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Is RFID an Effective Tool for the Lean Supply Chain?
If so, what is the challenge in attaining widespread deployment?
Yes, absolutely. The real-time visibility that RFID provides reduces shipments with either too many or too few items. It allows you to reduce safety stocks, since you can see what's being consumed and have confidence that your inventory counts are accurate. RFID can alert you to errors. For example, if a pallet is loaded onto the wrong truck, the system could sound an alert so that the error could be immediately corrected. If a driver attempted to deliver the wrong pallet to a store or manufacturing facility, an alert would sound to let him or her know of the mistake.
RFID is an extremely powerful lean supply chain tool. The challenge, of course, is getting multiple players in the supply chain to all agree to use the technology. The real value comes when everyone within the supply chain is using RFID and sharing data. This way, a manufacturer can see that components will arrive on time and plan accordingly, and that company's customers can see everything moving on time and have confidence in planning their own production schedules or sales efforts.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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