Learn How 3 Logistics Businesses Are Using RFID Technology To Track Assets And Improve Efficiency
RFID technology is maturing, and the cost of deploying real-time locationing solutions has become more affordable, in recent years. In the UK alone, brands like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Zara are already utilising RFID technology to improve their supply chains.
This blog will explore three examples of businesses that have benefitted from adopting RFID technology.
What Are The Benefits Of RFID Techology?
As we mentioned in our blog, Moving From Pen-And-Paper Processes, Towards Barcoding And RFID Technology, RFID technology has several key differentiating factors when compared to barcoding technology. It can enable workers to scan multiple items at once, rather than item-by-item; it involves sturdier and more reusable tags (which can be encrypted); it does not require line-of-sight for reading; and RFID technology is, importantly, more secure, accurate and reliable.
So, how do the features of RFID systems translate into real business benefits?
One study from Loss Prevention Magazine found that businesses using RFID technology benefitted from...
Improved inventory visibility and accuracy (between 65-75%, and 93-99%).
Optimised stock holdings (including reduced capital outlay and improved productivity)
Reduced shrinkage losses
Reduced staff costs
Below, are three case studies relating to RFID technology within logistics enterprises: a foam manufacturer, an automotive manufacturer, and a cold-chain logistics enterprise. Each case study showcases a different way that businesses can benefit from RFID technology.
Foam Manufacturer: Locating Missing Goods
One of Europe’s leading foam manufacturers used RFID technology to streamline their warehousing and distribution processes. They utilised real-time location systems to speed up their order locating and fulfilment processes.
Prior to rolling out an RFID system to help workers locate goods, this foam manufacturer was producing as much as 750 tonnes of foam and cushioning materials, every week, some of which were being stored in blocks weighing hundreds of kilograms.
Orders were being lost and dispatches were being delayed, all because warehouse workers were relying on handwritten paper-based notes to keep track of goods.
The business had identified an opportunity to improve customer service levels and transform the way finished goods were being processed.
The foam manufacturer deployed an RFID system that used a network of fixed readers and handheld devices to track the movement of finished goods - from the production floor, right the way through to warehousing and distribution.
By adopting RFID technology, the foam manufacturer increased their On Time in Full (OTIF) from 97.6% to 99.4%, which equated to 30 more deliveries being made, on time, every month.
Automotive Manufacturer: Automatically Monitoring Asset Journeys
One of the world's largest automotive manufacturers used RFID technology to automatically monitor and analyse the flow of product throughout its production line, helping employees to identify abnormal excursions and take corrective action quickly.
This manufacturer was already under pressure to produce 180 industrial trucks, every day, and they wanted to maximise the efficiency of material flow, while minimising the time taken to respond to incidents.
The automotive manufacturer deployed ultra wideband (UWB) and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems throughout its facilities. They leveraged existing APIs to create order number associations and product statuses. On top of this, employees were able to log abnormal process flows by simply scanning UWB tags attached to forklifts.
By adopting RFID technology, product flow disruptions were automatically analysed, productivity was increased, and customer service was improved; not to mention, the automotive manufacturer created a new layer of insights to further future-proof their operations.
Cold Chain Logistics: Tracking Customer Pallets In Real-Time
A port-based cold-chain logistics service provider, managing over 100,000 square-meters of space, used RFID technology to automate the monitoring of their customer's frozen produce, to improve storage space utilisation, customer service, and the amount of time spent locating goods.
This cold-chain logistics provider was managing over 22,000 pallets of products like frozen vegetables, potatoes, meat, and fish inside of its new cold store - operating at a temperature of -20°C. The aspiration was to optimise the utilisation of storage space, minimise any time spent locating and monitoring goods, and automate day-to-day workflows.
By deploying a system of RFID tags, readers, and antennas throughout their facility, said cold-chain logistics provider was able to label customer pallets, upon arrival, and monitor goods as they moved throughout their facility. Forklifts were enabled with computing devices - to provide drivers visibility of pallet data - and a layer of middleware was used to bridge RFID equipment and customer systems.
By adopting RFID technology, this cold-chain logistics provider was able to optimise its usage of storage space and generate accurate real-time information relating to the whereabouts of pallets. They were also able to automate the monitoring of customer goods, and retire manual processes relating to the registration, scanning, and data processing of assets. They made enormous time savings.
MiTEQ: Asset Tracking, Management & Mobility Specialists
For any businesses interested in exploring asset tracking solutions, like RFID technology, for their operations, MiTEQ's team has decades of experience helping transportation, logistics, field service, and healthcare businesses to deploy and maintain worthwhile asset tracking, management and mobility solutions.