Item-level Tagging in Distribution and Logistics

Increase visibility and accuracy  of the supply chain by providing real-time visibility to product flow with SmartX HUB RFID

The Evolution of Item-level RFID Tagging

The conflux of shipping and receiving at distribution centers, as well as the putting away and picking of inventory make them an ideal place to introduce item-level RFID tagging.
Distribution center management can significantly reduce the amount of travel time lost in the picking and putting away of inventory, as well as dramatically improve the accuracy of inventory counts, order fulfillment, shipping, order delivery and the verification and proof of delivery. Item-level tagging provides a level of visibility that helps eliminate shortages, disputes and costly write-downs.
Item-level RFID provides the warehouse with an ideal tool to close the gap to “perfect order” where product delivery is complete, on time, and damage free, and essentially applies a principled philosophy to achieve increased efficiency like manufacturing has with Six Sigma.
The reason that manufacturing can achieve such high levels of efficiency is because of the levels of automation that are associated with assembly.
Item-level RFID enables a new set of automation tools to increase efficiency in its primary objective, receiving and shipping product.
The intelligence derived from this new philosophy, enabled by item-level RFID, can be used to improve business processes, reduce workloads, improve decision making, and increase efficiencies that ultimately drive down costs and provide a competitive advantage.

How does it work?

Item-level RFID tagging occurs when an RFID tag is placed on each individual item at a determined point in the supply chain. The earlier in the supply chain an item is tagged indicates an intent for increased and additional tracking and visibility capabilities.

Item-level tagging can be used in conjunction with new or existing case- and pallet-level tagging operations. The item-level tags can then be associated with the case and pallet tags to provide a heightened level of checks and balances, ensuring that every item in every lot or pallet is what and where it needs to be.

Solving Problems with SmartX HUB RFID

Collapsing the supply chain — shrinking the time it takes for finished products to get from the front end of manufacturing, through distribution and transportation, to the shelves of a store and into the hands of the consumer — impacts the bottom line for all businesses. Master the supply chain and succeed; fall behind and fail.

The supply chain has been affected by various technologies over the years. Few, if any, have had the promise of SmartX HUB RFID. Unlike other technologies that might have provided incremental benefits, SmartX HUB RFID can significantly increase the speed of information and maximize supply chain efficiencies.

Smartx HUB RFID allows users to know the location and status of RFID tagged containers, pallets, cartons, or individual assets at all times. Unlike a bar code, which must be visually located and scanned for on-demand operation, an “always-on” RFID tag simply awaits the reader signal to access real-time critical business information at any time.

The SmartX HUB technology has shown it can increase sales and reduce labor costs. It also significantly aids in asset protection and counterfeiting. The intelligence it provides can greatly benefit every business within the supply chain as they search for ways to be more efficient, run a leaner operation, grow revenue, and expand profit margins.

Benefits of Item-level Tagging in Distribution and Logistics

Item-level RFID adoption represents perhaps one of the greatest near-term opportunities for businesses to improve operations throughout the supply chain. With many recently documented and achievable use cases, item-level RFID tagging has become widely viewed as a key competitive advantage and business differentiator.

Distributing inventory is a labor-intensive, expensive, and time-consuming challenge. Item-level RFID tagging provides an unprecedented level of visibility of a distribution center’s overall inventory. With it, businesses can have accurate, near-real-time intelligence into inventory records, and know where items are in a facility at all times.

SmartX HUB RFID provides the intelligence necessary to maintain a smaller safety stock which equates to reductions in holding costs and provides for greater efficiency in the distribution center.

SmartX HUB Item-level RFID extends electronic proof of delivery beyond order delivery of cases and pallets. It provides item-specific confirmation that can reduce costs associates with shortage disputes, write-downs and labor.

The granular detail of item-level proof of delivery can significantly reduce the number of shortage disputes. Due to this increased order accuracy, invoices can enter procurement payment processes faster at the retailer.

Order accuracy and fill rates are improved with instant verification that the right items are picked and loaded for shipment. Order integrity is essential because claims and returns are costly to process and settle.
In addition, as transportation costs rise, item-level RFID helps businesses automatically track shipments to ensure they are transported cost-effectively to their proper destination.

What makes RFID different from bar coding?

RFID technology is a natural fit for some applications offering incremental benefits and works in a complementary fashion, or partners with bar codes in others. Although RFID tags and bar codes provide similar data capture functionality, there are a number of differences:

SmartX HUB your partner for RFID solutions

Now is the right time to invest in RFID. Choosing the right vendor for your enterprise operations is a critical business decision that will impact your bottom line. The right decision will mean the difference between implementation success or failure.

SmartX HUB’s RFID expertise goes beyond products. SmartX HUB understands the supply chain and has the deep vertical market expertise to ensure proper system design. Alongside our partners, we’ve focused on just that — helping companies implement solutions that enhance the efficiency of their supply chain.

To get more information on how we can help you overcome the challenges to your manufacturing business or to check out a free demo, contact us.

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