especially when those numbers reach as high as $250,000 per laboratory).

c) Both decreased productivity and cost increases can combine to create the additional issue of operational setbacks. For example, any error in manual tracking can lead to confusion about who last touched or used a particular asset, which can then lead to the asset going missing entirely. Labs must then figure out how to make do without that asset until it’s replaced (if it ever is).

d) One of the biggest issues which arises for schools without reliable asset management technology is a lack of accountability. Without asset tracking software that can easily be updated and accessed across the entire institution’s leadership and staff, how are any of them to know who was last in charge of or touched each asset?

All these problems don’t need to plague laboratories, and universities with doubt and worry. In fact, the solution to avoiding all of them is simple, and yet many labs haven’t implemented it or even considered it before: asset tracking and management software.

SmartX HUB Plataform is a robust, flexible, and cloud-based asset tracking tools with a matching mobile app can help labs institutions alleviate their concerns in a variety of ways.

The SmartX Solution to Asset-Related Issues in Laboratory Institutions

SmartX HUb Check-in/Check-out system for test and measurement equipment offers a simple, automated system to address these challenges. The system quickly and accurately accounts for checked out equipment by not only reading all the tagged equipment placed on the checkout counter, but also allowing for additional details to be provided at the time of checking out. Additional details could include project and experiment related information. Check-in process is similarly automated.

The SmartXHUB Check-in/Check-out (CICO) solution:

  • An RFID CICO station that allows for self-checkout of RFID tagged equipment. Multiple assets can be checked out at the same time.
  • RFID enabled employee badges can be swiped in to log into the system, thereby eliminating the need for explicit logins.
  • The system allows for additional information to be specified if required, including any FDA required details.
  • Emails can be sent to the employee with details on what was checked in or out.
  • Customizable and actionable reports available.
  • Operations can be combined with door monitoring to ensure only checked out equipment is removed through the doors

Benefits for Labs Institutions

  • Leverage your equipment investments to facilitate efficient borrowing of equipment between departments
  • Tracking down stolen, lost, or missing assets
  • Reducing auditing time and improving accuracy in audits
  • Enforcing accountability for anyone who touches assets
  •  Keeping everything in a centralized database accessible by as many users as needed
  • Allow for an efficient unmanned check-in/check-out system. Accurate recording of borrowed equipment information
  • Traceability of equipment
  • Save hundreds of person hours and thousands of dollars from not having to search for equipment that is coming up for calibration
  • Prevent uncalibrated equipment from being used