Moving From Pen-And-Paper Processes, Towards Barcoding And RFID Technology
With industry-centric news outlets publishing articles addressing the fact that business leaders can no longer ignore digitisation, those steering the operations of large multi-national operations are left wondering how, why and where they should be adopting cutting edge mobility solutions, for greatest return and reward.
In this article, we'll be exploring the key reasons why business leaders are digitising workflows, and the ways in which legacy systems can be moved beyond pen-and-paper processes, through barcoding, towards RFID tagging and more.
The Key Reasons To Consider Digitizing Your Workflows
There are several key benefits to moving away from paper to digital processes. Regardless of the sector, the fundamental reasons for digitising processes are relatively universal:
- Improve data quality (by automating the capture of critical information)
- Increase operational efficiency (by accelerating record-keeping, information transfer and access times)
- Standardize processes (by ensuring all employees are quality assuring using comparable methodologies)
- Generate real-time data & improve accessibility (so that you can reliably and instantaneously access information, anywhere)
- Lower costs (by improving task automation, time-savings and operational efficiencies)
- Improve security and accountability
From Paper-Based Record-Keeping to Barcoding Technology
Pen and paper is often overlooked as a starting point for operational technology; however, the use of pen and paper for tasks such as inventory tracking - with the help of employees specially trained to monitor and record transactions - their functional purpose is still closely aligned with that of traditional "technologies".
Nonetheless, pen-and-paper processes are time-consuming, difficult to scale and prone to inaccuracies and errors, and when explored in conjunction with modern digital processes, fail to compete within the fields of speed, efficiency and accuracy.
Barcodes can work in tandem with scanners and software to digitally communicate basic product reference information. Barcoding systems can enable workers to access and update records associated with products - such as warehouse location, production status and item condition - which can be accessed using a mobile device.
As some food for thought, barcoding systems can be used for:
- Item identification
- Ticketing systems
- Shopping transactions
- Record keeping
- Inventory management
From Barcoding Technology to RFID
As we mention in our blog on the pros and cons of RFID technology in Healthcare, barcoding technology is useful for basic data recall; however, it fails to empower staff with the same capabilities as RFID (radio-frequency identification).
RFID technology has several key differentiating factors when compared to barcoding technology - though barcodes and RFID tags are often used in conjunction with one another. RFID technology can enable workers to scan multiple items at once, rather than item-by-item, involves sturdier and more reusable tags (which can be encrypted), does not require line of sight for reading, is more secure, accurate and less labour-intensive, can store a more data and with a higher degree of complexity, and can be encoded for specific functionality purposes.
For businesses already using barcode technology, RFID technology can be integrated into existing systems and used to elevate your existing processes.
Where is RFID technology currently being used for greatest impact?
- Picking and packing processes
- Frictionless checkouts
- Access control
- Asset tracking & loss prevention
- Inventory management & laundry management
- Item traceability & counterfeit goods management
Overcoming Barriers To Adoption
MiTEQ's experts have been delivering enterprise mobility solutions to business operations for decades. We have experience digitising inventory management systems, improving supply chain visibility, workforce productivity and more.
As we continue working with business leaders across a full spectrum of sectors - from Healthcare and Life Sciences, to Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Transportation - we welcome you to reach out, ask questions, tell us about the work you're doing, and see where we can connect your operations with the tools to generate greatest results.