We expect accuracy in everything from pizza orders to paychecks, but that’s not always what you get with legacy systems in the supply chain.
RFID is one answer to getting better accuracy. With a well-engineered RFID solution of readers, printers and scanners, many organizations have found ways to improve product tracking, manage inventory and stop theft. We recommend Zebra Technologies hardware along with our RainVue cloud-based RFID software to help you track the movement of supplies, assets, and products throughout the supply chain.
RFID is a significant investment. If it is new technology to your enterprise, you may wonder what kind of results you can expect. A related question is how good is good enough with RFID? If you are going to invest in RFID, the Versona advisor you work with will be able to give you a reasonable estimate on how much improvement you should expect after the project’s completion.
And while the actual number will vary, the bottom line is you will see improvements with the right solution — especially if you are using older systems for inventory management. Bill Hardgrave, the founder of the RFID Lab at Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, says RFID will increase inventory accuracy from an average of 65 percent to more than 95 percent. He was citing retailers but has also conducted studies on how RFID impacts manufacturers and other industry supply chains.
Added RFID benefits
You can easily expect to have at least 95-99 percent accuracy of inventory balances with RFID and a well-engineered process. But the improvements don’t stop there. Shipping (order) and picking accuracy also increase. The improvement in accuracy will lead to lowered costs throughout the supply chain; some experts estimate that picking and shipping accuracy improves by 80 percent with RFID. You will also see inventory visibility and availability increase, along with your inventory count accuracy numbers.
By improving the various areas of your supply chain via RFID, you can help your business significantly lower distribution costs in many cases. If you do deliveries, for example, RFID inherently allows you to have an accurate inventory count with very little administrative work to find the numbers you need. With the increased inventory and order accuracy, you can deliver the right products at the right time, over and over again.
For example, a recent study by Auburn University and GS1 US found RFID can help an organization gain up to 100 percent order accuracy. This becomes the gift that keeps on giving because 100% accuracy eliminates claims costs in the downline supply chains, unhappy customers, etc.
How to get your 95-100 percent inventory accuracy
We realize an RFID implementation project is a big step for our customers. That’s why we use a 5-step process that includes a performance guarantee about things we control 18 months after the project is finished. Here is a little more information on how we work.
First, we do an RFID Feasibility Analysis. This helps us determine whether RFID is the right solution for every customer. Rather than sell you something that won’t work for you, we offer this low-cost, low-risk way to determine if it is the right fit. We look at the application environment, your existing processes and your business goals. If these elements can be enhanced with RFID, we create a business case where we will gather the critical information and choose the technical and software services you need.
Stage two is the Process Analysis. We look at the types, quantities and locations for RFID hardware. We’ll also give you recommendations on tags based on your processes. If you need alternatives to RFID, we’ll make suggestions on what might be a better fit. With stage three we move into a full site analysis. We’ll do things like examine and document your site for RFID technology supportability, evaluate the ambient radio frequencies through a spectrum analysis and determine the optimal mounting methods for your new hardware.
The final two stages deliver the RFID technology that will help transform your business. We’ll check every device during the fourth stage, the site installation. If anything doesn’t perform at the optimum level, we’ll make the adjustments.
Finally, we’ll work with you during the 18 months after installation. You won’t have any doubts about your system because we will provide support on the project. Our Performance Guarantee is based on an integrated, continuous improvement approach. We’ll address any issues and make sure you get the highest ROI on the project.