The next generation of information and warehouse management has arrived. Thanks to Radio Frequency ID (RFID), it’s now possible to accurately track inventory in real time with fully automated tools that offer greater efficiency, accountability, and management capabilities. No matter the amount of inventory or the size of the warehouse, RFID helps streamline operations while saving money.
This guide will provide you with information on the following topics:
RFID software enables the tracking of an items physical attributes, such as its location, value, and service history. Unlike a traditional inventory system that only tracks movements, locations, and stock counts, RFID software captures additional data points for better insights and tracking capabilities.
RFID software handles the two physical components of an RFID system:
|Read-Write Data||RF tags store plenty of rich information about the product it’s attached to. This data can anything the owner wants, such as identifying information, it’s history, inspections done, and more. This data can also be edited rather easily.|
|Automatic Identification||Scanners can read the held data electronically with no human action needed. Readers can be set up at fixed points or scanned via portable readers that employees can scan wherever they may be.|
|Multiple tag readers||Compared to barcode readers, which can only scan one item at a time, RF scanning points can collect data from a large number of tags at once, which allows passing multiple items through checkpoints much more efficient.|
When integrated with a CRM or ERP system, RFID software goes beyond basic inventory management to offer a comprehensive range of tracking, monitoring, and asset management solutions, including the following:
|Continuous inventory and asset tracking||RFID tracking is a passive system that doesn’t require active inventory scanning. Because RFID tracking happens continuously, RFID software can carry out queries immediately to determine item information.|
|Automated location monitoring||RFID tags and scanners make it possible to automatically know the location of inventory items. An automated process to keep track of inventory frees up valuable resources to focus on production, fulfillment, and customer service.|
|Real-time material insights||Because RFID software reports status in real time, inventory managers and warehouses can take advantage of an accurate view of inventory status in real time. RFID software also makes it possible to run a just-in-time (JIT) inventory management system to help streamline fulfillment.|
|Procurement forecasting||In tandem with a sales management system, RFID software can determine exactly how many items a location has on hand, as well as supplies that need to be ordered to fulfill existing orders.|
|Improved order status monitoring||RFID software provides time-to-completion updates that provide accurate fulfillment times. When incorporated into a manufacturing environment, RFID software can also track the status and amount of work completed on an item throughout the manufacturing process.|
|Enhanced inventory accountability||Detailed and complete history of inventory location enables RFID software to track how inventory moves throughout the business. This enables manufacturers, retailers, and warehouses to gain more insights into their flow of materials and products and ultimately identify bottlenecks in the fulfillment process.|
|Shrink reduction||RFID tags have been adopted by retail environments to help reduce “shrink,” or assist in loss prevention. RFID scanners can identify precise items that triggered an alarm. In manufacturing and distribution environments, RFID software also makes it possible to prevent the theft or loss of equipment, inventory, or tools.|
|Better asset management||While RFID software is frequently associated with inventory tracking, it’s also a powerful and comprehensive tool for asset tracking. In an office environment, for example, RFID chips or tags can be embedded in ID badges, employee vehicles, or office equipment.|
While it may seem like RFID software is made for large-scale inventory management or manufacturing environments, its applications can be extended to businesses of any size:
Not every small, medium, or large business has the same software needs, which is why it’s important to choose the right piece of RFID software for an organization.
Depending on the size or scope of your business, determining the right software solution can be difficult. If you’re just beginning your search for RFID software, here are two popular solutions:
Warehouses and inventory managers adopt RFID software in order to streamline the inventory tracking process.
The slowness of traditional barcode scanning. When relying on barcode scanners, each item must be scanned and checked out in order to account for its location and status. This process is incredibly slow, requiring an employee to physically coordinate the checking in and out of items. Less accountability, security, and traceability. Barcode scanning cannot account for an item’s status after it’s checked out; if an object simply containing a barcode goes missing, there’s no way to automatically track down its location. When using barcode scanners, inventory management processes have less accountability, security, and traceability.
Advances in technology and new comprehensive features are driving the adoption of RFID software:
While an RFID system is great for tracking basic item information and the location of your inventory/assets, the true scope of the system is amplified when integrated with your ERP and CRM systems. Integration propagates data necessary for a variety of business uses including order tracking and financial asset reporting.
Integration with your CRM software can be a game changer in your business. Imagine your company sells a serviceable product. When your technician goes to service that product, the RFID system will allow him to read the service history and quickly determine the right course of action. Maintaining detailed service histories presents a wealth of business information that can be applied to customer up- and cross-selling.
RFID systems are complex, however, finding the right vendor and right solution does not need to be complex. Whether you are looking for an add on to your current system or a complete ERP system with RFID functionality, we can help. Through a brief phone call, our software specialists will look to better understand your business and software needs to help you locate the most relevant solutions for your requirements. Get started today!