Moving From Pen-And-Paper Processes, Towards Barcoding And RFID Technology

With industry-centric news outlets publishing articles addressing the fact that business leaders can no longer ignore digitisation, those steering large multi-national operations are left wondering how, why and where they should adopt cutting-edge mobility solutions for greatest return and reward.

In this article, we’ll explore the key reasons business leaders digitise workflows and how legacy systems can be moved beyond pen-and-paper processes through barcoding towards RFID tagging and more.

1) The Key Reasons To Consider Digitizing Your Workflows

2) Paper-And-Pen > Barcoding Technology

3) Barcoding Technology > RFID Technology

4) Overcoming Barriers To Adoption

The Key Reasons To Consider Digitizing Your Workflows

There are several key benefits to moving away from paper to digital processes. Regardless of the sector, the fundamental reasons for digitising methods are relatively universal:

Improve data quality (by automating the capture of critical information)

Increase operational efficiency (by accelerating record-keeping, information transfer and access times)

Standardize processes (by ensuring all employees are quality assuring using comparable methodologies)

Generate real-time data & improve accessibility (so that you can reliably and instantaneously access information anywhere)

Lower costs (by improving task automation, time-savings and operational efficiencies)

Improve security and accountability

From Paper-Based Record-Keeping to Barcoding Technology

Pen and paper are often overlooked as a starting point for operational technology; however, the use of pen and paper for tasks such as inventory tracking – with the help of employees specially trained to monitor and record transactions – their functional purpose is still closely aligned with that of traditional “technologies”.

Nonetheless, pen-and-paper processes are time-consuming, complex to scale, and prone to inaccuracies and errors. When explored with modern digital techniques, they need to compete with speed, efficiency, and accuracy.

Barcodes can digitally communicate basic product reference information with scanners and software. Barcoding systems can enable workers to access and update records associated with products – such as warehouse location, production status and item condition – which can be accessed using a mobile device.

As some food for thought, barcoding systems can be used for:

Item identification

Ticketing systems

Shopping transactions

Record keeping

Inventory management

From Barcoding Technology to RFID

As we mention in our blog on the pros and cons of RFID technology in Healthcare, barcoding technology is helpful for basic data recall; however, it fails to empower staff with the same capabilities as RFID (radio-frequency identification).

RFID technology has several key differentiating factors compared to barcoding technology – although barcodes and RFID tags are often used in conjunction. RFID technology can enable workers to scan multiple items at once, rather than item-by-item, involves sturdier and more reusable tags (which can be encrypted), does not require line of sight for reading, is more secure, accurate and less labour-intensive, can store a more data and with a higher degree of complexity, and can be encoded for specific functionality purposes.

For businesses already using barcode technology, RFID technology can be integrated into existing systems and used to elevate your existing processes.

Where is RFID technology currently being used for the most significant impact?

Picking and packing processes

Frictionless checkouts

Access control

Asset tracking & loss prevention

Inventory management & laundry management

Item traceability & counterfeit goods management

Overcoming Barriers To Adoption

MiTEQ‘s experts have delivered enterprise mobility solutions to business operations for decades. We have experience digitising inventory management systems, improving supply chain visibility, workforce productivity and more.

As we continue working with business leaders across a full spectrum of sectors – from Healthcare and Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Transportation – we welcome you to reach out, ask questions, tell us about the work you’re doing, and see where we can connect your operations with the tools to generate most outstanding results.

Contact us.

Newsletter Updates