Does RFID implementation have to be an extensive operation? You know that implementing an RFID solution could save money and valuable time in the long run. Still, you aren’t sure if it’s reasonable for your company to install a system. Even though RFID would enable you to get full visibility of your inventory and even track your flow of items in real-time, you might experience some hesitation. The good news is that modern RFID systems are practical and affordable for companies of any size. Even for smaller businesses, implementation can be quick and painless. For instance, German fashion retailer Gerry Weber, experienced such great improvements in their operations, that the RFID solution paid for itself in just 24 months!
In this article, we will address some common concerns and challenges you may have heard while countering them with modern solutions to the forefront. Ultimately, RFID based inventory tracking and managing systems implementation are simple, scalable, and easy to deploy for companies of any size. Read on to learn why.
Challenge: Costly, endless deployment not suitable for smaller businesses
To date, RFID systems have been associated with large-scale manufacturers and retailers. The process has been so costly and resource-intensive. Deployment was often lengthy and involved coordinating and hiring many different service and hardware providers in a large development project. Understandably, these obstacles kept small and midsize businesses at bay.
If resources are scarce, managing a project group consisting of hardware provider, software developer, tag vendor, and the tagging source, as well as project manager, IT department, and executive management representatives is just too much.
Solution: Modern RFID is a quick and simple deployment process
These deployment concerns are no longer an issue because the solutions have developed considerably. You can also choose a full solution vendor that supplies software, hardware, tags and project management.
For example, there are now off-the-shelf solutions for deployment. This means that not everything has to be completely customized and built from scratch. Companies also have the option to go for pre-fab solutions that integrate seamlessly into their existing locations. Modular solutions provide the customer with the option to choose the modules (features) he needs and deploys only these. No need to invest in a complete system with unnecessary features and you can upgrade your system seamlessly as you grow. This eliminates starting from scratch every time you expand and enables you to develop your existing system as you wish. Due to the flexibility and modular build of today’s systems, the entry-level bar is much lower, so even small businesses can afford to implement RFID.
Choosing a partner that provides RFID solutions at a monthly cost, lowers the threshold to deploy RFID based solutions even more. The issue with a large initial investment has halted many projects. With the right partner, instead of a traditional project where you buy everything at once and install it, you can also pay for the solution and the services on a monthly basis. This financial arrangement would require that the partner is a one-stop-shop vendor.
Challenge: Hard to scale with inflexible and complex software integrations
An RFID system has to be equipped with a holistic security framework for secure and scalable operation. Although much work has been done to provide privacy and anonymity, little focus has been given to performance, scalability, and customizability issues to support the robust implementation of IoT.
Determine which areas of your business can benefit from RFID and which business processes must be changed. Dated software solutions were notoriously complex because you would potentially have to design a customized software system to organize your information. After a painful software development and integration process, solutions were also harder to scale and develop because the older systems were less flexible. This meant that you would go through the complexities of a long and expensive set up only to have to start from scratch again a few years later when you needed to scale. And your staff would have to learn to use yet another new software.
Solution: Systems are easy to scale and seamlessly integrate with your existing software
If you choose the right service provider, modern RFID systems are easy to scale because they can be built on modular systems. This makes scaling easy because you only add the particular modules you want to scale. No need to build a new system from scratch as your business evolves.
Integrating data into your existing system with the help of a data consolidation platform, also means that your staff can continue to use the software they are used to and find convenient.
On the same hand, if you choose a full-service platform provider, a modern platform or software solution will integrate item data seamlessly into your existing system (for instance POS, ERP, CRM or whatever type of system you use). This means you don’t need to create the software from scratch, hire developers, etc. and you don’t need to hire an integration specialist to unite your current system with your RFID software.
A full-service provider can easily integrate your new RFID platform into your existing system without altering it. This is no longer an expensive and time-consuming process that requires numerous outside vendors.
Challenge: Non-existent or poor mobile applications
In the past, RFID systems were not necessarily synched for mobile usage or had very limited mobile control possibilities. Imagine that every time your on-floor customer service employee needed to check the inventory of an item, they would have to go into the backroom to a specified desktop computer. This situation was even worse if there was an issue while people weren’t physically at the location and an issue needed to be addressed right away. There was a time where employees might need to leave their homes in their off time due to an important alert etc. that could only be addressed on a desktop at the workplace.
Understandably, the early limitations of mobile controls and RFID integration were a concern.
Solution: Modern systems are completely customizable to any mobile need you have
Today, quality full-service RFID platforms can be fully customized. This means mobile applications are part of the package. For instance, your inventory will be available 24/7, anywhere. You can access your stock balance from your mobile phone or a tablet device. No need to run to the office or look up inventory data on the computer in the back room anymore.
With a ready mobile application for inventory management, you just plug and play your data into the system and access it from your mobile device. This means that full customized control is available whenever, wherever and to whomever it is needed.
Furthermore, with RFID solutions based on common ecosystems, like Android or IOS, customers are able to also develop applications themselves if they want to add other software to the inventory management application. Although Apple’s iOS used to dominate the inventory management app landscape, strong inventory management apps for Android have quickly emerged, Today companies can choose from several easy to use RFID enabled solutions based on Android.
At the beginning of the article, we quoted Gery Weber’s experiences of RFID implementation. What are the experiences of companies that have rolled out RFID? The results of a report investigating the impact of RFID in retail has found 100% of the retailers surveyed seeing a positive return on investment (ROI) after implementing the technology which leads to accurate retail inventory. Nevertheless, it is important to choose the RFID partner wisely, to make the implementation as smooth as possible.
With Nordic ID, implementation is easy, flexible, and for companies of every size
Nordic ID has cloud-based and modular asset tracking and management solutions that are flexible, scalable, and adaptable. This makes our platform uniquely easy to integrate with your current software while the physical hardware set up is taken care of effortlessly. With over 20 years of experience in developing RFID-based solutions, both hardware, and software, we are able to provide our customers with turn-key solutions. Nordic ID is a real RFID one-stop-shop.
Our flexible solutions are also easy to scale up, so you can and add more features as you expand. Whatever they may be, you can always add an extra info kiosk, new functionality, or different devices.
Our item data consolidation platform can even work as a data providing system for your current software. There is no need for year-long, expensive integration projects involving countless consultants or changing all of your previously implemented software.
We can work with large or small companies due to the scalable nature of our solutions. Being a small vendor shouldn’t deter you from taking advantage of an RFID system. For example, the modular build and mobile-enabled UI of our platform make it easy to implement on a small scale. The price point can be low enough for small implementations that even a small or midsized company can realistically afford it.
At the end of the day, implementing a system for item data tracking and managing based on RFID doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Nordic ID is a full-service provider that offers affordable, scalable asset tracking and management solutions. We work alongside the customer throughout the project and the relationship doesn’t end at roll-out. We continue to support our customers for years.
We will happily assist you in creating an RFID integration process that is smooth, simple, and exactly what you need: no matter how big or small your needs are.