Warehouse Management System – RFID Gains Significance
Warehouse management is an integral component of supply chain and has assumed significant importance in today’s era. It covers host number of activities under its realm like moving of goods and materials, tracking, picking and packing, maintaining the inventory level etc. The process also involves checking for huge number of boxes along with their product code, packaging no and entering them which being performed manually consumes a lot of time and leads to paperwork.
In a bid remain competitive and harness growth in today’s global environment; companies have started implementing RFID systems in their warehouses. RFID which stands for Radio frequency identification uses radio waves to exchange data between a reader and an electronic tag attached to an object, for the purpose of tracking and identification. It consists of three basic components, viz. RFID tag, RFID reader and the necessary software and hardware for communication. The tag consists of a microchip which is attached to a radio antenna and is placed on the object to be identified. To retrieve the data stored on the tag, An Rfid reader is used which passes information to a computer system put in place for data collection with the help of antennas emitting radio waves. The data transmitted by the tag may provide identification or location information, or specifics about the product tagged, such as price, color, date of purchase, etc
RFID tagging is used in supply chain management as an alternative to bar code technology. Although more expensive to use than the bar code stickers RFID tags don’t get dirty or fall off or require an unobstructed line-of-sight between the tag and the reader. As compared to a barcode reader which demands for clean, clear optics and abrasion free label to be seen by lasers, RFID enables tag reading from a greater distance, even in the harsh of environments. With the help of RFID manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can maintain extremely low levels of inventory and keep a proper track record as to what has been sold in the last business day. Furthermore the system also facilitates automatic data entry rather than manually making entries of the stock on paper first and then into the computer which saves a lot of time and human efforts. The technology possesses the capability of detecting missing shipments and alert the management which leads to a better control over the movement and storage of materials within the warehouse. This also helps in maximizing the efficiency of the receipt and shipment of goods, allowing employees to improve and maintain high customer service levels.
The global world is seeing a constant change and new challenges are emerging within the logistics sector. In a bid remain competitive and tap the growing opportunities. Companies need to bring a change in the traditional style of functioning and implement modern systems and technologies.