The term Supply chain covers all possible processes involved in the flow of goods from manufacturing to customer; including manufacturing, distribution and transportation. Thus, supply chain management covers all these steps in combination with marketing decisions, customer demand, in alignment with general corporate strategy and goals. Usually considered as a complex and knowledge-intensive process, management of the supply chain can benefit significantly from the implementation of RFID technology.
RFID technology has risen to become a revolutionary element in supply chain management. It is not just a replacement for barcodes. RFID ensures that the right goods are available in the right place with no discrepancies and zero errors. It makes the supply chain considerably more precise and improves the efficiency and reliability of the entire chain. As real-time information is made available also administration and planning processes can be significantly improved.
Keeping track of the large number of cartons is a very complex as well as time and labor consuming process. However, RFID can be implemented to ease the situation as it can improve information management concerning cargo flow. Usually, read-write equipment is installed at the entry to a plant. Every cargo unit is equipped with RFID tags and all the information relating to the tags is stored in the central computer of the plant. When the cargo is moved in or out of the plant, the read-write equipment registers it and forwards the data to the backend system. This allows the management center to manage the vast amounts of products going into and leaving the storage, recognize cargo and help with placement of the cargo in the plant.
In cases where read-write equipment is placed within the plant, all in-house movements are additionally registered in the system. This allows for strategic planning of product locations within the plant.
The information that is gathered with RFID can lead to significant improvements as the tracking and handling of the products can be done in real-time and with great accuracy. In the plant, products are easily located as all product movements are tracked and this information is automatically registered in the system. Whilst stock is accurately tracked valuable information concerning losses is also recorded.
- visibility of accurate real-time information
- fast locating of products
- possibility to record losses
- ability to plan product locations strategically