A Guide to RFID and Its Applications in Supply Chain Management and Logistics
We all love shopping malls and supermarkets, so why not? We can buy our favorite clothes, household items, and groceries there.
However, there is one part we hate the most - waiting in the never-ending billing queue.
We'll all have to wait and see, as the person looking at the bill scans everything. Back then, we all wished we had at least one technology that would shorten this long process.
Evolution of RFID
Did you know that the products in your favorite retail store have taken quite a long journey? The concept of RFID is not new, its use began during World War II. During World War II, the British used RFID to track and identify aircraft manufacturing systems.
In 1973, Mario Cardullo received the first patent for an active RFID tag. In addition to this, the first UHF reader was invented in 1990. When it comes to the commercial application of RFID technology, we can say that Walmart spends about $50 million on RFID.
If so, I have good news for you. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a cutting-edge technology that makes this a reality. So, let's see what is RFID.
How can companies incorporate RFID into their supply chain?
Generally speaking, a supply chain consists of the following four main processes:
Better integration is the key to the success of global supply chains. Failing to implement a supply chain in your business is like trying to run your business with only technological tools and not any human effort. It doesn't make any sense.
RFID tags enable organizations to capture data on shipped goods and easily share this data with other supply chain partners. That's why RFID is a worthwhile investment for businesses looking to expand their reach and customers.
Day-to-day operations have a significant impact on a company's supply chain. Supply chain managers who focus on day-to-day operational excellence can build larger supply chains.
RFID readers help companies easily monitor the movement of goods in their warehouses. Inventory management becomes more efficient as companies receive real-time information about warehouse activity.
Making goods without raw materials is a difficult puzzle to crack. This is why sourcing is critical to the supply chain process. Implementing RFID technology in your supply chain management can give you real-time visibility into semi-finished materials and raw materials in stock.
In addition to this, RFID allows you to check that everything in your shipment matches your order, which greatly reduces the time spent in the receiving stage and helps move items to the production stage earlier.
Imagine being in bad weather near your supplier. Did they pass through the danger zone, or do you need a contingency plan?
The term logistics refers to the coordination and movement of goods from one place to another.
For transport companies, controlling quality, managing budgets, and meeting agreed service levels are critical. Good logistics make this possible, whether it's distributing finished products to warehouses, supplying raw materials to manufacturers, or distributing individual items to consumers.
RFID in supply chain management and logistics
Supply chain management and logistics are considered the most fertile areas in terms of RFID applications.
RFID in the supply chain plays an important role in improving visibility from the point of manufacture to the supply chain, most importantly from the back room to the floor and ultimately to the exit.
RFID has an important voice in inventory management, warehouse management, and retail. Let us understand them in detail.
Inventory management is an important part of supply chain management. It includes all aspects of monitoring, managing, controlling, storing, and end-use materials to sell products.
Inaccuracies in inventory management are inevitable and common in many industries.
Inaccuracy is nothing more than a mismatch between inventory records and the actual number of products available for sale.
RFID technology can provide many benefits for improving inventory management systems. RFID tags have the ability to read items.
Additionally, the person can scan multiple items at once. These properties of RFID help to speed up the inventory management process and reduce human error, thereby improving inventory accuracy.
A warehouse is simply a storage area for different products received from suppliers. These products are then distributed to customers.
More recently, RFID has emerged as a technology that supports warehouse management systems for simpler supply chains and greater product understandability.
With RFID technology, you can automate important tasks that occur during the receiving and shipping process.
RFID also increases the efficiency of identification and verification activities while reducing human error.
RFID ensures instant identification of products and better control of items in the warehouse.
Therefore, the supply chain now has a larger flow of information compared to the flow of materials. This further reduces monetary costs.
RFID technology has begun to revolutionize the retail industry. Retail behemoth Walmart is experimenting with passive types of passive RFID tags to meet high consumer demand.
RFID improves product visibility in retail inventory, helps better control inventory, and increases customer satisfaction.
This is highly relevant to big box stores that provide the facility for customers to search online for the product of their choice, and the store has current stock available for sale.
Second, RFID provides enhanced product identification by storing a unique identification number.
Finally, it reduces checkout time, as RFID enables shoppers to scan the entire contents of their cart without even having to pick up an item. Plus, it helps with dynamic pricing, theft reduction, and employee tracking.
Practical application of RFID
Now that we know how RFID works, let's look at some practical applications of RFID.
RFID can be used to track the activity and health of animals on farms. It ensures that every animal on the farm is getting the right food.
Manually monitoring cow health can be an expensive and time-consuming affair.
However, with RFID, you can do this automatically without much expense.
Food supply chain management
Before delving into the application of RFID in food supply chain management, let's take a look at the meaning of food supply chain management.
The food supply chain is a vast network of food distributors, suppliers, transporters, and retailers working together to produce healthy food for customers.
In these times of pandemic, customers demand robust food transformation, supply chain transparency, and food safety assurance. Due to all the factors mentioned above, the need to improve supply chain transparency has increased dramatically, ultimately creating the need to implement RFID technology in food supply chain management.
As more and more people order food online, RFID is critical to supporting e-commerce networks. Additionally, RFID tools are used to track products throughout the food supply chain for operational capabilities.
RFID successfully alleviates jewelry security challenges.
By using RFID to tag jewelry at the item level, it is possible to track the jewelry as it travels from the factory to the distribution center and finally to the store. Furthermore, the process is convenient and economical.
RFID also has key applications in defense. It is used for movement tracking of weapons and soldiers.
In addition, it provides real-time information, so it is easy to track the real-time position of the weapon.
In an emergency, RFID gives you easy access to real-time data when help from other battalions is unavailable.
In large companies with large numbers of employee uniforms, RFID can be used in laundry management systems.
It can track uniforms assigned to employees, the number of washes, uniform age, and identify lost uniforms.
Kiosks can also use RFID to manage resources or interact with customers.
DVD rental kiosks use RFID tags to ensure customers receive the movie rentals of their choice.
Among other things, it is used for interactive media displays, where RFID readers interrogate cards or badges.
The library's RFID system helps improve the efficiency of circulation operations. Libraries often use barcodes with proper positioning and line of sight.
With an RFID tag, you can scan it from multiple angles, which makes the check-in and check-out process faster than barcodes.
We have seen some major practical applications of RFID technology in various fields. But we can't forget its biggest application.
I am talking about the application of RFID in supply chain management and logistics solutions.
Today, every business is going through technological developments, and the postal service is no longer lagging behind. The Postal Service is using cutting-edge IT systems to create, manage, classify and report RFID events to track postal items.
A postal company's RFID tracking service uses a passive RFID technology infrastructure to provide the necessary service support and management for the postal service. In addition to this, RFID-based real-time tracking systems can also help postal businesses avoid human error or mass shipping errors.
RFID has huge potential and we will apply it in various industries in the next few years. If you are an entrepreneur looking for an RFID solution, please contact us.
At Yanzeo, we provide barcode and RFID solutions. Yanzeo's years of professional research and exploration of smart technology have brought together the technical essence of the barcode industry. Through the data interpretation of the changes in the information environment of modern society, we can effectively overcome the difficulties and problems of barcode RFID technology, develop and design industry-leading barcode RFID products, and help customers calmly cope with the challenges brought by accurate identification and identification. Various identification obstacles to ensure the safety of customers at all times.