How to Use RFID to Optimize Stock Replacement and Replenishment

To help organizations realize the potential the technology offers, here are four ways in which RFID improves placement and replenishment processes.
Published: May 1, 2022

Ed. Note: This article was originally published on Apr. 27, 2021, and was updated on May 1, 2022.

Ed. Note: This post originally appeared at the blog of  RFID Journal LIVE!, the world’s largest conference and exhibition focused on RFID and related technologies.

When trying to track every element of your stock and inventory throughout the entire supply chain, the effort required is immense. With operations like stock replenishment, placement, and order fulfillment, organizations face a host of challenges during every step of the process. Using radio frequency identification (RFID) in stock placement and replenishment is a way to reduce the burden on staff, gain valuable insights into the entire process, and streamline operations based on the latest information.

Overcoming daily challenges with inventory management is possible by adopting RFID in your stock replenishment procedures. You can use  RFID solutions to track, stage, and place your items throughout your supply chains, helping you gain new efficiencies without adding additional overheads to your organization. With up-to-date staging and inventory information, managers can  make informed decisions that enable organizations to respond effectively to any challenge.

To help organizations realize the potential the technology offers, here are four ways in which RFID improves placement and replenishment processes.

To help organizations realize the potential the technology offers, here are four ways in which RFID improves placement and replenishment processes.

Modern Capabilities of RFID in Stock Placement

Since organizations started adopting RFID solutions, the technology enabled many to rethink their entire supply chain and inventory management approach. Instead of verifying individual items at every gated stage in the supply chain, resources can now scan batches of items to ensure orders are complete and destinations are accurate.

In inventory management, RFID allows you to track all your goods and products from the original source to their final destination. Retailers use RFID to generate notifications and alerts about stock levels – and may even add additional layers of automation to trigger upstream replenishment processes. RFID is one of the key technologies enabling both bricks-and-mortar and ecommerce ventures now and in the future. To help organizations realize the potential the technology offers, here are four ways RFID improves stock placement and replenishment processes.

Responding to Changes with RFID in Stock Placement

In every supply chain, the last mile problem has a major influence on your efficiency. While most organizations tend to plan using projections and demand forecasts, situations can change rapidly. Responding to changes in consumer behavior like those faced by most retailers in the COVID-19 pandemic can put any company’s normal  supply and distribution channels under pressure.

To respond to these variations in normal operations, logistical resources require real-time insights into their inventory, distribution, and available stock placements. RFID can help keep track of all stock at every point and enable distribution teams to respond effectively whenever circumstances change. For companies that haven’t embraced RFID in their supply chains, distribution process, and stock placement operations, catching up with competitors is a major challenge.

Tracking Inventory from Source to Checkout

For many organizations, the providence of a product is just as essential as the quality and availability of the specific item. To ensure the quality of every sourced item remains unchanged during times of increased demand, deploying RFID in stock replenishment processes can help secure the entire supply chain from source to checkout.

Cashier-less checkouts immediately update upstream ordering systems, while buyers can track and trace every product back to the original supplier. Accurate tracking of every item that arrived and left the location also helps establish trends and measure a product’s performance with customers. RFID helps organizations to take control over their entire supply and distribution channels, including automating the retail portions of their operations without adding undue risk to the organization.

Automating Stock Ordering and Replenishment Processes

Supply chain logistics is an information-heavy process. Companies need to keep track of individual items, their current location, and final destination. If something changes, the time and effort required to intervene could be overwhelming. With an RFID system in place, companies can automate most of these processes and allow employees to intervene only when it is absolutely necessary.

Integration of the information management system with modern RFID tags can assist teams to request stock replenishment automatically for a specific destination. If the entire process, from stock order to customer checkout, is part of the same system, staff won’t have to spend hours tracking new items or explaining why some goods aren’t available to customers. Passive RFID tags can store enough information during every stage of the supply chain to keep distributed teams up to date with quantities, dates, and intended destinations. Today’s tags are also cost-effective compared to the time, effort, and resource costs of managing these processes manually.

Improving Stock and Inventory Control with RFID

RFID presents retailers, distributors, and suppliers with a variety of opportunities to streamline their processes. When you combine all these elements with a single system, the potential is endless. Companies can respond to changes in demand quickly, track all items from the source to destinations, and keep track of inventory without having to add human resources to their operations.

Manual or barcode stock counts, reconciliations, and audits can increase your labor costs dramatically. With an RFID system, capturing updated information and distributing the latest data can happen automatically. For companies struggling with their  inventory management, RFID provides clear benefits by reducing labor costs, eliminating human error, and keeping track of both upstream supplies and downstream fulfillment processes.

RFID is helping increase supply chain efficiencies in construction projects with improved material and equipment management; retail operations by helping to track goods from the source to their final destination; warehousing and distribution processes by providing insights into inventory movements; logistical oversight, allowing teams to respond to changes (like stock-out) quickly and limiting operational disruptions; and limiting damage to products using impact sensors included in the RFID tagging system.

Learn more about RFID in stock placement and replenishment at RFID Journal LIVE! 2021. For retailers, distributors, suppliers, and ecommerce ventures, RFID is a unique technology that can increase efficiencies in every step of an organization’s operations. Wherever your company needs to track individual items efficiently, an RFID tag or associated technology can assist. You can use RFID to track inventory levels, automate receiving and distribution processes, or register any product damage during operations. For companies that need to see the latest RFID technologies and applications in action, consider attending RFID Journal LIVE! this year. The advances in a range of networking, sensor, and passive tagging systems mean almost every company can benefit from the latest RFID technologies. To prepare for RFID Journal LIVE! and see the latest RFID innovations in stock placement,  sign up for our digital summit.