Updated: Aug 30, 2021
What is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)?
RFID is a radio wave-based technology used to monitor inventory. RFID tags are different from barcodes because tracking chips are not needed to be in line with barcode scanners to return data. This makes RFID more useful for operators trying to find stock easily and effectively.
Passive RFID relies on the radio emissions of a reader device to activate essential data. Based on the unique serial number connected to the tag, operators can access the full history of stored inventory.
RFID and inventory tracking efficiency
RFID technology requires less monitoring than any predecessor. Simply install the required number of tags in your inventory and start gathering data. The main efficiency benefit comes from the reduced manpower and time taken to gauge data on a given stock item.
As an example, an employee in a warehouse is tasked with finding and tagging the entire stock range of one product. Using manual counting or traditional barcode scanners, the timeframe of this project would be extended by the employee scanning each item individually. With active RFID tags, this one employee could locate the location of multiple storage containers simultaneously and remotely change any data needed.
RFID technology doesn't just save processing time, it also reduces the hours taken for human operators to complete inventory control tasks. Meaning staff on the ground can be assigned to more value-added tasks such as communicating with customers or suppliers. All in all, RFID represents a step towards more workflow efficiency.
RFID can have an impact on all aspects of your supply chain management if executed properly. Here are some of the benefits of deploying the technology in your warehouse.
Key Benefits of RFID in Warehouse Management
Smoother running business environments—knowing precisely what and where inventory is, thus reducing out-of-stock items due to a more accurate real-time picture of the warehouse is available at facilities.
Reduced labour costs by reducing the workforce needed for tracking and warehouse management.
Reduction in order entry errors (less manual intervention) & improved employee productivity.
A quick scan of a RFID tag provides instant verification that the right item has been picked, and the item is instantly deducted from inventory.
Getting Started with RFID
For any business, change isn’t easy.
However, with increasingly competitive markets and greater demands from customers, there has never been more incentive to adapt and change than now.
Rather than taking on the risk and responsibility alone, a safer strategy is to find a partner and supplier who understands both RFID and its applications. This partner should be able to provide best practices that can set your business up for success as you transition to RFID.
Start by implementing RFID in a small test area to see how to best customize your solution before rolling it out to other areas. Plan for the roll-out, so the work is manageable. Leave enough time and resources for each phase of the project to reduce pressure and problems.
With enough time and planning, and the right partner, you can leave manual and outdated inventory tracking in your past and quickly begin benefitting from RFID in your processes.
Speak with one of our friendly consultants to find out more about how you can implement RFID Technology in your organisation. 80% funding available under Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).