RFID System Options for Optimal Asset Management

When you need to ensure the security of your assets from beginning to end, as well as replace stock, RFID security labels can be the ideal solution. But there are many configurations within the RFID realm to choose from. And each will offer a different level of increased efficiency to your business. If your business already uses base measures for asset management such as manual data entry or bar codes, the addition of an RFID system can provide significant benefits.

The Barcode System

But before even that, a system consisting completely of bar codes can be a good way to get used to a system of any kind. Usually, this solution is used in conjunction with a mobile reader for the quick, accurate and simple identification of assets. The bar code system works because it allows personnel to know which assets have and have not been processed. As well, an historical record of assets can be kept with a bar code system, which is capable of storing notes about products.

Mobile Reader RFID Systems

RFID security labels able to be read by a mobile reader is the ideal next step for businesses who have traditionally employed an all barcode solution. There are several benefits to the mobile reader RFID system, not the least of which is the fact that assets can be identified faster.

Items can also be identified if they are located outside the line of sight of the reader, something which can offer varying amounts of benefit, depending on the individual needs of a business who has decided to employ this system.

When switching from an all barcode to mobile RFID solution, a business should be ready for the increased cost for the RFID tags. As well, some care must be taken with placing the large tags to ensure readability. You may also want to take care with surrounding materials which can interfere with the readability of RFID tags, as well as attempting to read tags through the walls of a building, as this can cause confusion as to the items which have and haven’t been read.

Passive Fixed Reader RFID Systems

The work required to identify assets can be drastically reduced with the implementation of a passive fixed reader RFID system. With this system, reading of assets occurs continuously and without any intervention from humans whatsoever.

These fixed-mount systems carry the same caveats as their mobile reader counterparts. As well, the cost of the fixed reader needs to be considered, as does where and how it will be mounted. The ability for the reader to maintain communication with the tags, as well as maintenance must also be taken into account.

Active Static Reader RFID Systems

These systems include RFID tags which are active. Like its passive fixed reader counterpart, this system also requires no human intervention. It is also capable of monitoring assets over large areas. Each tag in this kind of system has a lifespan of around five years, however, and this fact should be considered before implementing an active system. Network access is required for the tags to be read.

When considering which type of system to implement, it can help to remember that a combination of traditional systems with an RFID solution may offer the most efficiency. For example, where there are small items requiring tracking, a bar code system can be ideal. However, for larger items RFID systems can work best. In addition to this, it’s important to consider that RFID systems can be used both for tracking assets and for performing audits of inventory. Regardless of the system chosen, the best choice will be one that’s been well-researched.

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Ensure ROI for your RFID System

When it comes to keeping goods secure or being able to restock merchandise as soon as it’s needed and improve the accuracy of inventory, there are few better means of doing so than an RFID system. RFID technology performs several duties for a business: it not only makes available stock clearly visible for easier selection, but it also ensures that merchandise is always available to the consumer.

In situations where a business plans to earn more revenue and possess a greater piece of the market by investing in a different channel, RFID can be identified in many cases as a necessary ingredient for success.

Implementing RFID

Many businesses have been using RFID systems in several ways over a number of years, including for the purpose of ensuring stock safety via RFID security labels. This type of technology has tied in well with the desires of the modern shopper. Today’s shopper wants their items as fast as possible, whether they order them online or are visiting a store to get them. With RFID systems in place, owners need not worry that wanted merchandise won’t be available.

However, the road to the implementation of the RFID system can be hindered by the doubt that RFID will provide ROI. One way to help ensure that RFID implementation will be well-received is to obtain accurate data with regard to numbers, experience and resources, to name but a few.

Numbers

The first and most important step in the obtaining of accurate data to prove ROI for your RFID system are numbers. Every kind of internal data, coming from processes like replenishment, ordering and fulfilment should be included in ROI calculations. All of these numbers will eliminate the need to rely on assumptions, which may very well be inaccurate for your business.

Auditing

An audit of your location or collection of locations will be necessary in order for an accurate ROI estimate to be produced. This can be accomplished by looking at the way in which a location processes its goods as well as operates. This will be less complicated to determine in a single location. When looking at more than one location, it must be considered that each will have its own way of handling operations, as well as having a different layout or format than other locations.

Speak to those Involved in daily Merchandise Handling

Those who work in your store will be the ones who will understand each step of the merchandise handling process, as well as all of the potential challenges which accompany them. After all, they are the ones who are in constant and direct contact with customers.

Resources and Real Costs

An RFID system will only be as good as your understanding of what needs to be improved in your location. This includes everything from the processes you and your employees currently use for inventory management to how many hours are devoted over any given time period to ensure the availability of stock. All of these will impact the bottom line of your business.

The real cost of being out of stock will be another determining factor when trying to accurately forecast just how much ROI your business will realise as the result of implementing and RFID tagging system.

The right RFID system will be the one which allows you to achieve your desired level of merchandise availability and accuracy of the stock you have. You may find that it’s more feasible to install RFID ‘eyes’ above rather than supply each employee with an RFID reader, for example.

The bottom line is that RFID is a business investment. For it to be a valuable one, it must help you in some way to increase both savings and sales.

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