Having a tough time keeping track of the hundreds or thousands of ‘things’ lying around the office or job site? We know, it’s a monumental task. In Samanage, we provide two options to get those assets organized and under control — QR codes and barcodes.
What are QR Codes?
We like QR codes — they are more robust than barcodes, providing a URL directly to your asset using any free QR reader on a phone. QR codes are two-dimensional codes that can store text, binary, image, or URL data. Samanage has it’s own unique QR codes that are easy to generate and can include custom information, such as contact info. They can also be rolled out as soon as you are up and running in the product. Even our own IT guy has printed heavy duty metal stickers and stuck them all over everything in the IT closet. While QR codes can be printed in many sizes, you typically want to make them at least 2 cm or bigger. If you cram your QR code full of information, you’ll need to print it at a larger size to make it suitable (keep this in mind for tracking smaller assets, like mobile devices).
Good ‘Ole Barcodes
Many organizations rolled out barcodes years ago, instructing a scruffy young intern to place them on everything. A simple database ID can fit onto a barcode, and you can make barcodes with a barcode font, rather than having to encode them the way you do with QR codes. Barcode readers are also cheap but unfortunately, can’t hold that much data. Your IT asset management system may need more data than what can be contained in a barcode. However, if barcodes are your thing, no worries! We can still use those barcodes in Samanage, but the process looks a little different. Where a QR code contains a URL and will take you right to an asset, a barcode contains a number that you search for, choose your asset, and go from there.
Still confused? Let’s take a deep dive into barcodes.
Enabling Barcodes in Samanage
To enable barcodes in Samanage go to:
Setup > Assets > Check the box ‘Render barcodes for computers in addition to QR codes’
Next go to Inventory > Computers and click into any machine for which you would like to generate a barcode.
Choose your Barcode type and print.
If you choose to use a third party to make your barcodes, these can be printed out in advance. Barcodes with asset ID numbers can be printed in bulk ahead of time. Since the tags are attached to any device, the record in Samanage should be updated. You can easily do this by inputting the serial number from the barcode into the ‘Asset ID’ of the corresponding ‘computer’ or ‘other asset’.
Scanning Assets for Support Issues
If an incident needs to be opened for an asset that is having issues, you can quickly locate the record. Log into Samanage on your computer and make sure your cursor is placed in the global search bar in the top right corner of the application.
Using any barcode scanner connected to your computer (we recommend the HP Smart Buy Linear Barcode Scanner), scan your barcode so that the asset ID appears in the search bar.
Click ‘Enter’ to search for the asset via the asset ID in the application. Once the record is located, any update can be made or a new incident can be created related to that asset. If the incoming support request is made via telephone, the requester can simply read the ‘Asset ID’ to the technician. The technician can type the ‘Asset ID’ into the Samanage search.
In either scenario, once the device is located, the technician can navigate to the Incidents tab of the asset (Left blue arrow below) and select ‘New Incident’ (right blue arrow below). Creating an incident here automatically creates the relationship of the asset and the incident.
Scanning New Assets Into Inventory
New inventory brought into the organization can be quickly organized. Simply attach a pre-printed barcode to each new Asset. Once everything has been barcoded, scan every device and output the list to CSV. This CSV can be imported into Samanage’s ‘other assets’ and can be assigned to physical sites, owners, and more.
If the device will be running the Samanage agent and the serial number is included in the scan’s output, Samanage will automatically identify the existing ‘Other Asset’ when the agent runs and move it to ‘computers’. This prevents duplicate records being created.