As the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, with more and more users across the globe now preferring online shopping which has increased user acceptance due to the pandemic, the need for sophisticated inventory tracking has become more critical than ever. Many of these e-commerce giants have their warehouses filled with thousands and thousands of products in stock to meet the ever-growing demand. Inventory tracking and warehouse management have often become distressing exercises with numerous challenges and inefficiencies, even for distribution houses or particular brands. However, there is a technology that may solve many of the current shortcomings of inventory tracking and can save even billions and avoid massive losses.
Technology Used So Far In Inventory Management
As of now, there have been various solutions implemented to tackle the task that is inventory management. The first method is traditional inventory management which involves manual processes aided by bookkeeping and management of digital records. Some brands have opted to use their personal preferences in the technologies they have adopted based on their unique parameters. What is surprising is that many companies today still prefer the basics even as more advanced technologies become more readily available.
Another method is utilising printed codes to simplify the management of tracking every individual item in inventory. However, this same method has now evolved with the advent of the widespread adoption of RFID inventory tracking. RFID technology, which utilises RFID tags and readers, offers the same capabilities as printed codes but with improved accuracy, operating speeds, and many more features depending on the specific products being tracked, resulting in significantly reduced costs in the warehouse.
The trend has evolved into a state wherein manual dependency is eliminated in inventory management. These new systems now rely on state-of-the-art innovations such as computer vision and drone technology. However, a perfect hybrid solution of such technologies may bring forth the best of both worlds: high performance paired with next-gen innovation and robust reliability of the proven technologies.
How Can RFID Drones Improve Inventory Management?
Similar to RFID, drones and drone technology have also attracted many investors and engineers in the last decade. Today, it is now possible to manufacture reliable drone fleets that can accurately fly within their given proximity. These drones capable of carrying extra load require some advanced engineering, which is also the case when being outfitted with RFID readers in Singapore. However, lightweight yet sturdy drones equipped with acceptable RFID ranges may be the key that unlocks the full potential of inventory management. Moreover, these drones may also act as simple relay devices with RFID tags instead of carrying their own RFID reader.
In this case, the drones can relay all transmissions from tags and readers and facilitate communication between the two in warehouses. The labels on the drones and those on stocks can serve as an antenna array that helps determine the exact location of products. By using RFID-based drones, businesses can eliminate time-consuming and inefficient manual scouting throughout the warehouse floor. Lastly, the drones’ movements can also offer insight about an entire warehouse facility beyond the traditional range while also providing relative location tracking capabilities.
Computer Vision Drones Or RFID Drones
Computer vision and drones are often used together for monitoring and scouting purposes. Thus, it is interesting to see why RFID-enabled drones can offer better inventory management than the adoption of computer vision despite using more costly hardware and edge computing. These drones even need to be equipped with cameras, which hampers the stability required at such proximity ranges. But for now, distinctive packaging and image-processing-based hardware require substantial investments, which may have delayed ROI, making RFID the right and better technological fit.
As demand increases in e-commerce and similar industries, businesses must bolster their inventory management solutions by implementing solutions like RFID with other available technologies. One such innovation that shows plenty of promise is drone tech, and while it may take some time before this innovation is readily accepted, there is no doubt that this will eventually be commonly used.