Know where everything is, all the time
The greatest benefit the asset pooling industry reaps from RFID is full transparency on valuable assets. When you instantaneously know where everything is, you can quickly and accurately allocate expensive equipment where it belongs. You can instantly figure out what needs to be washed or maintained, and consistently rent out equipment that is safe and ready for use.
A basic explanation of RFID
When you use RFID in your business, every item in your stock or asset pool has a tiny physical tag that works using radio frequency. The tag stores all of the information that you need to know about each product. It can tell you exactly where the item is, who has it or even give you an entire maintenance history. You can read the tags from a distance and instantly get an accurate count or learn about the items in the vicinity. Major pros include the fact that you don’t need a line of site and you can read hundreds of tags at once.
Here are 5 ways that an RFID system can benefit your rental or asset pool business.
Keep the right items in circulation
Take the example of a big construction company. It isn’t uncommon that they might have 5 or 6 lifts sitting around at a given construction site yet only 2 or 3 of those lifts are actually used. With RFID, this company can easily allocate the machinery to the site that needs them. The technology can pick up on the machines that aren’t being used, and automatically report that another site is understocked. This is so basic, but without RFID this company would rely on manual reporting, and that can’t always happen right away. On the contrary, with RFID, inventories can be 99% accurate and happen in a fraction of the time. This means that you can always stay on top where things are and where they are needed.
The bottom line is that at the end of the day, any rental or asset supply company can save huge amounts of money simply by allocating resources to the right spot at the right time.
Prompt billing cycles
Since you now know exactly when and where something arrives, you no longer need to wait for manual system logging across potentially different asset pool inventories. Now that there is zero lag, you can promptly bill customers and no longer lose resources while waiting for items to be manually logged.
Instantly access maintenance logs
Maybe you have life vests that need to be counted and inspected, or you have shirts that need bi-annual fire-proofing treatments. You no longer need to physically search every item, but can use your RFID system to automatically read and report on every item’s full maintenance log and history.
This also increases the safety and quality of the equipment that you circulate, because you can be confident that all of the assets in your pool are well maintained and accounted for, every time.
Unmanned Rental Stations
Now that every item is tagged, you can have a full service rental station that is completely self sufficient. It will report on the condition of your assets, keep track of who takes what and when, and ensure that everything is maintained as it needs to be.
Let’s say you have a car factory, and your workers need special outfits and equipment to do their jobs. With unmanned rental stations, employees can automatically get what they need when they need it, and they can report the condition of items so that a history of each item is stored. The company now knows exactly when things need to be washed, replaced or repaired. This kind of system results in improved employee satisfaction and saves money on maintenance and checking costs.
Faster loading and shipping with fewer errors
Before you ship something out, you need to be sure that everything it should come with is already contained. Imagine that before a firetruck is sent out for duty, an RFID system automatically scans it to ensure that every piece of equipment is already included.
Let’s say that you rent audio equipment for events. Before sending out a PA system for a large concert, with RFID you can instantly ensure that every wire and connection device necessary is already present. You can ensure that no speaker is left behind, and that everything you are shipping out has been properly maintained and is in good working order. You’ll always ensure that everything you rent out is returned with an accurate track record of its condition.
According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Delta airlines implemented an RFID solution. The company reported that checking the expiration dates on 757 oxygen generators previously took eight man hours, and that they can now complete the process in less than two minutes.
In the past, it was easy to forget a piece due to human error, and it’s also easy to occasionally overlook something’s maintenance history and let a faulty part sneak into a shipment. The bottom line is that with RFID these time consuming and costly factors are instantly taken care of an you are always sending out the right goods at the right time.
Transparent overview on Materials
Manufacturing companies often need to know exactly how much they have of a given material. They need to ensure that they have enough materials at the right time, as not having them on hand when needed can be costly. Reusable Containers are a great example of this.
Draft beer kegs are considered reusable RTI containers, meaning they circulate from breweries to pubs and back to the brewery again. You can imagine that when this kind of process is manual, there is more than enough time for things to que up, stagnate in basements or miss out on maintenance. Let’s say that there are 10 kegs waiting to be picked up in a brewery. With RFID, the factory can always ensure that they have enough kegs for their next shipment, because they instantaneously know when kegs are ready to be picked up. They can effortlessly determine the amount of cycles a container has been through and determine whether it’s time to replace, refurbish or reuse it.
Thanks to RFID technology, you can now know where everything is, what condition it’s in and where it needs to go next. Having mastered your inventory control and flow of goods, you can now begin to save money and time while better meeting the needs of your customers or employees.