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Aberdeen on Managing Work-in-Process with RFID

Aberdeen Group has released the latest installment in a series of reports on RFID adoption. Entitled , the report is available free for a limited time. Report author Russ Klein herein summarizes the key findings of best-in-class enterprises and makes recommendations for others to follow.
Jul 11, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

July 11, 2007—The advent of RFID has allowed everyone from shipping companies to hospitals to reduce costs and overhead by creating visibility into inefficient business processes. Aberdeen's research shows that 38% of enterprises using RFID are doing so to improve the cost, safety, and reliability of managing work-in-process (WIP). Best-in-Class organizations are leveraging RFID to both improve the productivity of their workforce all the while simplifying the implementation and ongoing management costs of their networks. The findings are drawn from a survey of 220 organizations, a subset of the 1,100 organizations participating in Aberdeen's RFID research.

Best-in-Class Performance

Aberdeen used three key performance criteria to distinguish Best-in-Class companies from all other organizations. These key performance indicators (KPIs) are the operational metrics most frequently touted as the key benefits of deploying RFID to manage WIP:
  • 100% of Best-in-Class organizations reduced incidence of process failure by at least 20%;
  • 100% of Best-in-Class organizations improved process throughput by at least 10%;
  • 81% of Best-in-Class organizations experienced at least 15% labor cost savings in the management of work-in-process.
Competitive Maturity Assessment

Survey results show that Best-in-Class organizations shared several common characteristics:
  • Best-in-Class organizations are 50% more likely than all others to modify existing process workflow as a result of inefficiencies identified by event-level data;
  • Best-in-Class organizations are three times as likely as all others to engage in proactive maintenance of workflow components and scheduling of labor;
  • Best-in-Class organizations are 25% more likely than the industry average to measure and validate key KPIs at multiple touch-points.
Required Actions

In addition to the specific recommendations in chapter 3 of this report, to achieve Best-in-Class performance, organizations must:
  • Measure performance both from a business process and technological perspective, at key choke-points and between choke-points.
  • Engage vendors or 3rd-party integrators with internal stakeholders to select the appropriate RFID technology for the job.
  • Develop management and line-of-business awareness of and sensitivity to the usage and advantages of monitoring work-in-process in real time.
The full report, available free on Aberdeen's website until August 24th, discusses each of these points and many others in detail.
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