The supply chain management and logistics industries are by far some of the most vibrant industries in the globe. Not to mention, these are some of the industries where RFID technology serves the most crucial role.
RFID technology in this industry plays an integral role in the manufacturing process to the supply chain. It helps in several areas including inventory management, the retail sector and in warehouse management. In all these sectors, only a handheld RFID reader is able to read the tags placed on each product.
Here are some of the vital areas in supply chain management and logistics, where RFID technology plays a crucial role:
In the warehouse, products are stored upon receiving from the supplier. From this storage point, these products are distributed to individual customers.
In the past, without the use of RFID technology – management of a warehouse involves many processes and human resources as there is no proper system accountability to help track every single product. As such, it resulted in consequences such as misplaced or lost products due to the inability of tracking. But with RFID technology, it is possible to track and trace each product in the warehouse.
How it works
How an RFID tag works in warehouse management is by firstly, attaching it to a shipment – be it an entire pallet or just an individual box or on each item. Every tag features an internal memory storage to keep the item’s data, which is able to be altered as it moves across the different procedures or processes within the warehouse.
Followed by the use of an electromagnetic signal, an RFID tag will transfer the data obtained to a central database where a warehouse management system analyse the data.
This makes the supply chain management a lot easier for the management the warehouse. For certain warehouse, with implementing automated storage retrieval system RFID or ASRS RFID, this allows automation of activities and processes and makes them easier for receiving and shipping. This is for items of high value, 24 hours availability, high security in an unmanned environment.
The technology cuts down on human errors brought about by a lack of efficiency in identification and validation activities. RFID also makes it easier to identify products inside the warehouse and keep an account or log of each product throughout the warehouse.
As such, it helps in building trust in customers. RFID also helps to bring down the costs of human resources needed to input data as to the movement products and items in the warehouse.
This is an integral part of supply chain management. In this process, administration, monitoring, control and storage are important. Inaccuracy during the management of inventory is a persistent problem without the use of RFID technology.
RFID retail technology has an incredible way of helping retailers to manage their inventory and learn important information about products. With this technology, when a customer calls to check whether a certain product is available, the system confirms and is able to locate the item in the shop. It also helps customers to have a better shopping experience. At the Point Of Sale checkout counter, the process is quick and allows the customer to be informed of the total amount of goods to purchased.
Another specific example would be an RFID smart tool cabinet/trolley – used to help technicians to track and trace tools that are stored in a portable cabinet during repair and maintenance work. As a whole, RFID technology helps to reduce human errors during inventory management and ensure accurate inventory records. This technology helps to speed up the inventory management process.
Without a doubt, the use of RFID technology is beneficial across many sectors and in many different areas of a business. Warehouse and inventory management are just a few out of the many where RFID has been successfully applied to.