Many business leaders realise that in this post-Covid world, from a health perspective, it has become incredibly important to have as much as possible information regarding how any item on a supply chain is handled or where it has passed through. In a time when we’re all super concerned regarding personal health safety, a mechanism that accurately traces an item throughout its journey on the supply chain clearly adds profitability, reduces risk, and promotes growth for a business. Strategically, RFID integration with supply chains can therefore be a key value driver in the post-COVID era.
In 2021, RFID technology is used to keep tabs on everything ranging from car keys to livestock to food and medicine to nuclear material. While planning for the post Covid-19 business environment, it’s important to consider the unique benefits of RFID – namely full automation, increased safety, real-time tracking, and cost reduction. In the section below, we’ll discuss how RFID integration can enhance a supply chain in the post-Covid times.
How RFID Integration Can Improve Supply Chain in the Post-Pandemic Era
With the help of RFID tags and readers, items on a supply chain can be scanned frequently and automatedly. Therefore, in case of an emergency, it would be really easy to figure out who had access to the item and the places it has gone through and averting the issue would be easier. Further, scanning an item confirms its origin and pedigree, and whether it has been through any situation that could have damaged its quality (such as changes in temperature).
In the post-COVID era, RFID can also help understand if an item on the supply chain has come in direct contact with any employee, and if yes, then when and if it is now safe to touch or not. RFID’s automation can keep human beings from possibly contaminating any point along the supply chain, and the technology can help in avoiding any catastrophe, all the while keeping the entire supply chain running smoothly and efficiently.
Here’s how businesses can implement RFID into their existing supply chains to serve different purposes:
- For increased visibility: RFID in the supply chain amplifies visibility right from the point of manufacturing of an item to its journey through the supply chain to the moment it gets delivered to the consumer.
- For keeping track of raw material: With the incorporation of RFID tech into supply chain management, a business can have real-time visibility over the supply of raw materials required. Therefore, RFID can prevent situations like necessary raw materials going out of stock.
- For double-checking shipment: RFID technology allows you to confirm whether everything is according to your order in a shipment, which reduces the time wasted at the receiving stage confirming items and helps you to send across said items to the production stage sooner.
- For improved inventory management: If done manually, inaccuracy in inventory management is natural and inevitable. RFID scanners allow businesses to monitor the movement of goods through the supply chain and in warehouses, as mentioned, which helps with efficient inventory management. Since with the RFID technology several items can be scanned at once, the tech surely speeds up the inventory management procedure, and maintains high accuracy throughout.
- For better communication: RFID tags let businesses capture information regarding the goods in transit in real time and share it with supply chain partners with ease.
- For better distribution and coordination: In case the distribution of goods gets delayed or disrupted due to unavoidable circumstances such as bad weather, the presence of RFID tags on the goods helps you confirm if they have been delivered despite the issues or if a contingency plan is needed. Therefore, RFID helps you with coordination with your logistics partners, and other parties involved.
In conclusion, RFID can empower supply chains in the post-Covid era in quite a few beneficial ways, and it is definitely a worthy investment for businesses that want to lead the pack and expand their reach through innovation.
Should You Choose RFID or Barcodes to Improve Supply Chain Productivity?
While RFID and barcodes are both excellent solutions to enhance your supply chain in post-COVID times, RFID tags sure provide some advantages over traditional barcode labels, namely:
- RFID readers can scan up to 200 tags at once, unlike barcode readers. So with RFID integration, labour requirements for certain functions decrease drastically, cutting down on extra costs.
- With RFID tags, there’s no need for line-of-sight scanning, and as mentioned, quite a lot of them can be read simultaneously. Therefore, RFID can help with the more rapid input of items into inventory.
- Compared to barcodes, RFID tags can be read at greater distances.
- RFID tags are usually way more durable than barcode labels. Some RFID tags are weatherproof and can even survive extreme conditions such as chemical exposure or high/freezing temperatures.
- Compared to barcodes, an RFID tag can carry up to 100 times more information regarding product origin, lot, serial number, manufacturer, vendor, expiration dates, and more.
As the pandemic forces businesses to optimize their operations with real-time visibility, RFID has indeed become integral for improving operational preparedness and responsiveness. In the post-pandemic world, RFID can be an instrument for rapid growth, if integrated strategically with your supply chain. Give the Bar Code India website a visit to learn more about RFID solutions customized for your supply chain!