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Introduction to RFID Technology in the Supply Chain


RFID, or radio frequency identification, could spell the end of UCP bar codes as you know them in supply chain management. Through RFID tags, information and pricing is automatically fed into your computer systems, so all your clients, including your raw material suppliers and partners, as well as shoppers, receive a fast bill and an ultra-easy purchasing experience.

Get Multiple Readings per Second with RFID Technology in the Supply Chain

An actual RFID device includes a small chip, a transreceiver and a transponder device, and it utilizes similar technology as the unique identifying strip on a credit card. An antenna sends out radio-frequency signals and allows messages to be sent between the RFID tag and a receiver. Because the tags don’t use batteries, they can be reused conveniently for years. RFID technology in the supply chain also allows for handheld portability, allowing the message to be sent to an antenna and then transmitted by the RFID chip from anywhere, without the need for direct line of sight to a barcode. The information can move at incredibly fast speeds to a reader, with multiple tag readings per second – further boosting supply chain efficiency. You can also change or modify the information the RFID tag reads and sends, allowing more flexibility to meet your supply chain needs.

RFID Technology in the Supply Chain Adds Speed, Efficiency

RFID technology in the supply chain is rapidly being utilized across the vehicle production industries, transportation industry, healthcare and even security industries. RFID means your suppliers and partners along your supply chain can see an automatic invoice or bank deduction, adding even more efficiency to the supply chain process. Another result — distribution along your supply chain moves faster and is based on more precise, up-to-the-minute inventory data because RFID tags can intelligently track and manage your supply chain processes. You’ll know where your product is from the instant it’s in production until it’s removed from a shelf by a consumer or partner.

Incredible Visibility with RFID Technology in the Supply Chain

RFID transmitters can be put anywhere you want better tracking and management, with RFID technology in the supply chain implemented almost anywhere. This includes direct application onto your containers, pallets, or equipment used to handle and process materials. Other supply chain advantages from RFID technology come in the form of precise and complete readings that translate into outstanding information on product demand and buying trends. You can identify and track each container across your supply chain, or every case – where it’s made, its transportation and where it’s sold – opening the door to new levels of visibility.

RFID Technology in the Supply Chain: Uncomplicated Shipping, Maintenance

If management of your truck yards or shipping areas has been complicated, or you’ve struggled to manage cross-docking processes, RFID technology is designed to organize and streamline the process by transmitting finite information into your network. Others have implemented RFID technology across their supply chain because of its ability to help fine-tune labor needs, and cut excess inventory. RFID tags can also reduce the time and complexity of safety-based regulations across multiple industries, such as car assembly facilities that utilize recall information. The tags can also be used to help you maintain a regular maintenance schedule across your supply chain.

RFID Technology in the Supply Chain: Used by IT Solution Providers, Major Retailers

At the retail level, major players like Wal-Mart have saved billions of dollars with the technology. They use RFID technology in the supply chain helps prevent theft, data or inventory error and tracking problems on pallets. Inventory reductions have resulted in multi-million dollar savings and an estimated $600 million has been saved by preventing stock-outs. Technology leaders like Oracle are offering applications designed to make the transition to RFID simpler and to enhance your ability to maximize the technology, such as Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne RFID Processor, targeted at helping you use wireless transfer to meet customer requirements, fulfill orders with precise inventory, track recalls and avoid date-entry errors.

RFID technology in the supply chain may be a tool you decide to implement phase by phase or all at once, but the technology is here to stay and providing tangible cost savings and efficiency to multi-disciplinary organizations.