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RFID: Improving visibility and accuracy throughout the Supply Chain

RFID or Radio Frequency Identification in the supply chain management can vastly improve the accuracy and visibility problems. RFID in the supply chain utilises radio frequency emissions to convey data wirelessly. Besides, RFID scanners can correspond with the RFID tags without the requirement of viewing them individually. Indeed, this is a mouth-watering scheme of things for warehouse executives and international supply chain managers. This way, they can slash the receiving and collection time by just observing the inventory. They will further save time by not feeling the need to scan items individually. All in all, the RFID tag will ensure tracking each solitary component in the goods package. This will render potent visibility and accuracy in perceiving the supply chain consignments.

Challenges in the supply chain

Visibility and accuracy have been the two most lingering aspects of the global supply chain. This has induced manual systems that are both complex to handle and time-consuming. Since sharing of data and information is vital to the supply chain dynamics, accuracy is the key. The absence of real-time international visibility within a solitary platform across regions has compounded problems. Besides, businesses can lose regulation over their inbound supply chain network due to the absence of visibility. The absence of forward-looking visibility in demand causes increased levels of inventory, thereby accruing cost and time.

Moreover, it is futile to consider the benefits of visibility without the potential to systematically sift through the data. And this leads to the second most significant challenge of achieving accuracy. Without being cognizant of the numerous supply chain tiers, managers cannot disseminate relevant information properly. Hence, this can elevate costs, reduce service levels and decrease the expected returns on investment across the supply chain. Also, the absence of automation in the supply chain functions will inevitably lead to anomalies within tracking shipment and assets in real-time.

How RFID encounters the challenges

RFID in the supply chain organises the inventory, business process and equipment visibility. Similarly, it enhances effectiveness by upgrading business measures and robotising resource and stock administration. The innovation additionally eases out information catch strategies and builds precision. It can dispense with the flaws in the manual cycles and lessens the operational costs. It renders constant state-of-the-art data across the whole inventory network. Also, an RFID arrangement can assist with bringing down working expenses and disseminate the focus throughput in the supply chain. Furthermore, it can augment on-time conveyances, further developing client fulfilment and support.

Integration

Potent integration, information sharing, and communication are paramount to a flourishing supply chain. It is crucial to share data and information conveniently within the transport, warehouse and company network. This will make the supply chain seamless. RFID technology in the supply chain eases the accessing and sharing of data. This, in turn, leads to organisations assessing the data and quickly accounting for their goods.

Operations

The ultimate objective of the supply chain manager is to construct a network that is more than the total of its components. Ideally, it must fulfil the aims of reducing the operational cost and ensure an increase in revenues. RFID tags, in this regard, permits the supply chain executives to perceive how they are operating on a day-to-day basis. RFID extends valuable data on the required processes, worker productivity and available opportunities. Most importantly, the RFID scanners aid organisations to scrutinise how goods are moving in and out of the warehouses. This is known as the warehouse management system, where the RFID facilitates real-time data capture by enterprises.

Purchasing

It is illogical to create products without the fundamental raw materials. Thus, purchasing becomes an important cog in the supply chain wheel. Notwithstanding the type of goods that are manufactured by the company, it requires the components to produce them. Working with providers who have RFID innovation gives organisations constant perception over in-stock raw materials and semi-completed materials. RFID within the supply chain additionally permits organisations to rapidly check whether all that they have requested is in the given shipment. This will limit the measure of time at the receiving end and will help in moving things to the development stage sooner.

Finally, RFID extends protection in cases where there are defects in the raw materials. The data from the RFID can identify the finished product that might have used that raw material. Consequently, this acts as a rearguard mechanism for customer satisfaction while speeding up the process of compensation.

Distribution

Movement and coordination of goods with RFID

Logistics alludes to the movement and coordination of goods between the point of origin and the consumption point. It involves the distribution of the manufactured goods within the warehouses, raw materials to the manufacturers or products for the consumers. RFID supply chain sensors and tags will facilitate a systematic distribution with precise and timely information transmission. This will be critical to regulate the quality at the same time keeping a tab on the costs incurred. Furthermore, access to data in real-time will aid in quick decision-making, thereby enhancing the business functions and eventually the products and services of the organisation.

Improving employee productivity

It is quite evident that RFID incorporation would result in employees wasting no time within processes that are labour-intensive. By scanning efficiently, RFID can find misplaced equipment quickly and maintain the inventory figures. Moreover, this will ensure the elimination of any chance of oversight and human error. Also, by saving this time, organisations can now wholeheartedly pay more attention to increasing the productivity of their workforce. Ultimately, with real-time data and full visibility, the business functions will be more organised and thus more profitable.

Mitigate loss, theft and risks

With RFID tracking, the network within the supply will gain easy and quick access to location and inventory information. This will help in confirming, replenishing, distributing and storing the items systematically. The process will therefore help the managers to immediately detect cases of loss, theft or risks. By reducing loss and maldistribution, combating theft, counterfeiting and facilitating recalls, companies will prevent lawsuits and fines.

Cost of RFID versus its value in the supply chain

It will be noteworthy to take into account the cost of incorporating RFID regarding the value that it promises. The RFID supply chain system cost relies on the sort of tag that is used. The active tags with a built-in power source have the potential to transmit a signal. They are suitable for shipping goods across high distances. The passive tags, without any power source, take the help of the RFID reading device for power. Thus, they are worthy for goods to be shipped over small distances.

The minimum price of the smart label RFID is 15 cents. The active tags possessing sophisticated sensors with a power supply will cost in the range of $15. The reprogrammable RFID costing around $45 renders fantastic returns on the investment. Even this figure is quite impressive considering the immense quality control and service functions that they impart. With immediate asset tracking and elevated asset and inventory visibility, RFID guarantees a great value for money. Therefore, the increased visibility permits the supply chain to find instant resolutions to issues arising from misplaced materials and poor organisations.

Conclusion

As companies endeavour to innovate their supply chains, RFID comes at the fore in ramping up operations. Here, Technowave plays a pioneering role with its range of RFID in the supply chain scanners, readers and tags. Their products display greater ability in improving the transparency and quality of information and data throughout the supply chain. This is in addition to the already superior accuracy and visibility of information that they render in the supply chain. To sum up, RFID solutions from Technowave make it convenient to execute supple manufacturing processes. Eventually, they will aid in realising a sustainable competitive advantage for organisations in the market domain.

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