3 Innovative Ways to Utilize RFID in the Supply Chain
By Allegiance Staffing
September 8, 2020
RFID (radio frequency identification) is an incredibly valuable and innovative tool for the supply chain. RFID is a way to read information from a tag attached to an object through radio waves. The system uses the tag and reader to translate the radio waves into electronic data. You don’t need to be close up to get a reading, as the reader can be several hundred yards from the tag that you’re scanning and still capture information accurately. Tags come in all shapes and sizes, so if needed they can be small enough to where they are not visible.
Your Solution for Supply Chain Management Challenges
Supply chain management’s most glaring issues today stem from the occurrence of devastating errors. Such errors involve trucks leaving product behind, understocking, the loss of product, or delivering products to the wrong places. These errors can be the result of many different things, but most commonly they are due to human error.
Many supply chain systems still operate using written data tables and checklists, and if they aren’t checked with multiple pairs of eyes, mistakes can easily be overlooked. With RFID, a lot of the issues like this that arise within supply chain management can be resolved. The biggest problems that have been addressed include:
- Security risks.
- Management of operational costs.
- High labor costs.
- Adhering to compliance and regulation standards.
- Collection, management, and analysis of data.
- Using working capital adequately and effectively.
Think of how beneficial barcodes are for your systems and processes. RFID scanners are like that, but even better because your scanner doesn’t need a line of sight to get a reading. That feature alone means cutting down receiving times with the ability to check inventory without having to open up every box to scan each individual item.
Furthermore, when an item is scanned through RFID, detailed information will be provided, such as:
- Order ID number.
- Status of the order.
- Product bin location.
- The serial number for individual product components.
- Location logs.
Because of this, businesses can innovatively incorporate RFID into the supply chain in the following ways:
1. Improving Stocking and Inventory Management
When supplying high-demand products to customers, RFID tags provide the ability to maintain fast and cost-effective restocking and delivery. Needs differ depending on the types of products your company sells, but it is always ideal to remain ahead of the game so you are producing enough — and not too much — inventory to be sold.
When supporting a massive inventory, you can encode products right from the manufacturing stage, enabling end-to-end tracking. This way, the employees who are responsible for managing inventory can check if items are out of stock and communicate with other teams to produce more of the items that are beginning to sell more quickly.
2. Keeping Necessary Equipment Stocked
RFID doesn’t just have to be used for product creation and distribution, but it can also be helpful for maintaining the equipment your team uses on a daily basis. It’s essential that you keep all of the necessary items your team uses stocked and well maintained, and supply chain managers can use RFID scanners to ensure that that inventory is accounted for as well.
3. Faster Delivery Times with Lower Costs
RFID technology allows you to complete package delivery services quickly and affordably. When using overnight shipping, there is the potential for financial penalties if the package is not delivered before 8:30 a.m. With the RFID system, you and your customers will be provided with the location of packages in transit and handling times will be cut for better efficiency.
Being able to track all items in transit allows for better awareness of the location of items resulting in fewer losses along the way.
Optimize Your Supply Chain with Better Staffing Management
Implementing new tools and systems such as RFID scanning can help minimize human error, but it will not eliminate it. People will make mistakes, but in order to make sure things are functioning at their best, it’s important that you’re team is made up of dependable individuals who are committed to efficiency and safety in the supply chain.
There is a lot to keep track of in the supply chain, and staffing is often rushed because it’s important to make sure you have enough hands to meet production times. However, filling positions with inexperienced workers will end up costing you in the long run.
We can help with your current and future staffing needs. Allegiance Staffing specializes in finding talent that have the skills and experience needed to support your supply chain. Hundreds of companies continue to turn to us for these services because we strive to deliver the best labor solution. Reach out to us today to learn more as you look for ways to utilize RFID in the supply chain.