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How Can RFID Prove That Deliveries Were Made?

Posted By RFID Journal, 10.16.2015

Sometimes I will ship 10 products, but the recipient will claim he only received nine. How can I use radio frequency identification to resolve this issue?

—Name withheld


Generally, what companies have done is put a tag on every product, associating the tag's unique identifier with that individual item. When an order comes in, software generates a pick list. Since each item has a unique ID number, a worker can use a handheld reader to find those goods. The products are assembled into a shipment, and before it goes out, all of the tags in that shipment are read. If there is an extra or wrong item, or if the sender is short an item (or items), the system would create an alert. This would allow workers to fix these issues. Once the order is 100 percent correct, the items are loaded onto a truck and an advance shipping noticed is sent to the buyer, along with the serial number of each item being delivered.

This is often enough for buyers, but some could claim that items ended up missing during transit. To forestall that problem, you could have the driver read the tags when the items are off-loaded from the truck. If the buyer has an RFID system in place, it could match the serial numbers on the items received with those listed in the advance shipping notice. This would enable the recipient to confirm receipt of all items.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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