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RFID & the First Year College Student

Back to School season has arrived at my house – and with a vengeance. Things are a little more chaotic than usual because I will soon be delivering my daughter to her first year of college.

And the Dining Room is taking the hit.

The Dining Room has become the staging area for everything that is going with my daughter to college. She and her mother assured me that all of it is necessary – and will actually fit in her dorm room.

I’m not so sure.

What I’m mainly concerned about is that somewhere in the growing piles are the things she’ll actually need for class. I want her to be comfortable – so I won’t begrudge her the faux fur pillow and other “necessities” (I reserve the right to tease her about them though). I just want to make sure the things that she’ll need for her education are in place. Her mother and I are going to be four hours away – so running forgotten supplies down to her will be an undertaking. And sending her out shopping for supplies carries its own risk – as evidenced by my Dining Room.

It sometimes seems like I frequently see using our software solutions in unlikely situations. But in this case – I think I may be on to something here. Because really, there are some parallel needs between my daughter’s college “supply” piles – and my clients’ RFID-enabled asset management systems.

For our clients, an RFID-enabled Asset Management solution has solved some of the same problems that come to my mind when I look at my Dining Room:

What Do I Have?

Organizations need to know what they have and where they have it:

  • So that the item is where it is needed when it’s needed
  • Duplicate/unnecessary purchases of that item aren’t made

For the college student:

  • Confirmation that the piles contain what Dad would consider the “necessities”
  • If not, are these items somewhere else in the house? (so we know to relocate them to the Dining Room)
  • If items are missing, do they still need to be purchased (before we drive 4 hours to campus)?

RFID can help here by ensuring that the critical items are tagged, enabling a quick scan to determine the asset/pile status.

Is The Job Getting Done?

Half the battle for some companies that I work with is knowing that the job of taking the fixed asset inventory is getting done, getting done accurately, and getting done quickly.

  • If your team doesn’t have line of sight of an item – does it get counted?
  • Does your team need to handle many items to inventory them?
  • Does your team consider the inventory task tedious or a pain – and ends up putting it off or maybe not giving it the attention you’d prefer?

When it comes to the college-bound pile, my daughter “thinks” she has what she needs. While I’d really like her to take an inventory, it’s not high on her list of summer vacation activities – so I’m thinking it probably won’t get done.

For both my clients and my daughter, having RFID on key items would ensure that they could be quickly verified with minimal effort. And making the inventory activity easier would eliminate my clients trying to chase down their staff to get the inventory done – and take me out of the Top Nag position with my daughter.

Show Me the Money!

Easily the top motivation for tracking assets is financial reporting. Organizations need to include the value of their assets as part of a collection of required reports. Outside of that, information on assets is also used for budgeting. So having that information as close to real-time as possible ensures that accurate data is being used – instead of the scribbles collected from an inventory done over the course of months.

Effective asset management solutions (like ours, naturally) provide direct data communication from the inventory activity to your ERP or financial solution so that you have accurate, timely data for reporting and other management activities. Including an RFID aspect to the solution makes this process even more accurate – and fast.

As for the Dining Room piles, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I really want to know what has been spent in there – much less want to know it in real time….


So for those of you who are shipping your children off to school soon – you have my sympathies – on many levels. Faux fur pillows or not, I’m going to miss that girl.

And for those of you who see some of these asset inventory challenges in your own organization – let’s talk. I’m confident that our asset management solutions can help you out. And, based on what I suspect has been spent in my Dining Room, we can definitely use the sales.