The Transformative Benefits of Using RFID in Your Warehouse
Radio frequency identification (RFID) offers a number of crucial benefits and advantages over traditional bar code systems that can transform the warehouse. These include major improvements in inventory control, reduced errors and inaccuracies, and controlled labor costs.
In this quick introduction to RFID in the warehouse, we break down these transformative benefits.
Advantages of RFID vs. Bar Code Scanning
Unlike bar codes, which require line-of-sight and close proximity to scan items, RFID allows items to be scanned and even located remotely by using a handheld scanner or fixed bar code reader. No line-of-sight scanning is required, and each item is identified and detected by reading an RFID tag or label equipped with a tiny wireless radio transmitter.
Workers can walk through your warehouse with a handheld device, such as the Zebra MC9190-Z Handheld RFID Reader, and read multiple tags simultaneously from up to 30 feet away. This means they can scan an entire case or pallet of goods in a few seconds.
You can also install Zebra fixed RFID readers and antennas at strategic locations, such as above doorways or overhead in warehouse aisles. This eliminates the need for handheld readers, so you can track items automatically as they pass by the reader.
Using RFID to Improve Inventory Control
RFID improves inventory control by allowing you to capture real-time inventory data automatically and accurately. The RFID Lab at Auburn University has conducted a number of studies in recent years, finding that RFID raises retail SKU-level inventory accuracy from an average of 63 to 95 percent.
RFID automates the entire process so you can track pallets of goods or shipments by walking through the warehouse or as they move into and out of your facility. This allows real-time, any time visibility of what products or materials are in stock and how many are needed to maintain and replenish. This all happens in a fraction of the time it takes to capture inventory data through bar code scanning.
Eliminating Errors and Inaccuracies
Relying on bar codes assumes that your workers will scan each bar code correctly and never make a mistake. In reality, without a fully automated process, mistakes can and do happen.
RFID helps prevent errors and inaccuracies by virtually eliminating human error. Each tag contains unique identifying information that is matched to a database, so accuracy is ensured automatically. Also, instead of locating and scanning bar codes manually at close range, the RFID reader automatically and accurately identifies each item and matches it to your database flawlessly.
RFID tags can also store more data and types of information than bar codes, so you can track loads of information and gain greater insights into each item—without manual data entry.
Using RFID to Reduce Labor Costs
In addition to inventory accuracy and control, RFID provides huge benefits in operational efficiency and performance. When RFID has been implemented, cycle count times have been reduced by 96 percent, with staff able to count as many as 20,000 items per hour. Receiving time also improves by 90 percent, while picking and shipping accuracy improve by 80 percent.
The end result across the board is much less labor required to perform key warehouse processes. This creates huge savings that result in more profits for your business and potentially better prices for your customers, as well as more time for your workers to focus on other important tasks.
Exploring RFID for Your Warehouse
If you’d like to learn more about RFID and find out if it’s the right technology for your warehouse, contact us for a free consultation and RFID assessment.
Reference Link: 10 Ways RFID is Powering Retail Inventory Management, Melanie Nuce.
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