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The military has often been a testing ground for advanced technology which later makes its way into civilian life. Even civilian-developed products initially used on a small scale have been widely expanded by military usage: canned foods (Civil War), nylon and penicillin (WWII), and the annoying but popular camera drone (Iraq/Afghanistan). Today’s consumers are the beneficiaries of the military’s creation or adoption of these and many other products.

As reported in “Defense Systems,” now it’s RFID’s turn to have the armed forces amplify the use of RFID asset management capacity. And hybrid-office facilities managers are benefiting from the military’s example.

The covid pandemic forced military installations into a remote-work crisis, just as it did civilian offices. On-site personnel were re-assigned as WFH workers, and office technology assets (tablets, laptops, etc.) went with them. The military already used RFID extensively for personnel credentialling and inventory management. It was a simple matter to add RFID tags to e-tech assets. The existing RFID system updated equipment’s status as it was checked out for WFH.

And as personnel began to return to the workplace, RFID continued to track the e-tech assets in the military’s new hybrid-work format of flexible schedules and hot-desking.

It wasn’t enough to know that a particular laptop, for example, was in the building; it was important to know which room it was in, whether it was operational, and when its last service had taken place. Doorway readers captured assets’ movements in and out of a building. Within a building, handheld mobile readers quickly read an entire room of equipment to locate a specific unit.

Savvy civilian facilities managers have already been using RFID to track furnishings and large equipment within their buildings. The hybrid office has added a new dimension to asset tracking, as electronics and documents move back and forth between on-site and off-site offices. Lost electronic equipment adds up, and lost documents can cost even more if the data they contain cannot be replicated.

But the additional asset tracking doesn’t have to be a burden to facilities managers. Lose the paper-and-pencil check-out system, add RFID tags to your hybrid-office assets, and let an accurate, fast RFID system keep track of them.

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