Are Companies Using RFID to Improve Supply Chain Operations?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsAre Companies Using RFID to Improve Supply Chain Operations?
RFID Journal Staff asked 11 years ago

Can you provide a performance evaluation of the technology on supply chain of business operations?

—Name withheld


I assume that your question refers to how consistently tags can be read in the supply chain, as opposed to business benefits. It is difficult to provide a meaningful benchmark, because supply chains are so different. It might be possible to read 99 percent of all individual clothing items, but if you were trying to read tags on cases of soda, you would not be able to read any of the tags on the cases in the middle of a pallet, since the metal would prevent energy from reaching the tags.

I will say that in a wide variety of industries, companies are utilizing RFID to improve their supply chain operations. Businesses are successfully tracking totes, returnable transport items, parts bins, pallets and so forth. In general, I would also say that companies are tracking items within stores, as well as containers moving through the supply chain. There can be a lot of value in doing this. Metro Group, in Germany, predicted it would save $8 million annually from tracking pallets in that country alone, for example (see Metro Pushes Pallet Tagging).

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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