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.