The Role of RFID Tags and Label Products in Warehouse Management

Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

The warehouse industry has evolved a lot since the pen and paper days. However, maintaining an accurate and latest picture of your entire operations is still a challenge for many. And it is pretty apparent when you have millions of square feet of storage to keep tabs on.

Fortunately, RFID tagging has entered the scene. It helps reduce human error and streamline warehouse operations, making RFID technology a critical element of the supply chain manager’s toolbox.

What is RFID?

RFID stands for radio frequency identification. It is a form of wireless technology that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data and track items.

An RFID system is comprised of labels and tags, readers (handheld or fixed), and printers.

RFID can help identify and monitor labels and tags attached to objects. The labels and tags can contain humongous amounts of electronically stored information.

On the one hand, active labels and tags have a local power source (for example, battery) and can operate even from hundreds of feet from the RFID reader.

On the other hand, passive labels or tags gather energy from the closest RFID reader’s radio waves.

The RFID labels or tags do not need to be close to the sight of the reader. So, you can embed them in the tracked container or product. With a barcode, you cannot do that.

You would see RFID technology across many industries, and it can monitor everything from your passport to your family pet.

RFID technology helps monitor and identify in real-time, so quite evident that it has become an indispensable tool for warehouse management and inventory control.

The Advantages of RFID Tags

RFID Tagging Can Be Used in Many Industries

RFID tags have a wide variety of applications across industries. For example, you can use an RFID tag or label attached to a container or product to monitor its whereabouts throughout the time it was in a warehouse.
Accurate location monitoring using RFID helps you manage your warehouse efficiently. Furthermore, it gives you broader visibility into inventory management as products move within the warehouse across the supply chain.

Do Not Require Line of Sight

One of the best parts of RFID tagging is that it does not need a line of sight for scanning, unlike barcodes. When it comes to barcode labels, someone with a fixed position or hand-held scanner has to check the label to get a successful scan.

Because RFID tags and labels can easily be read from any orientation, it expedites the scanning process and diminishes the labor associated with repositioning boxes for scanning.
Scanners can also read multiple labels or tags at the same time so that you can scan an entire pallet-load of items simultaneously.

Reduces Labor Costs

You can cut down labor expenses significantly with RFID tagging as well. Labor can account for up to 80% of expenses in a warehouse. With RFID tags and laves, you can complete inventory count, inventory check-in, shipment verifications, and picking times in seconds.

RFID tags and labels are made to be scanned in groups. This means you can scan as many assets as you want at once. It diminishes the manual labor aspect of individually scanning every item.

Facilitate Automation

You would need multiple employees to manage and complete the warehouse processes using barcodes and scanners in many cases. However, with RFID tags, those tasks can be handled automatically with just a few scans.
Moreover, sometimes, RFID systems can read an entire warehouse of inventory in a couple of minutes. Thus, it effectively reduces the inventory management process from days and weeks down to hours.

Improve Accuracy

RFID tagging also improves the accuracy of inventory location by offering faster screening and real-time updates.

When you implement RFID readers strategically throughout the warehouse, you know accurately when inventory enters or departs from a location. This is better than barcodes. Because with barcodes, anyone in your warehouse can shift an item without scanning it, which could lead to reduced inventory accuracy.

You can also go for RFID tagging to monitor returnable containers or pallets throughout the warehouse. It can reduce theft or loss of assets too.

Returnable or reusable containers require significant capital investments. RFID tags and labels offer a cost-effective way to cut down on those expenses.

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