How RFID Benefits Supply Chain Partners!

RFID Benefits

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The use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) can result in substantial benefits for partners of the principal client in a supply chain process.

RFID will give them access to real-time or near real-time monitoring and tracking of asset and item movement along the entire supply chain. They can turn this power of access to information into practical solutions to increase their productivity and revenues. 

Suppose you’ve been looking for ways to bring down the inefficiencies in your business operations and the perennial loss or theft of product items. In that case, you might want to consider using an RFID tracking system to address such issues and concerns. 

Here are some of the ways RFID technology could benefit supply chain partners.

1. Integrate Warehouse System With Supply Chain Partners

RFID technology can allow different stakeholders and partners in the same supply and logistics chain to integrate their data management systems with warehouse management software systems. The integration of movement tracking and monitoring systems will significantly enhance the effortless and seamless tracking of the movement of products and items throughout the supply chain.

This integration enables supply chain partners to improve the accuracy of their workflow forecasts and schedules. Additionally, access to real-time information about asset or item movement will enhance the workflow of all partners across the whole supply chain. 

In the order fulfillment of an e-commerce supply chain, for example, the sorting hub, which is waiting for the delivery of some of the items from the main warehouse, won’t have to spend countless hours waiting for the delivery truck to arrive. With RFID, they’d be able to monitor the exact location of the truck. This would allow them to forecast its arrival and plan their work schedule accordingly. The transport provider of the trucks can also monitor the movement of their truck and plan its other delivery schedules for the day more accurately.

2. Increase Asset Visibility And Minimize Loss And Errors

The use of RFID technology will significantly increase the visibility of assets from the viewpoint of the supply chain partners. RFID will enable the other supply chain partners to see and pinpoint where their assets or items are located. This will significantly reduce losses due to missing or misplaced items. This would also considerably reduce the number of working hours spent just to locate a single missing product or item.

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For example, in an e-commerce supply chain, sometimes there are missing or misplaced items that can’t be found among the deliveries received by the sorting hub. Without RFID tracking, workers from all participating supply chain partners would have to manually check their storage or delivery trucks to determine if the product or item was misplaced or left in one of their warehouses or cargo trucks. They’ll lose a lot of time looking for it, especially if it’s a high-value item. 

3. Improve Efficiency Of Supply Chain Partners

The use of RFID technology will improve the efficiency of supply chain partners. RFID doesn’t require that the asset or item be within the line of sight of a scanner for it to capture the data in the RFID tag. It only requires that the RFID tag is on the asset or item. 

Here are some ways RFID benefits and can help boost the efficiency of supply chain partners:

  • Determine Truck Size: Logistics providers can send a delivery truck to the point of pickup or warehouse which is most appropriate to the needs of the items to be delivered in terms of size, tonnage capacity, and space allocation requirements.
  • Optimize Truck Schedules: Based on the pickup schedule and space allocation requested by the point of pickup, the logistics provider can sort out the schedules of their various trucks. This way, the truck which is the almost-perfect match for the job requirements will always be available to serve the warehouse or distribution hub 
  • Maximize Use Of Trucks: Real-time information from the RFID on the location of assets and items will lessen the hours spent by delivery trucks on either waiting or idle mode. This would enable the truck company to use their trucks for more trips, thereby increasing their gross revenues.

4. Enhance Productivity And Routing Of Deliveries

Access to real-time data and tracking of asset and item movements will significantly enhance the productivity of supply chain partners. Improving efficiencies would just remove the gaps in using resources and time.

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But enhanced productivity would enable them to take their operations to the next level. They can even use data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) to make sense of their patterns of deliveries and recurring schedules of item movement each month.

The use of RFID technology benefits and can help supply chain partners enhance their productivity and delivery routing by optimizing the following:

  • Assets And Resources: Destination warehouses or distribution hubs would be able to schedule the use of their assets and resources based on the specifications and package timelines of the incoming deliveries from the sending hub or main warehouse. This would allow them to map out the best permutation of assets and workers for the incoming volume of products and items, thus increasing worker productivity and gross revenues.
  • Production Schedules. In an assembly or manufacturing plant, the plant supervisor can map out the production schedules based on the expected time of arrival (ETA) of the various parts and supplies of the assembly process. This would increase the plant’s productivity, allowing them to do other things while the other parts are still in transit. This also increases their gross revenues.
  • Delivery Schedules: Logistics providers such as trucking companies would be able to schedule their fleet movement and routing of deliveries with greater accuracy. They can map out the most optimal permutation of trips and delivery schedules based on the requests of warehouse clients for pickup schedules and routing of deliveries, thereby increasing their volume turnover and revenues.

Conclusion

RFID can immensely benefit the supply chain partners of the principal manufacturing, assembly, or distribution client. They can improve their efficiencies by using their access to real-time data management and tracking of item movement to identify and plug the gaps in their processes.

Logistics providers can map out the best combination and schedules of trucking resources, enabling them to make more trips and significantly increase their gross revenues.

RFID Benefits article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on February 10, 2022.

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