A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag is the next generation of barcodes with higher storage capacity and longer detection range. Various types of RFID tags exist, however, you can divide RFID devices into two main classes. Tags that need their power supply are active otherwise, they are passive.
Compared to biometry, smart card, and barcode, RFID tags have the advantages of faster reading speed, better machine readability, and larger storage. Plus, an RFID tag coupled with a reader has many sources of cost reduction such as material cost reduction, labor cost reduction, human error cost elimination, and even sales increase.
If you are a business owner who wants to explore RFID applications, you can consult an RFID company on the implementation of this technology. Moreover, there are various ways RFID technology can improve your business processes:
1. Faster Tracking Of Items
Tracking assets and materials can be a struggle for most businesses. You may need to keep track of components on your production line, an item to be shipped, or a piece of missing equipment.
Traditionally, you might use barcodes to monitor items. Since barcodes need to be scanned at proximity, you must track them item by item. Hence, this could be a tedious method to trace where your items are. However, you can instantly speed up the auditing of the number of items you have with RFID applications as these tags can be attached to each product. In turn, these tags will constantly transmit data to the RFID reader.
Additionally, RFID tags can store a wealth of item information. For example, tags can hold the manufacturing date, serial number, and status of a product. In this way, you can track things from their arrival to the time they are issued for manufacturing and finally used in a finished product. This will easily help in monitoring your supply chain.
2. More Accurate Inventory
Inventory inaccuracies are often caused by incorrect manual adjustments, product theft, undocumented damaged or perishable items, unaccounted returned items, wrong deliveries, and cashier errors. Since every product has value, therefore every unaccounted item means a possible profit loss.
RFID technology mitigates inventory errors with its ability to process a large amount of data. Critical details such as delivery information and stock levels can be stored in the onboard memory of an RFID tag. An RFID reader receives this vital information and uploads it in a database. Hence, your employee can simply access this critical information from a mobile device. With information at their fingertips, workers can accurately fill in orders and document their inventories.
Moreover, RFID technology enhances the inventory by allowing several products to be scanned at one time. You don’t even have to be in the line of sight to scan the items. Depending on the frequency, your RFID tags can be read even if they’re 200 feet away. Moreover, you don’t have to fear missing out on a single item since you can scan an entire room within seconds.
3. Better Security Access
If you want to monitor who goes in and out of restricted sections such as your supply room, using RFID can help secure access to your restricted areas. You simply give a unique tag embedded into cards for every person you have granted access to. Then, you must have a mechanism for reading these tags at the control point like your door. When the tags are read, the information is verified through a database in your central security where access can be granted or denied accordingly.
Additionally, you can leverage your security system by integrating other applications. For instance, you can connect your RFID security system with a surveillance camera. When someone attempts to log in multiple times, your system can activate security cameras and smart video surveillance. Simultaneously, you can receive alerts and prompts. On the other hand, even if someone has permission, you can still conduct video recordings to monitor their activities.
4. More Convenient Checkouts
RFID self-checkout can minimize the time it takes to check out a customer’s shopped items. The usual checkout process involves single-handedly scanning every item. Thus, customers would have to wait in long lines. On occasions and rush sales periods, this would be very inconvenient.
You can improve your point-of-sale system by attaching an RFID tag to your products. Hence, there is no more need for individual barcodes at the counter. The RFID reader, at the point of sale, can scan every item in the cart accurately. Afterward, your customer can swipe their credit or debit cards and use biometrics to verify their identity. You can avoid queues and reduce the hassle.
5. Smarter Sensing
Nowadays, RFID tags can be embedded with different types of sensors. For chip-equipped tags, sensors are integrated directly into the tag, and they can be used as electronic sensors. Chipless tags, meanwhile, have their tag antenna detuned for sensing so you can utilize them as acoustic, electromagnetic, and electronic sensors.
For businesses, you can use RFID sensors to help you monitor the quality of your items. Perishable goods, for example, must be stored at specific temperatures. If the temperature becomes too high or too low, your goods can be spoiled and become unsellable. RFID tags can be embedded with sensors to track and record the temperature. This will allow your supply chain management experts to see where items are spoiling, whether in transit or storage.
6. Improved Marketing Strategy
Understanding product popularity is critical for a business because it has the potential to boost profits. If a current item sells quickly, there may be an opportunity for the company to profit from adding more supply to replace the sold item. Hence, customer demand can be met, and sales can be increased as a result.
A resource management system can determine which items are trendy by using the collected RFID data. These data can be a useful tool for marketing. Data mining can reveal customer preferences if each purchase is recorded in a database. Knowing what customers want allows businesses to gain insight into their purchasing decisions. The business can then recommend additional or different products.
Leveraging Your Business Processes
The RFID technology has the power to seamlessly weave itself into your business processes. You can use RFID tags in logistics, consumer transactions, and security systems. If you’re considering the adoption of RFID tags, you can always weigh the benefits mentioned in this article. You have the choice to leverage your business process by integrating RFID technology into your information technology infrastructure.