Equipment rental has long been a thriving industry that covers everything from IT devices to heavy-duty hardware. Given the immense value of these assets, it only makes sense to have a reliable way of tracking them along with their respective and changing users. This is where RFID systems can assist, offering significant improvements over legacy tracking systems involving barcodes and even managing serial numbers. RFID can track a wide range of rental equipment assets with the correct tag selection, mounting configuration, and deployment process. Hence, knowing the best practices for successfully implementing RFID systems is essential. Below, we explain why it is an indispensable technology to this particular sector.
1. Enhances kit accuracy
Rental businesses must ensure accuracy when delivering kits, which means sending the right assets and the proper number of units required. However, the more assets a kit contains, this correspondingly becomes increasingly difficult, especially when using barcode or manual tracking solutions.
Having similar-looking assets with unlike functionality also poses an issue. Coiled cable assemblies are a prime example with their various lengths, the number of conductors, and connectors that may all look similar yet are not interchangeable. Thus, there is a greater risk of mixing up the wrong items when identifying items and assembling kits under the method.
RFID’s fast and accurate identification and tracking prevent such mistakes and ensure the right assets in the right quantities are packaged into each kit. If paired with automation, the process can become completely error-free and guarantees businesses will always supply the correct items.
2. Boosts inventory utilisation and management
Inventory visibility is a critical tool when renting out assets. Effectively determining which assets are available for rental can only be done with the help of accurate inventory data, which RFID helps to collect. Seasonal usage trends, utilisation levels, and common rental time frames are all high-quality data that enable data-driven decisions, such as asset mixes that best serve the client’s needs. Furthermore, inventory data ensures valuable capital data does not go to assets that do not reliably generate profits.
3. Automates transactions
From locating and recording assets to assembling rental kits and shipping them, the daily operations of equipment rental can be highly labour-intensive. RFID cuts down on the time and manpower needed to get assets to the customers’ hands by automating transactions. This means that physically manipulating assets for reading physical serial numbers is no longer necessary since an RFID reader can quickly identify tagged items as long as they are within reading range.
Locating assets can thus be done by picking up the desired inventory and checking batched or individual items out of the system via a handheld scanner or an RFID portal with a fixed antenna. The RFID system automatically reads and identifies an item’s assigned RFID ID tag and logs it as checked in or out.
4. Simplifies cycle counts
Cycle counts are crucial to rental asset inventory management. As expected, the manual and dated methods of counting serialised items are just as time-consuming and typically causes low-quality data due to the risk of human error. Apart from being error-prone, this approach to auditing numerous assets also creates a significant demand for labour that takes up a lot of time and costs without providing any benefit to the customers. RFID automation drastically reduces unproductive man-hours spent on warehouse cycle counts while simultaneously improving data quality, enabling a quicker, more frequent, and cost-effective process that keeps warehouse inventory costs low. With RFID, employees can walk through the warehouse with an RFID reader and collect data on thousands of assets in mere seconds.,
5. Streamlines asset returns
Getting assets back is one of the top priorities of any asset rental business. RFID facilitates this process with its speedy and scalable way of confirming rented equipment returns. With the help of RFID software, managing inventory allows for greater renter and item identification accuracy whenever assets enter the staging area or warehouse floor. The high accuracy of RFID check-in and check-out and immediate asset-customer associations lets businesses hold their clients accountable should there be issues with the return process, such as damage to the asset.
RFID tool tracking enables equipment rental companies to automate and reliably track and manage their high-value rental assets. By deploying it sooner rather than later, they can dramatically streamline workflows, improve data collection, and minimise labour costs that ultimately contribute to their bottom line.