Rising costs and government regulations are some of the driving forces behind RFID. Major retailers are mandating RFID to their suppliers to increase operational efficiency and consumer satisfaction. The food and health care industries are implementing RFID to improve consumer safety and minimize liabilities. Producers of high-end merchandise want better asset tracking.
While RFID has many benefits, implementation can be complex. There are many variables to consider and solutions must be customized. Retrofitting an existing operation, new equipment and systems, different product packaging, and other factors will increase costs.
“By implementing standards and better solutions, the industry is making RFID a viable solution for more companies. Although costs continue to decrease, a partial solution may be more practical for some businesses. Following are key considerations to help optimize the benefits and minimize the risks when considering an RFID system,” states Rich Hite, President of QC Software, a leading provider of warehouse control systems for the material handling industry.
The first step is to understand the challenges and results of RFID. Make sure expectations are realistic and future needs are considered. Talk to people with similar products and business models who have implemented RFID. Become educated in the technology, talk to experts and read industry publications. Find out how RFID can be integrated into current technology, perform a cost/benefit analysis, and determine what additional software and equipment will be needed.
Review the implications for the supply chain. To what extent can partners and vendors support your RFID strategy? Do they have an existing one? It would be advantageous to coordinate your strategy with key companies for greater collaboration and efficiency.
Start small to minimize the risk. While a site survey and tag testing will root out many issues, a modest pilot program provides the chance to see the impact on the overall operation. By implementing RFID incrementally, you can invest the savings from phase I into phase II.
Consider a hybrid solution, which involves using tags that accommodate both RFID and bar coding. This method provides a backup system and allows the tags to be used in those areas where RFID is impractical.
By taking a prudent approach, businesses can minimize the problems and achieve faster results.
For over sixteen years, QC Software has delivered the results that help companies succeed. Their leading-edge software solutions provide the flexibility, visibility and control across warehouse operations that customers need to optimize resources and profitability. Through industry collaboration, customized training, and 24/7 support, QC Software ensures that each customer is fully leveraging their technology. In addition, QC Software helps customers develop a strategic focus to better manage new opportunities and future demands.