5 RFID Statistics Manufacturers Need to Know
Perhaps you’ve heard, RFID technology can improve your inventory accuracy to 99.99%. However, to reap the benefits of a strong, accurate supply chain, warehouse managers need to commit to RFID. They need to decide that RFID is fully worth the investment. Because simply tagging your items with RFID tags is not what will get the cost saving benefits you’re looking for.
“RFID increases inventory accuracy, from an average of 65 percent to more than 95 percent. And high inventory accuracy can lead to increased sales—but only if retailers use the data to improve their operations and processes. This is an important distinction, and it’s key to the success of any RFID deployment.”
It’s important to understand that RFID is not an expense or some magical tool. It’s an investment that can cut costs out of your supply chain if implemented correctly. If you have been hesitant on implementing RFID tags into your supply chain, consider the following statistics.
One of the biggest benefits for manufacturers, as well as managers of warehouses and distribution centers is the improvement in shipping and picking accuracy. This advantage directly impacts your wallet. When we talk to manufacturers and distributors, a chief concern they have is minimizing shipping errors in order to mitigate chargeback penalties.
Chargebacks can cost thousands of dollars. With the right combination of RFID hardware and software, you can verify outbound shipments at incredibly high rates. By minimizing chargebacks, RFID adoption can quickly pay for itself.
By automating your receiving processes with RFID, the time and energy required for receiving goes down significantly. Not surprisingly then, receiving costs go down as well. Manually inputting data, scanning every barcode or checking inbound items is a major time suck. RFID alleviates these constraints. Scanning the GS1-128 barcode does not confirm whether or not the correct product is in the carton and whether it has concealed shorts. Operations must audit a fair number of cartons to see if in fact the contents match the purchase order to the factory.
Fixed RFID readers read the tags of every single item in the carton. The system compares the ASN (Advance Ship Notice) from the factory and confirms that each carton contains exactly what was ordered. This validation is an audit of every single carton arriving from overseas and it happens in real time without any misreads and without slowing down the receiving line. For one customer whose goods are tagged at source, fixed RFID readers on inbound conveyors read the tags of every single item in the carton.
Amazing things happen when your warehouse’s visibility improves. Here’s an example – we work with a large rug manufacturer who sell big time online. They also have a showroom in New Jersey. Before they came to us, they had a problem where satisfied online customers would come to their showroom to look at the rest of our inventory. They would often look for a similar rug that they had purchased online, but maybe a slightly different color or texture. Since their rugs were so large, their staff would take a very long time to retrieve the right rug. And, very often, they would tell the customer they didn’t have the rug type they were looking for. Sales slipping through their fingers like long rug tassels.
Simple item location technology fueled by RFID changes everything. Faster item retrieval and more accurate inventory are just the start. Customer satisfaction will improve with the right items being found faster, and your employees will be far more effective at inventory cycle counts and item retrieval.
If you have a large inventory, a large warehouse, or your supply chain is just fast moving, it is going to be very hard to maintain an accurate inventory count. That is understandable. But, it doesn’t take away from the fact that having inaccurate inventory data seriously slow down your business operations.
Inaccurate inventory numbers hinders your ability to make smart purchasing decisions. For example, purchasing more of something you already have, and not on something that needs to be replenished. And, how much work is required just to get that 63% inventory accuracy? Hours of physical labor? Shutting down your warehouse for days? If you’re striving for mediocre inventory accuracy rates, you are likely paying much more than you have to.
A small team armed with mobile RFID readers can count inventory in a fraction of the time compared to traditional barcode based methods. Because it is easier and faster to count, you can cycle count more often with greater accuracy. RFID tags on your items are way more effective than barcode tags. It’s just that simple.
So, what does that do for you? No more shutting down your warehouse to do inventory. No more bogging down your team when it’s time to do inventory. Now, your employees can be elsewhere doing other important things. It’s efficiency on a whole new level.