The logistics management came to be a necessity when industrial revolution took off in mid nineteenth century and England, France and United States became capable to produce large amounts of food, cotton, munitions and transport, and more wars could be fought, more violently by mobilizing army, naval forces, munitions etc. New logistics means and methods were being developed to felicitate easy transportation and communication. The railroads, the steam ships and the telegraph emerged as the new tools and techniques of logistics.
In 2023, Logistics still means the same but we have lost the steam ships and the telegraph. Now we have airplanes, mobile phones, emails, SMS, Video Calls/Facetime, Zoom, trains, vans and cargo ships amongst many other things to ensure that the right product (and necessary information) reaches the right customer, in the right quantity and right condition, at the right place, on the right time, at a right cost.
Meeting these 7R(s) is the actual challenge that needs solving to ensure that businesses are agile and profitable while maintaining customer loyalty, creating value.
Use of technology in this digital age can streamline various logistics processes and Radio Frequency Identification is one such technology at present.
What is RFID?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has been around for a long time. Brits used it to identify enemy aircrafts during WW2 in 1940s but post 2010 use of RFID has found new horizons.
RFID is a wireless automatic identification and data capture technology which uses radio wave signals to communicate between an RFID reader and an RFID tag.
The data transmission in the form of Radio Frequency (RF) signals doesn’t require a direct line of sight between the RFID Reader and the RFID tag.
When an RFID tag (say passive UHF RFID) is in the range of an RFID reader, the tag antenna catches the RF signal coming from the RFID reader. The RFID tag uses the signal energy to transmit the encoded data to the reader in the form of an RF signal again. The RFID reader then reads the data for the end user.
In Logistics industry, RFID technology has been nothing short of a miracle. It is a cost-effective and highly accurate tool that has completely changed inventory management and supply chain, enabling efficient Logistics Management.
Challenges in Logistics Industry
There are various operational challenges, transport challenges and communication challenges impacting the Logistics business but primarily lack of means to gather accurate data and making sense of that data needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Business must introduce some degree of automation in business operations and it can minimize many of these challenges.
Removing supply chain bottlenecks, enabling asset tracking, fleet tracking, accurate inventory control, timely delivery, inventory replenishment, digital data collection and data cleaning or data mining should be focused upon.
How RFID Technology can meet Logistics Challenges
RFID as an AIDC technology has the potential to meet several Logistics challenges as to inventory management, asset tracking, asset lifecycle management, transportation, fleet management, vehicle tracking etc.
By tagging assets with RFID tags, logistics business can track asset throughout the supply chain network. By using RFID in combination with GPS, businesses can enhance the overall visibility of the assets and more importantly use the valuable tracking data to take informed, decisive action.
Reduce Risks and Errors
RFID is very accurate and can provide businesses with accurate data that is digitally gathered. Since it’s a wireless technology, the risks and chances of human-errors are nominal. Employees can take stock of inventory using handheld RFID Readers and inventory will be updated automatically without any issues.
Enhanced Customer Experience
By keeping track of consignments and assets throughout the supply chain, and by communicating with customers using modern means like email or SMS, Phone call, and applications, logistics businesses can enhance the customer experience by not keeping the customers in the dark.
- Last updated on Apr 14, 2023