Many companies come to us with questions about RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification).
They recognize that their current material identification solutions aren’t doing enough. Manual methods are costly and error prone. Even barcode scanners can lead to mistakes — ever struggle with a smudged label or miss a scan? Material identification and control are critical to site safety, and mistakes mean additional risks for employees.
Companies come to us knowing RFID offers a potential solution. As business leaders start gathering information, excitement for the project grows.
RFID Worries and Fear
Unfortunately, the excitement sometimes fizzles out.
What seemed like a great solution at first can suddenly put the company into a panic. There are questions about how much it will cost and if it really offers a benefit over current identification methods. Who will handle the implementation? Will it cause more problems than it solves? Some of the old hands and experienced workers may not share the excitement. Change can be frightening, and doubt creeps in. Is RFID the right solution?
These are good questions, but they are also dangerous. A company in need can suddenly do nothing. While the industry and their competitors are moving forward with the latest identification solutions, they are sitting stagnant.
Luckily, getting started with RFID is much easier than you might think.
What is RFID?
With RFID, data and information can be encoded on a tag or label. The information can then be transmitted via radio waves to readers that collect and store it.
This offers tremendous advantages over other methods of identification, such as barcode scanners or manual tracking. RFID is automated, and it can also hold and transmit more information than other methods.
Manufacturers and businesses using RFID see a host of benefits — streamlined data collection, error-free work, greater access to data and increased job site safety.
Tips for Getting Started with RFID
Even with all those benefits, many companies are still reluctant to change or adapt. In today’s hyper-competitive market, where the next crisis is waiting just around the corner, doing nothing is no longer an option.
Getting started with RFID is much easier than you might think. Keep these thoughts in mind as you evaluate whether RFID is right for you.
RFID Options for Every Need
There is no single RFID solution. RFID comes in a range of technologies and formats, allowing businesses to select the solution that’s right for them and their requirements.
For example, you may need a low frequency tag which transfers data a little slower than other options. Higher frequency RFID can transmit data faster, but transmission can be impacted by the environment. In addition, you can have handheld readers, passive, semi-passive and active tags. Passive tags draw power from the reader, while active tags have their own battery.
There are a wealth of solution options. The RFID provider can help you choose the right setup and technology for your business and requirements.
A Growing List of RFID Applications
As the technology grows, businesses are finding more and more ways to use RFID.
For example, RFID can be used to collect data in hazardous areas like coil fields. You can get the information you need even if no employee is on site. RFID can work as a tracking device in a facility, or can restrict movement (a great solution for on-site COVID-19 social distancing). It can prevent access to dangerous areas or automatically open doors. Some solutions offer monitoring for both employees and visitors.
Retail stores are using RFID as a way to protect against and deter thefts. Even marketing departments are using RFID to track user engagement or activate digital marketing campaigns at geographic locations. Possible applications are growing every day.
RFID is Easy to Manage
RFID isn’t scary. It’s just another way of collecting and using information.
Businesses today know that data and information are critical for business success. Unlocking, accessing and using that information has been difficult for some companies. For many, RFID is the key. With RFID, you’re getting quicker and easier access to that useful data, data your business is constantly generating, but that you may have no idea is there.
Once you have your RFID up and running, it’s simple to integrate and transfer the information to the systems and people who need it.
RFID Is Inexpensive
Many companies are shocked at the cost savings from RFID. Early RFID solutions were expensive, but costs have gone down over time as production techniques and materials have become more affordable.
While expenses may be initially higher, the business will rapidly accumulate savings after implementation. This is not only a significant hard cost savings, as you’ll see labor costs go down and production increase, but also a soft cost savings as errors and mistakes are reduced. Overall, the business operates more efficiently and effectively as your team works with more accurate, timely information.
Easy Steps to Launching an RFID Pilot Program
Many companies are reluctant to test RFID in their facility. There’s a belief it is too hard to use, and too difficult to integrate with current processes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are only a few tools you need to get started, namely the RFID tags and a reader. After that, you’ll need software to collect the data. Working with a company that includes experts in RFID, you can design the scope and details of the project once you have goals in place.
Overall, setting up a pilot program is quick and easy, and soon you’ll have the data and proof you need to prove the ROI and benefit of a larger project.
See What RFID Can Do for You
Before dropping your plans to upgrade your material identification strategy with RFID, or delaying an RFID pilot program, contact the experts at GO2 Partners. Discuss your needs and requirements with them and see if they can clear up some of the confusion and misinformation that can cloud your initial assessment.
Don’t wait on improving operations. RFID is an established tool and technology with a wide range of applications. It provides accuracy and streamlined data collection and control for operations, unlocking efficiency and cost savings that many companies didn’t realize were there.
Let the team at GO2 see what they can do for you.