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Hellenic Army Finds Reduction in Time and Cost With RFID in Supply Chain

The Greek military has been testing the technology for the past year across four ports, with active RFID tags on containers, pallets, boxes and some equipment, in order to gain better visibility into the shipping process.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 23, 2018

A research team of the land forces of the Hellenic (Greek) Army, under the supervision of its Logistics Department, has completed RFID technology testing to monitor the flow of materials and spare parts in its supply chain. The team found multiple benefits, ranging from full visibility of assets through the supply chain to a reduction in inventory time, the need for safety stock and accounting errors. The Hellenic Army now intends to further expand the technology's use throughout its entire supply chain. Testing found that the Army was able to reduce inventory collection time by 90 percent, decrease shipping times, cut errors in half and lower the amount of all its accounting procedures.

The team consists of Col. Theodoros Zikos, program and project manager, and Lts. Nikolaos Karamperas and Dimitrios Zaires, both project researchers. Karamperas described the project at this year's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla. The Hellenic Army is one of three divisions of Greece's military, along with the Hellenic Navy and Hellenic Air Force, and is the largest of the three. The Army is the lead nation of the Balkans Battle Group, with a mission of defending Greece's independence and integrity. Its supplies include heavy equipment and weaponry, mostly from foreign manufacturers in Germany, France, the United States and other countries.

Theodoros Zikos
Last year, the agency began researching and testing active RFID to provide oversight of its global defense supply chain, and to gain efficiency both in military operations and at its supply depot. The long-term goal is for RFID technology to be implemented throughout the Hellenic Military Logistics System.

With the testing, Zikos says, the department wanted to first study how well the technology could ensure the availability of materials that war fighters needed, and thereby improve overall operational readiness. "That means [having supplies] in the right place at the right time, with the best conditions," he states. The trial, which took place between June 2017 and January 2018, initially covered shipments between the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki.

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