24 Oct ROI of RFID
Automation speeds up processes, removes human error, and lets real human resources be allocated for higher level processes. That’s the gist of how and why it works in manufacturing; it works with safety and equipment tracking systems like SUPERTRACK in a similar fashion. Extended benefits below:
Rev Up Warehouse and Pre-Distribution Processes:
Replacing point-and-read, labor-intensive processes used to track pallets, cases and individual products with RFID allows companies to track items as they move from through various key locations. Because the process is streamlined and automated, labor costs can be reduced, productivity improved, and resources can be allocated to cover more strategic tasks and better scale operations.
Improvements in productivity can deliver realized labor costs reductions of 7.5 percent or more in warehouse applications, and from 5 to 40 percent in regional distribution centers. Taking the well-touted Wal-Mart experience into account, a 2014 article in Forbes magazine discusses how RFID can help avoid inventory issues. Beyond inventory, Wal-Mart uses RFID to realize a dramatic reduction of pallet-build processes from the original 90 seconds to an even faster 11 seconds-a reduction of almost 90 percent.
Enhance Distributor Relationships:
Embedding or adding RFID at the product level can help your distributors reduce labor costs and service fees related to regular stock management and inventory. In fact, handling out-of-stock restocking and replenishment tasks can be reduced by 15 percent to 20 percent with RFID.
When an item is out-of-stock, 20 percent of the time customers buy a competitive product (according to Jon C. Stine, Intel Retail Consumer Package Goods: Industry Field Primer, Oct. 28, 2005). In broader studies, the estimated economic impact of such out-of-stocks is around $69 billion in lost revenue due to out-of-stocks (Emory University, the University of St. Gallen and the University Of Colorado, “Retail Out of Stocks:A Worldwide Examination of Extent, Causes and Consumer Response”). RFID product tracking enhances inventory visibility and forecasting which in turn has an immediate impact on retaining sales and market share lost to out-of-stocks In fact, item-level RFID tagging can yield up to 50 percent improvement in stock availability (see “RFID and Retail: Little Return for Case and Pallet Tagging by Scott Langdoc and Kara Romanow). In the Wal-Mart example, RFID delivered an average 16 percent reduction in product out-of-stocks (see EPC Reduces Out-of-Stocks at Wal-Mart).
Acheive Inventory Accuracy:
Inventory accuracy improves visibility and insight into materials availability and supports optimized just-in-time production models. RFID technologies materials, track work-in-process and speed finished goods through the supply chain. Implementing RFID technologies improves helps minimize costly inventory errors, reducing production delays and lowering production reconfiguration costs that often result from material or demand-planning issues. In addition, visibility into distribution and retail channels helps OEMs track delivered goods more accurately and manage and match demand better. Cost savings through reduced inventory via lower safety stock requirements net 10 to 30 percent savings, according to a 2003 Accenture report, “Auto-ID on Demand: The Value of Auto-ID Technology in Consumer Packaged Goods Demand Planning.” As a bonus, RFID-based inventory management reduces out-of-stock, lowers inventory carry costs and lessens the need for write-offs of obsolete inventory.
Minimalize Loss and Shrinkage:
Loss due to theft or misplacement of products and equipment is estimated to cost retailers over $30 billion per year, and 1.7 percent of overall sales, according to Ernst & Young. With RFID, pallets, cartons and products can be tracked through the supply chain to pinpoint product location and eliminate inventory errors. Just as important, RFID technologies enable companies to find where in the process the product was lost, when all parties adopt the RFID model. AMR Research’s Langdoc and Romanow estimate an 18 percent reduction in shrink using RFID.
Avoid Supply Chain Errors:
Replacing manual bar-code scanning with automated RFID information capture eliminates data-entry errors, reducing both inventory tracking mistakes and costly labor spend required to resolve those mistakes. RFID can help you recoup the cost of bad data, which is estimated to cost manufacturers $2 million for every $1 billion in sales. A.T. Kearney predicts that eliminating bad data could save $10 billion per year (“RFID/EPC: Managing the Transition”).
Secure & Manage Capital Assets:
Important assets such as shop equipment and containers can be difficult to track, maintain and secure. Not only do RFID technologies increase capital asset accountability and visibility, but such technologies are also ideal for locating movable assets, streamlining maintenance scheduling and providing assurance of maintenance performance. Workflow can be optimized by 20 percent or more and losses prevented, according to studies by Alinean.
Meet Market Mandates to Unlock Revenue Opportunities:
Leaders across many industries have mandated RFID functionality and compliance in order to participate in their system. RFID is required to meet such mandates, and provides an advantage for those who proactively implement the technology. In many cases, RFID is not just a business benefit, but a requirement for doing business. Recent Federal Regulations call for shorter and more precise tracking in critical industries such as food and pharmaceuticals. RFID is the vanguard of response to such mandates.
Robin J Wright