Research and Markets estimates that the global RFID market, with a market size of USD 10.7 billion in 2021, will grow to USD 17.4 billion by 2026. For various reasons, including more stringent government regulations and the need for contactless applications, more and more businesses are adopting and using radio frequency identification technologies.
Wondering how your business can benefit from RFID technology? Read on for four ways you can use an RFID counting system to improve your business processes.
In an office or corporate setting, it is so easy to misplace and lose important documents. Yes, you can have electronic copies of everything. However, there will be instances when you need the actual hard copy of specific files, like contracts, memoranda, and purchase orders.
An RFID system will help ensure you never lose important files ever again.
What you do is create a database of your essential documents. Each entry should have a file name and a description of the file’s content for database indexing purposes, and each one should be associated with a unique RFID tag.
If you can’t find a crucial document in the place where you or another employee supposedly filed it, all you’ll need is the file identifier and a special RFID reader. Enter the missing file’s RFID identifier into your specialized, file-tracking hand-held RFID reader.
Then use the RFID reader like you would a Geiger Counter. It will alert you when it senses the missing file and direct you to its location.
RFID counting technologies are a great help in inventory management. Inventory management is the process that helps businesses ensure they have the right products in the correct quantities available for sale at the right place and at the right time.
Without it, you will not know when you are out of stock for a bestseller or a product you’re promoting heavily on various media platforms. If this happens, customers could come into your store looking for the out-of-stock product and go home disappointed and empty-handed. Customer satisfaction would crash and, of course, you would lose a lot of sure sales.
But you can prevent this issue by being conscientious and consistent about inventorying your stocks. And you can make inventorying merchandise easier if you employ RFID counting technology.
Make it standard procedure to tag every item in your warehouses and all of your retail outlets. Then install hands-free RFID readers in every one of these locations.
Naturally, every RFID tag should have a specific electronic product code, and you should have a database of all EPCs. Every EPC should be associated with identifying information such as type of merchandise, color, size, volume, price, location, and any other available and relevant information.
With an RFID setup like the above, there will be no need to manually count inventory ever again, not in your stores and not in your warehouses. Your RFID readers will do all the counting for you, and it will do it in real-time, too, or as close to real-time with its minute-by-minute update.
Then all you have to do is generate reports that will inform you about the state of your inventory. If you’re running low on your bestsellers in a popular retail outlet, you can transfer stocks from your warehouses or other retail outlets. You can also order more from your supplier.
The management of existing inventory is not the only way an RFID counting system can help with supply chain management. It can also help you automate supply audits.
What you need to do is install RFID readers in your shipment processing centers. Naturally, your supplier is required to tag every item it sends to you. You and your supplier must also agree and coordinate on the electronic product codes you will use.
As your supplier’s delivery team unloads your supplies from the delivery trucks, your hands-free RFID readers will scan them automatically and instantaneously send you the data.
Suppose you are awaiting a delivery of car tires. Upon receiving delivery of the tires, your RFID counting system will give you aggregated data on tire sizes. You’ll also know immediately whether you got all-season, summer, performance, or touring tires and in what quantities.
Immediately upon receipt and without counting and checking deliveries manually, you can return wrong shipments to your suppliers and request replacements. This should shorten shipment problem resolution times.
Naturally, after an RFID audit, you’re still likely to check the products manually to see whether the shipment you received is as the RFID counting system says. In other words, what the system states are touring tires are indeed touring tires. This is to catch potential errors arising from a supplier inaccurately tagging products.
Asset Tracking and Monitoring
Suppose you’re in charge of the equipment warehouse for a general contracting company. It is your job to track and monitor hundreds of tools with values ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.
When an employee comes in to check out equipment, your process entails your staff recording the employee’s information and the details of the tools he’s procuring. This rigorous process is time-consuming, which means a loss of productivity on the employee’s part.
During peak hours, moreover, your staff can’t be as strict, and many employees can check out tools without registering them first. This can lead to equipment losses worth thousands of dollars.
Either way, your company loses time or money, both precious resources.
You can resolve this by equipping your warehouse with hands-free RFID counting systems. Install RFID readers in entry and exit points. Every tool and equipment in storage will be tagged, and every employee can enter the warehouse only if they’re wearing their own RFID tags (perhaps embedded in their ID cards).
Whenever someone comes through the exit, the RFID reader will simultaneously read the tags on both the employee and the tools or equipment he took from storage. This will automatically associate the employee with the tools they are checking out without a lengthy registration process.
Likewise, when an employee comes through the entrance with a tool or equipment they’re returning, the RFID reader at the door will automatically log the return of such tool or equipment.
Join the RFID Bandwagon
You can use RFID to track and find missing files, manage inventory, audit shipments, and track and monitor important company assets. And those are just four of the many potential uses of RFID technology.
RFID is certainly not a fad, and there’s a reason for the industry’s steady and robust growth. If you have yet to join the RFID bandwagon, now’s the time to start.