Learn How 3 Logistics Businesses Are Using RFID Technology To Track Assets And Improve Efficiency

RFID technology is maturing, and the cost of deploying real-time locationing solutions has become more affordable in recent years. In the UK alone, brands like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Zara already use RFID technology to improve their supply chains.

This blog will explore three examples of businesses that have benefitted from adopting RFID technology.

1) What Are The Benefits Of RFID Technology?

2) Foam Manufacturer: Locating Missing Goods

3) Automotive Manufacturer: Automatically Monitoring And Analysing Asset Journeys

4) Cold Chain Logistics: Tracking Customer pallets in real time

5) MiTEQ: Asset Tracking, Management & Mobility Specialists

What Are The Benefits Of RFID Technology?

As we mentioned in our blog, Moving From Pen-And-Paper Processes Towards Barcoding And RFID Technology, RFID technology has several key differentiating factors compared to barcoding technology. It can enable workers to scan multiple items at once, rather than item-by-item; it involves sturdier and more reusable tags (which can be encrypted); it does not require line-of-sight for reading; and RFID technology is more secure, accurate and reliable.

So, how do the features of RFID systems translate into tangible business benefits?

One study from Loss Prevention Magazine found that businesses using RFID technology benefitted from…

  • Improved inventory visibility and accuracy (between 65-75% and 93-99%).
  • Optimised stock holdings (including reduced capital outlay and improved productivity)
  • Reduced shrinkage losses
  • Reduced staff costs
  • Worthwhile returns

Below are three case studies relating to RFID technology within logistics enterprises: a foam manufacturer, an automotive manufacturer, and a cold-chain logistics enterprise. Each case study showcases how businesses can benefit from RFID technology.

Foam Manufacturer: Locating Missing Goods

One of Europe’s leading foam manufacturers used RFID technology to streamline their warehousing and distribution processes. They utilised real-time location systems to speed up order locating and fulfilment processes.

The Vision

Before rolling out an RFID system to help workers locate goods, this foam manufacturer produced as much as 750 tonnes of foam and cushioning materials every week, some of which were stored in blocks weighing hundreds of kilograms.

Orders were being lost, and dispatches were being delayed, all because warehouse workers relied on handwritten paper-based notes to keep track of goods.

The business had identified an opportunity to improve customer service levels and transform how finished goods were processed.

The Solution

The foam manufacturer deployed an RFID system that used a network of fixed readers and handheld devices to track the movement of finished goods – from the production floor to warehousing and distribution.

The Results

By adopting RFID technology, the foam manufacturer increased their On Time in Full (OTIF) from 97.6% to 99.4%, which equated to 30 more deliveries being made on time every month.

Automotive Manufacturer: Automatically Monitoring Asset Journeys

One of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers used RFID technology to automatically monitor and analyse the flow of products throughout its production line, helping employees to identify abnormal excursions and take corrective action quickly.

The Vision

This manufacturer was already under pressure to produce 180 industrial trucks daily, and they wanted to maximise the efficiency of material flow while minimising the time taken to respond to incidents.

The Solution

The automotive manufacturer deployed ultra-wideband (UWB) and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems throughout its facilities. They leveraged existing APIs to create order number associations and product statuses. On top of this, employees could log abnormal process flows by scanning UWB tags attached to forklifts.

The Results

By adopting RFID technology, product flow disruptions were automatically analysed, productivity was increased, and customer service was improved; not to mention, the automotive manufacturer created a new layer of insights to further future-proof their operations.

Cold Chain Logistics: Tracking Customer Pallets In Real-Time

A port-based cold-chain logistics service provider managing over 100,000 square meters of space used RFID technology to automate monitoring of their customers’ frozen produce to improve storage space utilisation, customer service, and time spent locating goods.

The Vision

This cold-chain logistics provider managed over 22,000 pallets of products like frozen vegetables, potatoes, meat, and fish inside its new cold store – operating at a temperature of -20°C. The aspiration was to optimise storage space utilisation, minimise any time spent locating and monitoring goods, and automate day-to-day workflows.

The Solution

By deploying a system of RFID tags, readers, and antennas throughout their facility, said cold-chain logistics providers could label customer pallets upon arrival and monitor goods as they moved throughout their facility. Forklifts were enabled with computing devices – to provide drivers visibility of pallet data – and a middleware layer was used to bridge RFID equipment and customer systems.

The Results

By adopting RFID technology, this cold-chain logistics provider could optimise its storage space usage and generate accurate real-time information relating to the whereabouts of pallets. They were also able to automate the monitoring of customer goods and retire manual processes relating to asset registration, scanning, and data processing. They made enormous time savings.n

MiTEQ: Asset Tracking, Management & Mobility Specialists

For any businesses interested in exploring asset tracking solutions, like RFID technology, for their operations, MiTEQ’s team has decades of experience helping transportation, logistics, field service, and healthcare businesses deploy and maintain worthwhile asset tracking, management, and mobility solutions.

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