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ASSET TRACKING USING RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

The typical company has dozens of asset types ranging from computers, inventory, and even employees. The challenge to many of these companies is keeping track of where all of their assets are located for internal and occasionally regulatory purposes. One method for solving this problem is the use of RFID or Radio Frequency Identification.

What is RFID? It is actually quite simple, but as with many technologies the devil is in the details. The system is made up of 2 primary components. The RFID tag or transponder is the first component and it is placed on each asset that you wish to track such as each pallet in your warehouse or each employee ID card. These tags are extremely thin and can be incorporated into a self adhesive label about 2 inches square. The second component is the RFID reader which is installed in various locations around your facility such as your loading bay door or the door to the employee break room.

A typical use for RFID is monitoring the progress of a product through the manufacturing process. In this scenario a RFID tag is attached to the raw materials at the beginning of the process. Strategically placed RFID readers track the progress as the materials continue down the assembly line. This allows you to know exactly where a customers order is in the process, which can greatly increase that customers perception of your service quality and responsiveness.

Another extremely common use for RFID is in an employee ID card. If all of your employees have RFID based badges, they can use the badges to clock-in and out and also to unlock doors. The automatic door lock functionality can save hundreds of dollars in lock rekeying costs each time an employee leaves the company. Another important piece of information that RFID allows you to track is the amount of time each employee is spending on their smoke or morning break. By placing an RFID reader at each doorway, it is simple to detect when an employee has crossed that doors threshold.

One final RFID example is in the monitoring of inventory. How much money do you spend in keeping track of your inventory through manual counts? How much embarrassment do you experience when you tell a customer a product is in stock just to find out your inventory count was off by 1? With RFID inventory tracking, a tag is placed on each item. The RFID readers are then installed in numerous places throughout the warehouse such as the picking truck, the boxing stations, the receiving dock, etc. When product is detected leaving the warehouse, the inventory is automatically updated. The opposite is true when product is detected entering the warehouse. The RFID reader on the picking truck can warn the operator when they have pulled the wrong item which helps maintain inventory accuracy and ensures your customers get what they actually asked for.

This has been a very high level review of the capabilities of RFID and how it can be used to monitor processes in your organization. For a free consultation to see if RFID will provide the return on investment required by your organization, please contact Sigma Office Solutions today. Your Office. Our Solution. Perfect.

© 2008 Sigma Office Solutions, Inc.



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