Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

When researching a phenomenal new technology such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), you have to ask yourself first and foremost, how will it benefit my business? Where is the value to be gained? How can Radio Frequency Identification possibly help me to manage my supply chain organization more efficiently? Can RFID help or can it hurt?

RFID internal chip antennae
RFID internal chip antennae - photo by: {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/angela-and-andrew/2947174238/ }4-6{/link}

Basically, to make it in today’s economy and thrive, you have to know what inventory you have, where it is, how much you have and what condition it is in. Radio Frequency Identification ups the ante over traditional tracking via bar coding. Although bar coding isn’t going away any time soon, RFID is very much the new quarter back in town.

So how does the technology work? Radio Frequency Identification is an automatic tracking system of identification using a unique tagging system. Each RFID tag contains a chip and antennae. Each chip contains an electronic product code (EPC) that functions like DNA. It contains information unique to that item and to that item alone. Radio Frequency Identification is a series of miniature chips and antennae built to broadcast unique data to “readers” using low powered radio signals. The readers capture this radioed information about the item’s identity, location, activity, condition or history instantly. This info is then passed on to middleware. The middleware software application validates the item’s info. This valid data can then be sliced and diced as needed.

Radio Frequency Identification will minimize the number of hands needed to process inventory throughout the supply chain. Radio Frequency Identification is all about reduced manual communication, efficiency and speed. RFID makes item identification instant and independent. It makes it possible for you to see beyond four walls at any stage in the chain in real time. Managing the efficiency of information with Radio Frequency Identification will improve transportation and product delivery.  From pallet to warehouse, from transport to distribution, to items received onto shelves you are provided with your item’s what, where, how and why in an instant. When you crunch the numbers you will see that this is the phenomenon of Radio Frequency Identification.

If you are contemplating Radio Frequency Identification for your business you will no doubt want to investigate the pluses and the minuses. Radio Frequency Identification specialists can identify mature and emerging RFID applications that can reduce expenses, increase revenue, and drive competitive advantage. You’ll want a complete framework for assessing and deploying RFID. You will want everything from budgeting to team building, standards to security, vendor selection to integration. RFID technology is the future of supply chain management. So, is Radio Frequency Identification right for you?


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