I am in the restaurant industry and am interested in using radio frequency identification for counting inventory. How can the technology be used to count individual items (cups of sauce, for example) that have been broken up into smaller containers outside of their original supplier packaging?
You could tag each cup of sauce and use a handheld reader to conduct an inventory count. You would need to do some homework first, though, in order to determine whether tagging such items would be cost-effective for you. There would be labor associated with tagging every item—which would not be a big deal if the items were reused, but would create a hassle if they were thrown away after every use. There would also be the cost of the tags (perhaps 12 to 15 cents each, depending on the volumes purchased), as well as the price of each handheld reader (ranging from $500 for a smartphone sled to $2,000 for an industrial device). You could then walk around with the handheld and capture the precise number of every category of tagged items.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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