RFID in the Supply Chain
Nowadays, so much product is being moved around domestically and internationally that companies cannot sacrifice enough resources to keep up-to-date with the quantity and security of their inventory. More companies, such as Amazon, are implementing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, which can track real-time inventory statistics. This technology can track the amount of inventory left in stock, physical attributes such as temperature and humidity of the truck, and the location of the package anywhere in the world.
RFID uses electromagnetic fields to recognize product tags, which are attached to either the individual piece of stock or to a container in which the product is transported (pallets, shipping containers or carts). Advanced tracking helps individuals in the supply chain by giving them the capacity to track inventory around the world and/or to keep an eye on the condition of their inventory.
Supply chain companies not in need of a large-scale RFID implementation can use this technology to remove the time-consuming and costly process of tracking their inventory.
Companies moving towards an RFID-heavy system can decrease the possibility of human error, an issue that can result in various mistakes: stock being delivered to the wrong location, trucks leaving without the right amount of product, or a delivery missing the correct amount of inventory in its stock. RFID helps companies eliminate the previously mentioned errors, but it also propels them toward autonomous warehouses by facilitating the management of their inventory within their facilities and after it leaves the warehouse.
Currently, Routeique™ is undertaking an R&D project which will allow our IoT Vehicle Brain device to track inventory in real-time during loading, shipping, and the point of delivery. The system will take regular stock counts of all the RF-tagged inventory items within a trucks' box, allowing operators to know the exact location of a product. Moreover, this system will allow the DMS Mobile application to automatically check off picked products from the truck. This integration will automatically ensure the correct items are being picked for the right orders eliminating the need to manually scan the boxes. If a product is removed before its point of delivery, the information is at our fingertips.
An RFID-integrated supply chain doesn't come without its challenges. The biggest challenge is its initial implementation, it is costly and time-consuming. As this technology is constantly improving, we could very well see these challenges disappear. More accurate tracking for all aspects of the supply chain is always important for companies to keep in mind when they think of efficiency. RFID can not only improve the tracking capabilities around the globe, but can also eliminate time-consuming processes, opportunities for human error, and can potentially lead to a more automated supply chain.