Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is emerging as a solution for challenges faced by supply chain management in the pandemic and post-pandemic era. It is recognized that Automation is the key to cost optimization and efficiency improvement. Barcode which was a semi-automation now replaced by RFID technology to reduce time and real-time data accuracy.
Warehouse operations are becoming more and more complex as customer demands and expectations are increasing. They need to perform multiple tasks like stock storage, loading/unloading, search and pick, priority ageing etc. Warehouse spaces are becoming costlier and smart utilization of these spaces is critical. Wrong identification of the product during receipt and dispatch, making manual errors etc. lose the efficiency of the supply chain and create customer dissatisfaction.
Key Benefits of RFID in Inventory Management:
- Know the precise location of inventory hence saving time in searching.
- Accurate data of the items available in the warehouse hence timely reorder of the stock and reducing the shortage of items which leads to the business stoppage.
- Reduce the labour cost by automation of search and recording.
- Reduction of human errors by automating the data entry and location identification.
- Access to real-time information ensures the right items are docked at the right bin and loaded on the right truck.
- Instant verification of the right items picked.
Normally, an RFID tag consists of a microchip connected to an antenna. The data is on the microchip, and it connects to the internet so that the whereabouts of the item is available to the business at a given point in time. There are two types of RFID systems. Active and Passive. The Active RFID tags do not have a transmitter inside and it reflects the radio wave originating from the reader/antenna. Where in active RFID tags, the transponder sends the data to the Reader/Antenna. Hence able to communicate long distances. In the Supply chain normally passive RFID tags are used as they are less expensive and maintenance-free compared to Active RFID tags.