Three Ways RFID Asset Tracking and Management Helps Businesses

By RFID Journal

Making a concerted effort to increase your organization's RFIQ will enhance your ability to fully exploit the benefits of RFID as the technology and the way it is used continue to evolve.

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Ed. Note: This article was originally published on June 2 2021, and was updated on May 1, 2022.

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

Many organizations value the ability to quickly and reliably track assets of different types, such as retail goods, hardware devices, patients, or networks of things. Asset tracking is important in different industries and organizations for different reasons, depending on an organization’s goals.

In recent years, RFID technology has  decisively improved the ease with which organizations are able to monitor, manage, and track assets. It’s no wonder the technology has been embraced by so many different industries, including health care, supply chain logistics, retail, and the Internet of Things. This blog post will examine some of the benefits of RFID as they are manifested in different industries.

Increasing your RFIQ enhances your ability to exploit the benefits of RFID as the technology evolves.

Increasing your RFIQ enhances your ability to exploit the benefits of RFID as the technology evolves.

RFID Technology Has Applications in Many Industries

RFID technology represents a significant opportunity for businesses and organizations in many sectors to increase revenue, save on labor time and costs, and enhance their overall customer experience. Companies are taking notice. The global RFID market is forecasted to reach  $31.06 billion by 2026. Submarkets that are projected to be significantly impacted by RFID in the coming years include, but are not limited to, healthcare, supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, retail and the Internet of Things. In the future, RFID will very likely come to be used in many industries in creative ways that have yet to be conceived.

Many organizations place significant value on their ability to reliably track and manage assets with RFID technology. In many cases, the targeted assets are directly related to an organization’s revenue. There are values at stake for some organizations other than the bottom line, however. RFID can also enhance a company’s overall efficiency and transparency. Here are three ways that RFID asset tracking and management is helping businesses across various industries.

RFID Asset Tracking Increases Profits

Implementing an RFID asset tracking system is a relatively inexpensive way to increase profitability over the long term. RFID implementation is  inexpensive enough that it is increasingly being used by  small businesses.

  • Supply chain logistics: RFID enables efficient end-to-end supply chain monitoring. Data collection performed by RFID systems provides reliable, real-time inventory updates, allowing companies to stay current on stock levels and the movement of key assets. Efficiency in supply chain operations correlates with increased profits.
  • Retail: RFID technology gives retail companies the ability to track and manage inventory effectively. One significant source of lost profit in retail is the replacement of lost inventory. RFID asset tracking makes it clear when items have been lost or misplaced. Triangulated RFID systems enable companies to rapidly locate lost inventory, eliminating the need to spend money on replacement.

RFID Technology Increases Efficiency

Automated data collection via RFID provides organizations with reliable information on the location and status of high-value assets. Automation removes the necessity of manual tracking by staff, making companies more efficient by saving time and money through the reduction of employee labor. Revenue generation is not the only reason organizations place value on asset tracking and management. Efficiency also saves time and can even save lives.

  • Manufacturing: Automated asset tracking systems result in fewer shipping errors, better product quality, and less need for overflow stock, all benefits for any manufacturing operation. Reliable asset tracking and management streamlines manufacturing processes through greater visibility of the process.
  • Healthcare: Medical device tracking systems have been deployed in hospitals and other healthcare organizations to track high-use or expensive mobile devices. Automated RFID tracking can be integrated with existing device tracking databases, benefitting medical workers who are tasked with managing and maintaining mobile devices. Other applications of RFID in healthcare are monitoring of supply inventories and patient monitoring via RFID bracelets (replacing barcode bracelets).

RFID Promotes Transparency and Increases Customer Satisfaction

RFID technology enables organizations to reliably track assets as they move through supply chains and into distribution. RFID, especially in conjunction with blockchain technology, can lead to increased understanding of product life cycles from manufacturing to distribution. That transparency and accountability is valued by customers.

  • Blockchain: RFID conjoined with blockchain technology has been shown to be effective in improving data sharing in retail contexts, particularly in exchanges between  brands and retailers. This communication leads to increased visibility of items among all stakeholders during a product’s lifecycle.
  • Internet of Things: The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding rapidly. Connected vehicles, smart homes, remote health monitoring, and medical devices are all important players in the IoT market. IoT technology relies on data capture and communication between “things” in the network, capabilities that play to RFID’s strengths. Analysts foresee  many connectionsbetween the two industries into the future.
  • Healthcare:RFID is currently being considered as a solution to the  myriad problems of transparency and loss faced by hospital pharmacies when it comes to drug and medication tracking.

Increase Your Organization’s RFIQ

As RFID technology continues to transform industries, it is worth taking the time to consider your organization’s  RFIQ, a rough metric designed to assess how smart your organization is about RFID technology. Though originally formulated with retail in mind, the RFIQ concept readily applies to other industries.

Ask yourself the following: Do your employees know what RFID is? Do employees understand the benefits RFID provides for your organization? Do employees know which companies in your industry are using RFID? Do employees understand the range of uses RFID has in your industry? Do they understand the way it benefits employees within your organization? Making a concerted effort to increase your organization’s RFIQ will enhance your ability to fully exploit the benefits of RFID as the technology and the way it is used continue to evolve.

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