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4 Ways to Use RFID Tags at Your Small Business

 

Shipping and tracking an inventory can be complicated at times, but inventory management is exceedingly important. Ideally, managers want to reduce costs, increase profits, and minimize risk across the board. To do that, managers need to know the status of their cargo as it travels across the country. You're undoubtedly already familiar with the idea of radio frequency identification (RFID) and RFID tags. Libraries use them to track the check-out and return of materials, for example, as do retail stores as a means of tracking inventory. The technology can work for your business, too. RFID is an inexpensive solution to both inventory and quality control. Below is a shortlist of ways you can use RFID tags and tracking to simplify your small business' shipping needs.

 

RFID defined

Think of RFID as a massive improvement over automatic identification and data capture methods like barcodes and QR scanning. RFID can be found in just about anything from impact recorders and shock detectors to be RFID tags one might use in transport logistics. RFID systems feature three components including a transponder, a receiver, and a transmitter. There are two kinds of RFID tags: active and passive. Active RFID uses batteries While passive tags get their power from the reader or electromagnetic signal the reader supplies (called an interrogation signal). While RFID tags can operate on low-frequency (LF), high-frequency (HF:, or ultrahigh-frequency (UHF), the most commonly used RFID tracking tags operate on the UHF spectrum. UHF tags offer better quality control, as they can be read by multiple scanners instead of just a single scanner like LF and HF tags. Super high-frequency RFID systems – a system that can run on a 300 GHz band – called microwave frequencies, exist as well. most supply chain management logistics RFID operating on the UHF band. RFID tags have a variety of uses, including medical applications, supply-chain, damage control, library use, and more. 

 

Supply chain visibility

Managing a supply chain effectively requires visibility and oversight for your shipments. RFID tags let you track every part, package, or other shipments within your supply chain by providing that visibility. With the tags and any companion information they supply, you have all the tools you need to hold anyone who may cause damage accountable while also providing a deterrent for mishandling/misuse. RFID tracking tags also assist with diagnosing supply-chain issues and detecting them before they can cause a major disruption. 

 

Inventory tracking and control

Hidden damage among your inventory isn't always easy to spot and can cause significant problems along your supply chain. RFID tags essentially mitigate this problem through their versatility and ease-of-use. Bulk scanning at both shipping and delivery reduces shipping costs, while enhanced tracking and inventory control leads to fewer delays, replacements, shipment damage, and other problems over time. The most effective method for inventory control is to utilize UHF RFID tracking tags for all your shipments and implement it with your enterprise management software. In doing so, the system works in conjunction with tracking tags to inform you if a shipment requires inspection. That way, you can make quick decisions about your inventory. RFID tracking tags also automatically send reports to the system, so you don't need to spend additional time diagnosing issues.

 

Real-time location tracking

Shipping and cargo and inventory across the country – or even across the globe – can be a challenge as far as damage control is concerned. Luckily, implementing an RFID tracking solution that also incorporates some form of impact recognition can reduce damage significantly across the supply chain. Your RFID tracking tags – especially if you use the UHF frequency – should already be incorporated into your company's enterprise management system. They can also be programmed to record information in continuous or real time. If that's the case, the tags will set off a notification once they reach a predefined impact threshold. Information gets sent to you, allowing you to decide if a shipment needs to be stopped, checked and repackaged midway through the supply line or if it can continue to ship to its destination. It also allows distributors to reship an item quickly, should it be damaged in transit. Due to the RF D ID tags, all of this happens in real-time, vastly improving efficiency in the organization.

 

ECommerce

Ecommerce can be a tough, challenging business. Incorporating RFID tags into your ecommerce business may help to create smoother and more efficient supply-chain management for the company regardless of its size. Sometimes, e-commerce supply chains breakdown due to a kind of domino effect where something happens at one station and proceeds to occur to the next. What happens then? Damage to product and unhappy customers. Your reputation suffers and you have to take on the costs associated with the damaged product. In e-commerce, the shipping lanes can range from being quite small to incredibly large. So, it helps to have information about a product's quality or any damage it may have sustained at each station along the transport route. RFID tracking enables this, ultimately creating a positive experience for both you and the customer that can last for a long time into the future.

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