Businesses have identified items with barcodes for decades, even though they struggle with manual work and inaccurate inventory that comes with barcodes. Barcode scanning requires the item to be within the scanner’s line of sight, which results in a short reading range.
Radio Frequency Identification, also known as RFID, is an alternative to the barcode and it provides a much smarter way of tracking assets and store item information.
Barcode-based scans can provide some visibility into item information but usually data is limited to generic information like name, SKU, and manufacturer. However, RFID can provide far superior reading speed, accuracy, automation, and efficiency in many cases. RFID technology-based solution for asset tracking helps your business gain the time and money-saving benefits of constant real-time information on your entire stock.
RFID asset tracking solution helps you to know where all of your valuable circulating items are in real-time, with absolute certainty. When RFID tags are used, you can track your items without counting each object. The RFID tag does not have to be within the scanner’s line of sight, like a barcode. This leads to fast reading as multiple tags can be scanned at once.
Usage of RFID can improve overall merchandise management. In retail, it becomes easier to ensure that sales are completed and thus make money for the store. Adoption of the RFID system can provide more profitable performance since there is a more accurate accounting of the merchandise wherever it is stored.
For instance, a company that’s losing sales opportunities because of a lack of visibility in stock or asset locations, or one that’s spending more on extra materials, tools, and human resources to compensate for inefficiencies.
Tracking the inventory, equipment, and people in nearly real-time makes it easier to streamline processes and drive more efficient frontline workflows.
You can remove manual intervention on a production line by using fixed readers at critical points and save time through automation. For example, in the assembly line tagging relevant components and identifying them with readers, you can get fast and reliable identification and shortened production times. Tracking can continue over the borders of the production site. RFID readers can be located at the warehouse gates, which allows automatic tracking of logistics and movements of items.
RFID also helps automate time-consuming and expensive inspections in aircraft cabins, ambulances, or fire trucks. Physically demanding safety procedures, such as checking if every passenger has a life vest under the seat, can be done swiftly with handheld readers instead of manual checking.
RFID can improve self-checkout by reducing lines in retail stores by bypassing clumsy barcode scanning. With RFID, retailers can reduce queue time by 90% or even have fully automatic checkouts. Because RFID readers don’t need to scan each item individually, they can sense everything in a customer’s bag at once. The pile of items can be set on self-service checkout, and the customer can purchase the products independently.
Whether you’re renting textiles, tools, or machines, or manufacturing cars, you’ll always keep the right items in circulation and no longer waste resources on overstock or searching for lost assets. Maintenance logs, repair service needs, component location, and lifecycle information are now all at your fingertips.
Hotels are, by definition, transient spaces where a vast number of people pass through every day. Property damage and theft are a concern, especially in the case of valuable items. In hospitality, RFID enables tracking of items like towels, pillows, and robes, decreasing the shrinkage as customers cannot liberate the products as easily. Hotels can ensure that nothing valuable will leave their premises by introducing RFID to track artworks and electronics.
In laundry services digitalizing the items enables more efficient and timely operations as circulation and consumption are tracked. As a laundry service provider, you can offer accurate, on-time replenishment of freshly cleaned items to customers when you have real-time inventory management of textiles.
RFID as technology provides new ways of organizing business. As RFID gives digital identity to every item, service personnel are not needed to cash in the customers, but they can commit to other tasks. With the help of RFID, you can open new crewless rental stations with total security and have an automated overview of the station remotely.
An alternative solution for mini-bars in the hospitality industry is the 24/7 open “grab and go” mini-market model that can easily be set up in the hotel reception area or on every floor. RFID tracking technology can be integrated with existing technologies such as cash register and payment services. Using RFID tags allows you to keep prices competitive, easily identify what’s selling well and what isn’t, quickly replenish your stock when needed, and deliver a seamless customer experience. By having a transparent view of your inventory in real-time, you can also introduce more fresh produce and healthy options and prioritize sustainable, local food.
The construction industry also benefits from location tracking enabled by RFID. Construction materials like panels can have RFID tags with a water sensor attached to them. In later years the tags can be located and read to inspect moisture or water damage inside the panels.
RFID can also optimize personnel management and improve risk management and safety, especially on construction sites and manufacturing plants. For example, employees can be monitored, maintenance and emergency alerts sent in real-time, and staff management optimized for increased efficiency. In hospitals, RFID can be used to easily share information about the patients or track the movements of vulnerable patients like disabled or aged patients.
Having access to accurate, updated information on the flow of assets down to a single item level supports better decision-making and reliable forecasting. Inventory accuracy is key to lower shrinkage and better profit. In retail better data on merchandise leads to smarter purchase decisions, giving senior management better expense control.
If you can count on having the right amount of products at the right time in the right place, you can reduce the waste of natural resources and minimize the environmental impact of your business. The most significant advantage of relying on RFID-powered systems is real-time information. The reduction of overstock and needless transportation reduces carbon emissions and optimizes resources.
RFID is an enabling technology that can be used to grow an omnichannel and customer-centric environment. Retailers benefit from RFID in many ways and provide a better customer experience, have more satisfied customers, and reach customer groups that haven’t been able to reach before. Unmanned stores can be open 24/7 and efficiently serve customers without sales personnel.
In clothing stores, retailers can offer interactive fitting room experience with the help of RFID. Smart fitting rooms can now make automated suggestions based on the selections that a customer brings in. Imagine that a customer can instantly be updated about whether the garment they are trying on comes in the next size. They can also get outfit suggestions based on the items they have already brought into the dressing rooms.
RFID technology-based solution for asset tracking helps your business to gain the time and money-saving benefits of constant real-time information on your entire stock. Using RFID, you can gather detailed information, such as inventory levels, work-in-progress status, equipment condition, and staff locations, in a nearly real-time manner, which leads to greater enterprise intelligence.