The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is growing rapidly in a number of industries.
RFID tags, equipped with integrated circuits and antennas, can be affixed to all kinds of products and packaging. These tags transmit data, via radio waves, about the objects they’re attached to. RFID readers then convert the radio waves into a more usable form of data and transfer it to a host computer system with a back-end database.
This steady stream of data is particularly beneficial in logistics. It allows warehouse and fleet managers to continually monitor the whereabouts and condition of goods throughout the supply chain—from inventory shelves to final destination—and results in greater efficiencies and cost savings.
How to integrate RFID into a logistics operation
This requires careful planning. Here are 6 best practices for your logistics customers to keep in mind.
- Be clear about the expectations and objectives for the RFID technology—What do you want it to accomplish and how will it fit into the existing business operation? If possible, set up measurable goals for the implementation.
- Make a detailed list of all requirements—These include regulatory compliance issues, security analysis, access privileges, type of tag, data storage method (in-tag, in-house or cloud-based) and maintenance requirements.
- Conduct a thorough site analysis—Determine what other technologies are currently in place that could interfere with signal transmission. Consider where antennae should be placed for optimal reception and if RFID readers will be able to perform properly in all locations. Keep in mind that tag performance and reliability can be affected by environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.
- Don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach—A successful RFID implementation may require different technologies to get the most complete coverage, including RFID chips, barcodes and print tags. Whether RFID tags will be embedded or adhered to a surface will influence which type you select.
- Determine beforehand where the data will be stored—Will it be more efficient and cost-effective to store the data in the cloud or choose an in-chip data storage option? Are there compliance and security issues that will impact this decision?
- Test every aspect of the RFID rollout—Make sure every member of the logistics team knows how to use the technology. Ensure the RFID readers and antennas work properly in all the work environments. Try out the technology in a variety of scenarios (rush projects, heavy workloads, etc.)
To learn more about RFID and IoT technology in logistics and supply chain management, visit the Ingram Micro IoT Marketplace
or reach out to the IoT experts at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (800) 456-8000, ext. 76251.