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RFID Takes Root at Baas Plantenservice

The Dutch horticultural distributor has found a number of ways to benefit from EPC tags attached to trolleys for transporting plants.
By Rhea Wessel
"This could have been done directly via Web services," van Lenthe notes, "but a platform was chosen for stability reasons."

Last year, van Lenthe says, as the company worked to refine the RFID-based goods-received process, the scanning caused workers to complain of back pain, since they often had to bend down to get closer to the trolleys' tags, placed at the bottom near the wheels. At that point, large horticulture company Langard developed a method for adapting an RFID reader to be worn on a worker's ankle, thereby keeping hands free and moving the reader closer to the tags' location on the trolleys.

"Instead of bending all the time, workers passed by a trolley and identified it," van Lenthe says. During the pilot's evaluation period, he reports, the growers were enthusiastic about the process, especially the prospect of an ankle-worn reader.

As for van Lenthe, he says he is excited about the potential he sees for the applications that Baas Plantenservice is rolling out—particularly the tracking of trolleys while at the company's facilities, as well as the monitoring of outbound goods.

"It will be fantastic," van Lenthe states. "Now we track everything manually when we push a trolley to a particular staging area and shift plants from one trolley to another. We want to scan all outbound goods so that we know which trolley is on which truck, and we can share this information with our customers so they can plan for inbound goods."

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