Unique Identifier for each Equipment Record
This is a step where some customers try to take a shortcut and it is understandable. Most equipment has a serial number and it often is in the form of a bar-code. This is where people think “hey, I can save some time”. In reality they may save a little up front but in the end they have made the first step in compromising their data integrity. You may not encounter this at first but somewhere out there is another product with that very same Serial Number. That is when things start to unravel and your data integrity is shot. We track the serial numbers in our records, but we do not enforce uniqueness as this is not how the real world works. We have another field called Equipment Tag and is enforced as a unique identifier and that can be used to cross-reference existing unique tags to equipment records.
Better still we generate a unique QR Code for every piece of equipment. This has the added advantage of being a code that can be machine read by the current smartphones. Since our QR Codes are generated by our system they are guaranteed unique and fit the bill of high data integrity. In addition QR Codes can be generated to have up to 30% redundant data, meaning that parts of the QR Code can be damaged and the code can still be read correctly.
Couple this with a human readable identifier and you have the perfect unique identification tag. These tags can be printed on a variety of label materials allowing them to be highly reliable in very difficult conditions. There are even headstones that have QR Codes etched into their surfaces to create a link between a physical item (headstone) and a digital record (web page of a persons life). This might be a unique application for QR Codes but you get the idea.
The point is the same; a unique, permanent identifier that links the physical with the digital.