Barcode technology has been around for many years and most people at this point, no matter their industry, are familiar with it. One of the biggest hurdles with a barcode system is that you’re working with assets one at a time. When you’re out doing a physical inventory, you’ll need to use a barcode reader on each and every item. You will also need to physically access the barcode, so if an item has a hidden barcode or is difficult to reach, tracking assets with a barcode system can be a long and arduous task.
Take, for example, a receiving dock that has just received a pallet full of cardboard boxes. Let’s assume that inside each box there are fifty individual assets that need to be received into the warehouse. Using a barcode system you would need to open each cardboard box and pull out each individual item, find the barcode and scan it. This manual process can be made more efficient over time – but when you are using a barcode asset tracking system there is no getting around the fact that each item has to be handled so that the barcode reader has a direct line of sight with the barcode.
While RFID, at the lowest levels of the technology, is also an item-by-item system, individual assets can be scanned at a much faster pace because it does not need a direct line of sight with the unique ID. In our receiving dock example above if the warehouse was utilizing an RFID tracking system the warehouse employee could have received that pallet in a matter of seconds. The employee does not need to open boxes and physically scan each barcode. Instead, the employee is able to read all of the RFID tags automatically. This advantage becomes even more important when you are trying to track and manage embedded items, hidden tags or hard to reach items. This is when using an RFID tracking system can really save an organization a huge amount of time and labor.
With an RFID asset tracking system, you don’t need to “touch” each item individually. You can rapidly inventory even high volumes of assets within minutes. In fact, you could speed up asset tracking at a 10:1 rate – so rather than spending 10 hours on inventory, you could reduce that to only 1.
But let’s be clear — just because RFID can read your assets faster does not mean that it is an appropriate asset tracking system for every organization. To dive deeper and learn more about RFID vs Barcode Asset tracking, be sure to attend our webinar with A2B Tracking CEO Peter Collins and CTO Darryl Layne on Thursday, Jan 26 at 2:00 PM EST. Click here to save your seat now.