RFID Supply Chain Management
RFID in Supply Chain Management
In today's highly competitive marketplace, accurately identifying and tracking goods is essential. Mounting pressure from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and retail giants like Wal-Mart and Target have forced manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to maximize their operational efficiencies and reduce their costs while providing the best possible value to end users.
Despite the potentially high cost of implementation, many companies that have invested in RFID are experiencing a greatly improved supply chain efficiency. With RFID technology, large quantities of information can be analyzed and made available to both internal and external systems in near-real time, which is essential for improving operational efficiencies.
The main benefits of using RFID supply chain management derive from improved inventory tracking, especially when RFID is used for collecting information and providing visibility in environments where tracking was either done with barcodes or not done at all. Manufacturers, distributors, logistics providers and retailers can all use RFID for their inventory applications. In addition, they may even be able to share the same tags to reduce implementation costs. RFID can remove blind spots from supply chain operations because RFID tags can be read through packaging, regardless of orientation or line-of-sight between item and reader, and they can also withstand exposure to dirt, heat, moisture and contaminants that render barcodes useless in certain environments.
The use of RFID technology in the supply chain offers a unique combination of control and flexibility. Unprecedented levels of accuracy allow manufacturers and retailers to operate and collaborate more effectively, so both can be more responsive to the needs of their customers, with the end result being greatly improved on-shelf availability.
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