The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is placing a lot of stress on supply chains around the world, with food and product shortages affecting many industries. But radio identification frequency (RFID) asset tracking can still help freight and logistics personnel keep goods moving efficiently from manufacturer to warehouse to retailer. In fact, RFID tracking is essential for the smooth operation of the supply chain.
What does RFID asset tracking do to keep the supply chain moving? It’s an efficient, easy way to keep track of assets. It can even offer GPS tracking that allows supply and logistics personnel to follow assets through the supply chain every step of the way. Impact detectors and temperature sensors can be combined with RFID tracking devices to provide real-time location and temperature updates — a must for those handling perishable items like fresh food and medicine. Let’s take a look at what RFID tracking does for the supply chain — and what it can do for your organization.
RFID tracking tags have one big advantage over old-fashioned UPC barcodes — unlike barcode scanners, RFID tag readers don’t have to be within a direct line of sight of the tags in order to read them. Active RFID tags broadcast a radio frequency signal that tag scanners can pick up, even from a distance. Even passive RFID tags, which do not contain a battery and therefore do not broadcast a signal, can be detected by the appropriate scanners without being in line of sight of the tag.
This means that RFID has proven invaluable when it comes to streamlining warehousing processes. When an RFID-tagged shipment arrives, no one has to stand around for an hour or two unpacking crates and scanning individual barcodes — and you know how difficult it can be to get barcodes to even scan sometimes, not to mention how tedious and time-consuming it can be to manually scan in an entire shipment.
Instead, you can use RFID asset tracking to scan an entire shipment into your warehouse at once, instantly, at the time of its arrival. Sensors on the loading dock or elsewhere in the warehouse can pick up RFID signals from shipments and populate your inventory tracking software with all the necessary data. Your employees will save tons of time and you might even be able to get by with fewer staff.
RFID asset tracking eliminates much of the (sometimes fruitless) searching that employees have to do to find the inventory item they want, whether they’re in a warehouse doing pick-and-pack operations or in a brick-and-mortar store searching in the back for a customer’s requested item. Employees will no longer have to search around on the shelves for the item they want — an RFID tracking sensor can pick up the appropriate signal and lead the employee right to the item they need, reducing the time spent locating and tracking merchandise.
Bring Transparency to Real-Time Inventory Tracking
Do you offer curbside pickup for orders placed online? RFID tracking can improve customer service and satisfaction by helping you keep a more accurate record of what you have on the shelves so that online shoppers can get their curbside orders filled completely more often. You’ll have the data you need to know exactly when it’s time to reorder stock, and you’ll be able to keep just exactly as much inventory as you need on your shelves, so you won’t waste space or keep cash tied up in inventory that isn’t moving fast enough. On-shelf availability will improve, and out-of-stock issues will diminish, while you’ll be able to keep inventory costs at a minimum. It’ll be fast and easy to scan items into inventory, and RFID tracking tags can also store additional information about assets, such as color, style, or size.
Make Fewer Mistakes
Accuracy in product picking and shipping means more than just fewer errors. It’s better customer service, since more customers will receive exactly what they ordered. It’s also a good way to save money, since your employees will find themselves spending less time correcting mistakes. You can even generate more sales by improving processes and sales, because you’ll be able to keep what customers want the most in stock, and you’ll strengthen customer relationships with better service. You can even draw in more customers with services like curbside pickup for online orders.
RFID asset tracking is a simple technology that offers big solutions to common problems with the supply chain. If your organization hasn’t implemented RFID asset tracking yet, it’s time to start.