Although a technology thatís been around for a number of years, RFID is a fantastic addition in supply chain management for a number of reasons.
At the most fundamental, RFID allows tracking of goods and items from manufacturing to customer. This means that supply chain management can be achieved throughout the process and this alignment can work wonderfully with corporate strategies and goals.
RFID itself is not a barcode replacement as many would see it and is a far more powerful addition to the supply chain. Itís significantly more precise and can greatly improve the efficiency of the chain. It also offers real time information and allows for businesses to vastly improve on their planning processes.
One of the reasons that RFID technology is so powerful in this instance is that it removes the need for manual processes. This means that not only does it streamline the process, but it also makes it a lot more accurate Ė removing the problems associated with human error and also by reducing the amount of labour costs involved in such tracking processes.
RFID and RFID tags allow products in their numbers to be counted in seconds. This is down to the fact that the RFID tags can be scanned without needing to be in the line of sight and at numbers at a time. The fact they can be scanned simultaneously means that there is a cost reduction in labour and also intensive tasks as this can all be carried out quicker and far more accurately.
Because of these factors, RFID processes greatly help reduce the cost of such tracking and increase the output of distribution centres as well as improve delivery times and also enhance customer service and satisfaction Ė something Waer Systems have been focusing on.
A Closer Look at RFID in the workplace
Another area that RFID comes into play is in the area of maintenance and repair. RFID can be used to keep tabs on machines and equipment and also allows manufacturers to keep up to date with whether a machine has been repaired or is still waiting for a repair. This information can then be used for a variety of uses, such as production planning and also scheduling in maintenance and in doing so prevents the chance for break downs caused by stretched machines.
RFID isnít static either and the technology is constantly evolving and new uses in the supply chain process and elsewhere are being found for it. For example a lot of companies are using RFID tags as sensors to ensure food safety by monitoring temperatures in areas of refrigerated trailers and areas. Tags will notify drivers if areas are too cold or warm and also if there is an issue allow for traceability, especially important if there is a recall.
RFID tags are also used to monitor and trace gas tanks to record fuel dispensed; this allows drivers to save on having to carry credit cards for instance. Or, some tags even help optimise driving routes. So, as you can see there are all sorts of way RFID can help in the supply and distribution process.