How RFID Makes Warehouses Sustainable & Appeals To Shoppers

How RFID Makes Warehouses Sustainable & Appeals To Shoppers

How RFID Makes Warehouses Sustainable & Appeals To Shoppers

Over the past couple of decades, new research findings, improved manufacturing policies, and the surge of e-commerce has brought on greater scrutiny over environmental concerns among consumers worldwide. It is one thing to get sufficient stocks of products into the hands of customers at the right time, but what is the environmental cost involved in achieving this feat? Here is why consumer awareness regarding sustainability has become a serious priority among businesses and how RFID can help address the issue.

The Rise of Concerned and Environment Conscious Shoppers

According to a study by YouGov, more and more consumers are increasingly becoming influenced by sustainability issues and thus have a growing preference for sustainable products. In Singapore, most consumers are unwilling to pay extra for eco-friendly products, but 58% are sustainable shoppers. Moreover, 66% of Singaporeans aged 18-24 are also likely to be sustainable shoppers, which means that a brand’s environmentally friendly practices, or lack thereof, is a factor that weighs heavily on their minds.

With the ever-increasing number of environmental issues affecting various regions in the world and coverage of them being easily accessible online, it is only natural for more and more shoppers to have increased awareness of their role in the bigger picture. Naturally, they would first and foremost look at their spending habits and how the entire process of getting their hands on the products could have environmental repercussions.

As such, the pressure to adopt sustainable business practices like using eco-friendly products and packaging has led many brands to commit to reducing their environmental impact as much as possible. These commitments affect the entire product chain, from the sourcing stage to recycling and disposal.

Many of the sustainability initiatives put forth today have been largely successful with the help of RFID technology.

The Ways RFID Helps In Making Warehouses More Sustainable

Abbreviated from “radio-frequency identification,” RFID is the technology that encodes digital data onto smart labels or UHF RFID tags which an RFID reader then captures via radio waves. Warehouses that leverage RFID can get real-time data about the precise location of tagged objects and other useful information, such as temperature readings, expiry dates, descriptions, and more. Naturally, it brings plenty of efficiency and reliability improvements but can also advance a business’s sustainability efforts. Below are some of the key ways RFID can make warehouses a more sustainable environment.

1. Maximises storage space

Businesses waste time and other valuable resources whenever they are not making the most of their warehouse storage space. RFID tags let workers know the contents of boxes and crates instantly, eliminating the need for them to go through the process of manually opening them up. This capability enables them to plan in advance, allowing them to maximise their available space, saving time, labour, and energy.

2. Prevents overstocking

Overproduction of goods is a common issue in the e-commerce industry, leading to overstocking, product depreciation, and increased waste. Naturally, no business wants excess products on the shelves and face the risk of them expiring or going out of style before they can be purchased or consumed. Incorporating RFID into warehouse operations makes it easier to manage inventory levels in real-time and match them with the market demand to prevent waste.

3. Reduces inefficient transportation

Minimising CO2 emissions is one of the cornerstones of sustainability. Highly efficient warehouses can achieve this by increasing visibility throughout their supply chain via RFID tags. Having accurate and timely information eliminates wasteful movement of machinery like trucks and forklifts, lowering emissions.

4. Optimises internal systems and processes

Having warehouse assets and machinery running optimally reduces unwanted downtimes and helps contribute to more sustainable operations. Besides the products, businesses can also put RFID tags on critical assets throughout the warehouse. By using RFID tool tracking to track these assets in real time, businesses can observe better maintenance routines and monitor their systems to identify and resolve potential issues immediately.

5. Identifies opportunities to reuse, recycle, and reduce

There may be instances when some products in the warehouse expire before they get sold while others are sent back through reverse logistics. RFID tags can provide real-time data to help identify opportunities to reuse or recycle these products and reduce waste wherever possible.

Conclusion

RFID upgrades modern warehouses and introduces many key advantages, including higher sustainability as a byproduct of greater efficiency. After all, inefficiency breeds waste. And by leveraging RFID, businesses can get the right products in the right amount to the right places at the right time, reducing waste, saving time, and minimising the business operations’ overall environmental impact.