Many industries have started incorporating RFID to improve efficiency and asset utilisation. Asset utilisation indicates the usage of an asset compared to the total units available, and high asset utilisation is the key behind optimised productivity for businesses and service providers.
Here are some ways RFID has improved asset utilisation and productivity in a variety of industries.
RFID in the retail industry
Every retailer wants to maintain maximum operational efficiency. Operational efficiency can be defined as maximised output, such as sales, branding, and staff efficiency, coupled with minimum input, such as manpower and cost.
However, retail staff have to juggle both customer service and stock-taking alongside a myriad of other responsibilities. There is a need to implement technology to reduce hours spent on stock-taking as it is a labour-intensive process that consumes time and non profitable manpower hours. Hence, using technology to expedite stock-taking would maximise both staff productivity and operational efficiency.
RFID asset tracking would improve asset utilisation as it allows manpower to replenish the shelves when necessary. RFID asset tracking has been proven to be up to 25 times faster than traditional barcoding. Up to 12,000 RFID tags can be counted within an hour with increased accuracy that averages at 90 to 95%. Hence, RFID is a more accurate and efficient method than barcoding.
Moreover, statistics have shown that over 80% of consumers would be more likely to visit a store that shows real-time stock availability of their items. It enhances their shopping experience by helping them decide if they would like to purchase the item as it is available. Hence, RFID ensures real-time visibility and tracking of the item, helping retailers answer any customers’ queries.
This way, RFID aids the retailers by reducing the need for manual checking while simultaneously improving the customer’s experience.
RFID in the pharmaceutical industry
RFID asset tracking can prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals from entering the system. The production of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is a lucrative trade rampant in the black market, so there is a high risk of such counterfeits entering the medical industry and harming patients’ health. While counterfeit pharmaceuticals may only be ineffective towards the recovery process of the user, they may also harm patients’ health as they may contain illicit compounds such as tar, mercury and talcum powder.
RFID tags can be attached to batches of medicine and individual products with their unique stock data, reducing the risk of such incidents and threats to public health. Chemical compounds and the expiry dates are some examples of stock details included in the tags.
Before entering the market, suppliers and supply chain management can verify the medication through centralised databases. The RFID tags contain unique information stored in a central database, allowing the data to be accessed by authorised personnel at any stage of the supply process. Once received and dispensed for consumption, it can be recorded in the database.
Additionally, RFID asset tracking can also improve efficiency for pharmacy technicians. Studies have shown that hospitals can restock their medication trays with 100% accuracy with no possibility for human error. RFID tags are attached to medication bottles, which are scanned and compared against the necessary quantity. Registered pharmacy technicians would refill the medication by generating a list for replenishment, allowing them to spend time on other tasks instead of manually counting the medication and filling up forms.
RFID in hospitals
RFID tool tracking also benefits the healthcare system by increasing the efficiency of patient care. Hospitals have to deal with large amounts of medical data, and patient misidentification is costly and dangerous. The risk of human error when keying in and cross-checking each patient’s unique data is high, so there is a need to mitigate any possibilities of error.
Studies have shown that RFID asset tracking systems have the ability to recognise patients, medication, and blood sampling data in real-time. Before implementing RFID tags and tracking, patient identification was only at 75% but jumped to 100% post-implementation. RFID is a valuable asset in reducing any human error and expediting the process of patient identification, increasing the overall efficiency of healthcare systems.
RFID tracking is especially helpful for patients with memory issues and mental risk. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are some examples of illnesses that greatly affect one’s memory, leading to patients wandering and losing their way. RFID tags can be attached to patients, helping medical staff identify and locate them in any emergency situation, ensuring safety and accountability. Studies have further shown that location monitors have a 100% accuracy rate in identifying patients in times of emergency with an immediate notification detailing the specific location.
Practical RFID solutions are vital in optimising business and service productivity. By mitigating the possibility of human error in manual work and redirecting focus towards human-centric processes and interactions, RFID is a driver of industry growth.