Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is nothing new; we have been using the technology to track lost dogs through their embedded microchip, as security tags on clothes items in stores and in security access doors for many years now. But it’s also fast becoming an option for a growing number of other business processes, including inventory management.
A Forbes technology article highlighted some of the benefits major retailers could enjoy from implementing RFID. But small and medium sized companies can also leverage it to their advantage, even if they are still in the growing phase.
Blue Ocean Systems partners with Intrasys to offer Singapore and Asia Pacific RFID solutions across inventory and asset management, location and tracking as well identity and security. If RFID is new to you, here are some key things you’ll need to know:
Radio-frequency identification uses wireless electromagnetic fields to transfer data, to automatically identify and track ‘tags’ attached to objects. The information transmitted from each tag provides location and other information, depending on the use. The tags are tiny, slightly larger than a grain of rice, so they are easily implanted into products, clothing, animals and even human skin.
RFID for inventory management – what are the benefits?
- Reduced time to log and track inventory – items can be tracked via a handheld device to show their exact product information and location
- Automates tracking and reconciliation of inventory – drastically reducing the resources needed to receive, store and move stock
- Real-time inventory view – instantly gather data on inventory levels and item availability, improving fulfillment capabilities
- Alerts can notify warehouse or purchasing team on low/high inventory levels based on required parameters so you can optimise purchasing operations and reduce waste
- Cloud-based solutions from Intrasys offer cost effective and flexible ways to improve inventory processes
- Gain insights into your inventory movements by accessing real-time reports, giving you the ability to make decisions based on fact
- Integration with your existing applications is easy with the multiple API services available
How could RFID for inventory management work for my specific industry?
In retail, for example, you have the opportunity to meet the customer’s needs more often by having optimum availability of items both in the warehouse and in the desired retail location. You could also heavily reduce time and resources spent conducting inventory checks as the Intrays solution enables a stock take to be completed in a matter of minutes.
For warehouses, it’s all about the automation possibilities of receiving, put away, picking and sending items. Time spent on these processes can be greatly reduced, which frees up vital resources, especially for SMEs trying to manage competing demands.
If your business relies heavily on forklifts, you’ll understand the time-heavy processes to place, track and pick items, which can often lead to errors. With this technology, pallet identification can take place before any items have to be moved so accuracy can be guaranteed. You can also optimise forklift routes in the warehouse and avoid empty loads, saving time, as well as money.
Other uses for RFID solutions
Intrasys also offers asset management solutions that help companies identify, track and manage their critical assets across their business.
This solution could be used, for example, to track tools, personnel or pallets in the warehouse. For personnel tracking this could be particularly useful in hazardous workplaces to alert workers to dangers and immediately locate injured staff.
Tracking and location services extend the existing RFID capabilities from within your business premises to anywhere outside, via use of GPS tracking. For businesses who move raw materials, items or products between warehouses or from a warehouse to other locations, can track their assets up to a 1m accuracy. The in-built audit trail also enables you to streamline the journey taken to optimise future movements.
Security and identity might play a big part in your business operations and this is where the traditional ‘tagging’ use of RFID can be seen in action. From door access, to payroll and employee ‘clocking in and out’ solutions, RFID solutions from Intrasys can be tailored to meet the needs of their hospitality, property management and service industry clients.
Blue Ocean Systems works with Intransys to implement these innovative solutions for SMEs to alleviate you from the manual, error-filled processes surrounding inventory management and warehouse optimisation. Why not take a look at these in action? Contact us for a free demo.
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.