Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Ask The Experts Forum

BlogsAsk The Experts ForumAre There Any Solutions Based on Android Mobile Phones Using Bluetooth-Supported Passive RFID for Last-Mile Deliveries of Consumable Items?

Are There Any Solutions Based on Android Mobile Phones Using Bluetooth-Supported Passive RFID for Last-Mile Deliveries of Consumable Items?

Posted By RFID Journal, 01.15.2019

I believe an RFID-based solution would work for my use case. I run a hyperlocal e-tail model. There are approximately 100 delivery agents servicing around 300 routes for a volume of about 20,000 to 25,000 customer orders per day. I see huge instances of missing items or shortages of consumable products during last-mile deliveries. Eventually, I end up with a refund rate of about 20 percent of the total sales per month (US$10,000 to $15,000).

Hence, I would like to build an Android-based app that would help me track units at the customer order level. I've explored a few options with Zebra Technologies using passive RFID tags. However, this wouldn't provide a cost-effective solution, as I cannot afford to provide an RFID sled to every delivery agent. Perhaps I could have two to four sleds at a warehouse to write data to tags in bulk, and then scan exit times from the warehouse. My question is this:

Can I build an Android app for delivery associates to scan the number of products delivered at the customer location, with the least amount of human intervention? Say, a tag written with customer-order and item-level information could be scanned for delivery time at the customer's location. If the answer is "yes," then what type of RFID tags would be useful for tracking purposes, utilizing a basic Android mobile phone that supports Bluetooth?

—Krishna

———

Krishna,

UGrokIt, which is now part of Turck, developed a reader for an Android phone. The company also developed some Android-based software that you could use to manage your inventory. There are many other RFID "sled" readers that can connect to a smartphone to allow you to read passive UHF tags via a phone. Most would require you to purchase software separately, though there are other options similar to what UGrokIt offers.

Almost all Android-based phones now have Near Field Communication (NFC) readers built into them. You could also employ QR codes, which are cheaper to print. The problem with both options is they would require staff members to scan each item. Sometimes, workers forget to scan goods, and then the system would begin to break down. Any hands-free solution by which tags could be read automatically would be expensive.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

USER COMMENTS

Jim Springer 2019-01-15 02:44:15 PM
Krishna, Another option is to consider using dual frequency passive UHF / NFC tags made with em|echo chips. The tags support read/write operations from either standard UHF readers or from mobile devices via NFC. You can request information about the EM products and inlay/tag partners at https://www.emmicroelectronic.com/contact-us -- Jim Springer, EM Microelectronic-US

Login and post your comment!

Not a member?

Signup for an account now to access all of the features of RFIDJournal.com!

Next Post
How Long Does Data Remain on an RFID Tag...
Previous Post
How Can I Track Socks via RFID?
PREMIUM CONTENT
Case Studies Features Best Practices How-Tos
RFID JOURNAL EVENTS
Live Events Virtual Events Webinars
ASK THE EXPERTS
Simply enter a question for our experts.
TAKE THE POLL
JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER
Loading
RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations