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RFID4U Sees Growth in Field Inventory Tracking

During a recent webinar, the company described several applications in health care, oil and gas, and other industries that are using its cloud-based TagMatiks FI solution to understand where goods are located, as well as their status, and to thereby gain intelligence regarding expiration dates, how well products are selling and when operational changes are needed.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 20, 2018

Tracking goods and assets within a warehouse or on an assembly floor can be challenging, but when a company's products or equipment leaves the premises, this often becomes exponentially more difficult. Whether a company's products are stocked in stores or at hospitals, or its equipment is employed at oil and gas sites, monitoring them requires a large amount of employee labor. That problem of tracking outdoor or off-premises goods is the target for a solution from RFID4U, known as TagMatiks Field Inventory (FI). The solution helps companies across multiple industries to gain a view into products that are outside of controlled, indoor settings.

Archit Dua, RFID4U's project manager, described the technology at an RFID Journal webinar on June 12 (see Simplifying Field and Consignment Inventory Management With RFID). The TagMatiks FI solution enables the management of inventory in the field, he explained, using Zebra Technologies readers, a smartphone or other mobile device, the TagMatiks app and cloud-based software.

When a product—a stent, for instance—is removed from a shelf, data is captured in the TagMatiks cloud-based software, and the manufacturer is updated regarding the inventory level.
"When you have a lot of inventory, it isn't always inside the four walls," Dua says. Even though such inventory is often outside of a company's physical control, it is still owned by the manufacturer or distributor until it is consumed or sold.

RFID4U's Archit Dua
The solution is one part of a larger, modular offering from the Concord, Calif.-based technology firm. TagMatiks, RFID4U's core modular system, includes specific business-case solutions that address such use cases as field inventory, work-in-progress, asset tracking and uniform tracking.

TagMatiks, at its basic level, includes middleware, printer support and RFID device management for UHF RFID systems, Dua says. By offering the solution as a modular model, he adds, the company aims to make a low cost of entry feasible for businesses that want to try the technology before undertaking a large-scale, permanent deployment. The application can start with a single business case, using just a few RFID readers, and then scale up as the use case expands. The platform provides cloud-based data management for Microsoft Windows-based software. as well as for iOS- or Android-based apps.

TagMatiks was released as a software platform 15 years ago, while the FI and cloud-based functionality was offered about four years ago. RFID4U's most common customers for TagMatiks FI have been in health care, Dua says, as well as oil and gas companies that use the system to manage equipment at remote work sites. However, the firm also sells TagMatiks FI for managing assets or inventory in both retail and service environments.

"There's a lack of information that is universal across all these vertical markets," Dua states. It's a cascading effect, he notes, since the cost of the labor collecting the data impacts businesses, even as the task is still not being done as often as it needs to be for accurate inventory data.

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