RFID can offer several advantages over traditional barcoding but it is critical that the objectives are clearly understood, and what business challenges or opportunities are trying to be addressed. When considering the value of RFID over barcode, account for the following: the value of your assets, how often do you need to inventory or track them, how many assets do you need to track, do your assets change locations frequently, and how accurate does your inventory need to be?
Taking the plunge into implementing an RFID solution is not an easy undertaking for most. The whole picture of RFID technology requires that the entire project is fully scoped before anything is procured.
First, it is very important to fully understand and document the goals and requirements of your project in order to successfully obtain the right RFID hardware and software. This of course will also protect you from making unnecessary purchases or to make significant adjustments in strategy midstream that can be costly.
Consider the Process
Also, consider the impact to existing work processes that your RFID implementation will have. Because if the right RFID application is implemented for inventory management it can provide greater visibility, optimization and utilization of your critical assets and provide your organization with a significant ROI.
A well-executed RFID implementation can remove the manual processes that you have in place today which can be time consuming and prone to errors. For example, corporate IT staffs and property managers can take inventory of computer rooms and office spaces by sweeping through the areas with handheld mobile computers. This eliminates the need to manually identify each individual asset and quickly provides real-time visibility of your assets.
Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO)
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) environments can track work-in-process as well as allowing maintenance records and schedules to be updated systemically utilizing RFID capabilities. RFID tool crib applications can streamline the automated checking out and checking in of tools and other equipment. Plus, shipping and receiving functions can be greatly improved with RFID tags being automatically read as materials move in and out of a dock environment eliminating the need for manual tracking and inventory.
From document control to maintenance and repair, these are just a few of the ways that RFID technology can add value to your business.