Over the past couple of decades, RFID technology has revolutionized distribution center (DC), warehouse, and supply chain operations, making them more efficient, reducing waste, and delivering valuable insights into ways to improve productivity, accuracy, and service delivery from end-to-end.
As business, in general, has become more competitive, supply chain operations have necessarily followed suit, implementing ways to streamline processes in order to cut unnecessary steps, optimize employee time and, ultimately, improve the bottom line.
How RFID works and why you need it
RFID stands for radio frequency identification. RFID technology uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track objects that are fitted with tags containing electronically-stored information. The information is then transmitted to a communications interface, which then translates it into usable data that can be leveraged to manage your business.
Though they operate much like a barcode, they can hold a lot more data, and they don’t need direct visual contact to work. They reduce the need for human intervention, reducing error, and facilitating automation in warehousing operations and all related processes.
Some of the most common use cases for RFID include:
- Inventory management
RFID tags help you keep tabs on your inventory so you can avoid shortages and backorders.
- Asset tracking
Keeps track of your critical equipment, such as mobile devices, and their locations.
- Personnel management
Have a transparent view of who enters and leaves your facility at any given time.
- ID badges and credentials
Track and control access throughout your building.
- Tracking objects through the supply chain
Keep your customers happy by knowing exactly where your items are located at all times.
- Fraud prevention (common in the pharmaceutical industry)
A unique identifier to control and prevent piracy and theft of your products.
The benefits of RFID are just as diverse; broadly, it helps to reduce costs and increase efficiency, but these categories can be broken down further to highlight a more specific value proposition.
For instance, in the case of inventory management, RFID helps to reduce out-of-stock situations. It creates greater visibility into your inventory, giving you insight into your product’s demand and helping you forecast more accurately.
By taking a lot of the repetitive day-to-day tasks out of the hands of your employees, you will be able to accomplish a great deal more in less time – and more accurately than ever before. Picking and ordering accuracy will also improve, as will customer satisfaction.
Loading and unloading containers become faster and more accurate with RFID-tagged cartons and scanners. What used to take your dock workers a day to unload, scan and count can now be accomplished efficiently and accurately in just a couple of hours.
Traceability in the food industry has been a hot topic of late, and RFID is a key player in facilitating farm-to-fork compliance. Data is centrally managed in the cloud, proving to be a helpful resource in assuring provenance as well as in managing recalls or counterfeit claims.
To learn more about how RFID technology can benefit your warehouse, distribution center, or supply chain operation, reach out to Mojix today.