The pain that is inventory management
Let’s be honest, no matter how hard you work on it, you would probably never stake your life on the accuracy of your inventory. The thought of having your inventory accuracy above 99% seems improbable if not impossible. And as most inventory managers have been told again and again poor inventory visibility affects the bottom line.
If only there were a way to digitize physical inventory without having to spend excess time and money getting it done, all the while being over 99% accurate; results that even your boss would be happy about.
Well there is a solution, and it has been hiding right under your nose. Its name? RFID or Radio Frequency Identification.
RFID is already all around us
Although the origins of RFID date back to 1946 with Russian physicist, Leon Theremin, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that the technology began to find commercial use. This technology is widely used in our everyday lives: tracking the location of golf balls, identifying lost pets, distinguishing ski pass portals, and even allowing for payments to be placed via our smartphones. It is already becoming the new standard for inventory management. A Marketwatch.com article recently stated: “The global Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) market is expected to grow at USD ~$31.8 Billion by 2023, at ~15.6% of CAGR between 2017 and 2023.”
How does the technology work?
RFID grants businesses the unique benefit of counting and identifying their products at a rate 100’s of items per second, even when the items themselves are not in view. This transforms hours of inventory management into a task requiring only minutes. There is no other technology like RFID which can literally audit physical inventory through a brick wall and still be over 99% accurate.
Each RFID enabled tag contains an antenna and a computer chip. The passive RFID tags require no battery source and are applied to each product in the form of a sticker. The reader, a device used to send and collect radio waves, sends a signal that powers the tag(s) and relays the information back. The software then interprets the unique serial number as a product and displays it online. RFID tags also store important product related data like expiration dates, lot numbers, product cost, and even “product born” dates.
What makes RFID so great anyway?
To maintain accurate inventory records, businesses who do not currently use RFID technology are forced to perform labor intensive hand/barcode counting (often performed by less experienced, lower-waged employees, or temp workers) that is prone to human error. Without RFID it is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve over 99% accuracy.
This prompted larger retailers like Target and Macy’s to begin the use of RFID in order to mitigate the cost of labor and human error associated with inventory audits.
Because tracking products with RFiD takes minutes instead of days, daily inventory audits become possible and allow for near-perfect accuracy. With this added visibility, companies are better equipped to forecast future product demand; eliminating the need to carry excess inventory and allowing for better allocation of valuable resources.
It’s time now to ask yourself, “how much is poor inventory management really costing me?” Chances are — the answer is more than you think.
All businesses that track inventory would benefit from RFID, but E-commerce companies have an added need. Brick-and-mortar retailers cannot sell product they do not physically have. On the other hand, eTailers can easily list items for sale online that are not in-stock due to poor inventory data. This overselling often leads to loss of customer trust and their revenue they bring in.
So if effective inventory management is key to running a successful product-based business, and RFID has proven to disrupt the current standard of inventory management in all the right ways, then why haven’t businesses adopted the technology sooner?
The reason: cost of RFID tags
In 2001 the cost of a single tag was $1.10 — not feasible to apply to most items. In 2004 Walmart attempted to implement RFID technology “en masse,” however the cost of tags continued to prevent all vendors from adopting.
Since then, the world has been waiting for the cost of the RFID tags to be sold for under 10 cents to usher its use into the mass market.
The Time is now
Today RFID tags are smaller, more sensitive, and cheaper than ever before with prices ranging from 5-10 cents/tag and large retailers and eTailers alike have taken notice. Prices today are at a point where businesses both large and small can now profit. Gone are the days of poor inventory visibility. Gone are the days of hand counting and human error. The ability to truly digitize your physical inventory is here.
Simple.RFiD, a complete RFID service provider, is disrupting the way companies manage their inventory. By offering an end-to-end cloud based software solution (with API integration), Industry-leading hardware, and the least expensive tags on the market, Simple.RFiD will help you take control of your inventory.
Only one question remains, “Will you let your business get left behind?”
For more information or to schedule a demo please visit: www.simplerfid.com