How to implement RFID in your business? TOP 10 popular questions and answers. Part 1.

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“There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time
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In this article, we have collected popular questions from our clients regarding the implementation of RFID. This technology is attracting more and more companies. Of course, everyone wants to automate and simplify everything they could in their business processes. After all, this would help to save resources. The only question is the price they need to pay. Therefore, we have collected the most popular answers to arising questions, and we hope they will help you make the right decision.

The article turned out to be very long, so we divided it into two parts. In the first part we are going to answer the most important question:

1# Is RFID suitable for my business?

Defining a business task

Try to identify and set specific tasks that you want to solve with RFID implementation. In addition to the main tasks, research all possible related subtasks.

Properly defined tasks will help you find clearly defined solutions. This will save time and money while implementing RFID. Besides, the process of studying problems can help you find completely different technologies for their solution.

What needs to be changed in the company?

New technologies can lead to big changes. You need to go through all the business processes and understand what needs to be changed. This applies not only to paper work but also to the equipment of the premises. Think about such issues:

  • What existing problems may disappear after the launch of the RFID system?
    For example, when moving goods from warehouse A to warehouse B, it was necessary to carry out X operations. Three employees were involved in this process. After the implementation of RFID, 1 person will be involved, and the number of operations will be halved.
  • What can affect RFID-tags reading?
    Check the movement of goods and find points that may affect the tags reading.
    For example, if we take the process of moving goods from a warehouse to a retail store. Think about the places for tags-readers. Can there be any external interference along the way?
  • Identify the types of readers, tags, and antennas you need.
    You already know your tasks and ways of moving goods. Now you need to select the necessary devices and tags. There are disposable and reusable tags. Reusable tags can be applied to multi-turn containers. The same happens with readers. Imagine that your space consists of walls that are one-meter thick. Will there be enough reader power to read the tag?)

At this stage, you may need the services of external specialists. But actually you can conduct this research by yourself and save some money.

Calculating the ROI

You already know what you want to achieve and what changes this process requires. Let’s decide if it is economically reasonable. To begin with, we will determine the cost value.

Cost of equipment and software

To implement any RFID system, we divide the costs into two categories:

Short-term or system launch costs:

  • RFID-tag readers, antennas, supplies for installation.
  • RFID-tags, disposable or reusable. Equipment for their printing.
  • Software and integrations with existing software, such as ERP, WMS and CRM systems.
  • Installation, testing and configuration services.

Long-term or maintenance costs:

  • Maintenance of equipment.
  • Software maintenance.
  • Consumables for tags printing.

How reasonable is this?

Knowing the estimated cost of implementation, try to calculate the economic benefits. After then you can roughly estimate the expected return of investments (ROI).

It is clear that these are not accurate calculations. But you can estimate the time and financial costs of RFID-technology implementation.

Determining the implementability

This point overlaps with the previous one, but we brought it in separately

From our experience, we have identified two main reasons why RFID may not be suitable for a particular implementation:

  1. The negative impact of the environment and technological processes on RFID-tags reading. This can be large temperature fluctuations, radio interference, possible mechanical damage, and so on.
  2. Cost and return on investments. You can run RFID in production, but the implementation price will be higher than expected.

Now you can answer the question “Is RFID suitable for my business?”

We hope you will find this information useful. In the near future, we will publish the next part, with 10 questions and answers. In order not to miss it, subscribe to our channel in Medium or to our social networks Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter.

See you!

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