In this article we are going to analyze de 10 advantages of the RFID labels.
What does the RFID is?
The RFID is a system that allows the radiofrequency identification of items, people or animals. Its main advantage is that the identification is not made in a visually way between the code and the receiver, as it happens with the barcodes, but it is done by radiofrequency, and there is no need of physical vision. This advantage represents a substantial difference, in terms of the speed and reliability of the management, as we will see below.
Each RFID label has a unique reference, which allows the traceability and individual identification of each object that has been tagged.
What are the 10 advantages of the RFID labels?
Quickness in the items, animals or people identification.
Everything that is tagged with an RFID label can be identified quickly through radiofrequency. The UHF radiofrequency systems (860 – 960 MHz) can read a thousand different references in a matter of a few seconds and at an approximately distance of 8-10 meters.
The fact that this technology can identify through radiofrequency, and does not require a visual reading of each code allows it to capture and identify a multitude of codes per second even when the labels are not in the field of vision of the readers. In this way, by not needing physical vision, the RFID system allows you to identify the codes of the items that are in your scene automatically, even when the item is inside its bag or box.
The RFID system reads RFID tags permanently when they are within their radius of action. The reading is automatic, and generates a reliable system that provides a wide range of information at a low cost for the items’ identification.
The RFID system implies a reduction of costs in the management with regard to other traditional systems. The flair of being able to read and identify items automatically, without transaction costs in each reading allows to manage any project very effectively and economically. To see its potential, we could compare the cost in time for the reading of 1,000 codes. If we consider that with the barcode system, we can read 2-3 codes per second, we would need approximately 5-6 minutes to carry out an inventory of 1,000 units. The same thing, with the RFID system would take a few seconds, and it would not be necessary to manipulate the merchandise to look for the code physically. We would read it even when it is inside its packaging.
In addition to this data, we can consider that the readings of the RFID tags are made automatically. We may think that each time we pass a box with X references inside by a pass area equipped with RFID reading antennas, there will be an automatic identification of the contents of the box, and all this without transaction costs, without searching for codes, … We identify the content, we record the exit or entry into the stock, in essence the movement of goods in an automated way, thus reaching a system that guarantees traceability at a very low cost.
Permanent inventories Abundance of information to avoid stock shortages
With the RFID labels reading we can make inventories permanently. If we use RFID reading antennas in the storage area in order to make a real time reading of the available items, we will have real-time information of the stocks that we have available whenever we want.
This particularity of the system of constant inventories in real time and at low cost makes the management of any business project easier, especially in the current Omnichannel context, where consumers interact with the provider through various offline and online channels simultaneously. These multiple interactions require to have an agile management system that identifies any object quickly, efficiently and with low cost.
Having accurate and real-time information allows you to sell online, pick up in store, carry out logistics from stores, among many other options, which ultimately allows us to come to consider each store as a distribution warehouse for the product… All this can be done because you have the necessary information in each moment for the decision making and carrying out the management.
The traditional systems of manual inventories through barcodes that were made once, twice or three times a year, and at a high cost are losing their usefulness due to the need to have the information updated at any time in order to offer the consumer what they need, where, when, and how they need it.
The permanent products readings allow the immediate location of any stock shortage, thus being able to develop and implement proactive management systems that pre-alert any possible problem automatically.
Improvement of the product replacement system
The permanent reading of the RFID labels that we have already mentioned has other implications and advantages. While identifying possible stock shortage in the product, it provides us the necessary information to manage the replenishments at the sales point. We may have experienced going to a sales point in which the product we were looking for was exhausted. In many cases, the problem is not that it was exhausted, because in all probability, it would be found in the warehouse. Now, very possibly the sales staff has not identified the stock shortage at the sales point, and consequently has not proceeded to its replacement. Well, with RFID systems this can also be automated and managed effectively. The system can identify which quantity of each product is available in the sales area, and detect if there is indeed a reference that has a stock lower than desired, or is even sold out. In these cases, it will generate replacement alert to ensure that the consumer always finds the product available as expected and desired.
Those establishments that do not have fixed antennas throughout the exhibition area, can also solve these situations by making periodic readings with mobile readers. Whether through fixed antennas or mobile readers, the important thing is to be able to perform constant readings that allow us to identify any possible shortage of the product, and thus improve the product replacement system at the sales point.
Facility for the management of selective communication
The possibility of identifying each product univocally allows us to know which particular product is in a certain place and time, and this allows us to select the information we want to communicate or transmit at that precise moment. The effectiveness of communications depends on when, where, how and to whom we do it. Now, if we know that a product has been chosen by a consumer, at that moment in which it shows interest in the product is when we can communicate certain advantages of the product, other related products to manage a cross sale of other complementary products…
Imagine that a customer goes to a fitting room with a navy-blue jacket, size 46. That information allows us to identify the product of interest at that moment. Thus, we can relate other articles that may be interest to our customer at this moment. Thus, in the display of the tester we can provide information on the available shirts of the same size, pants that can go with that jacket, ties …, multiplying in this way the possibilities of sale of other related products.
With this example we can see the potential of RFID systems for the sales generation. As you can see, the advantages are not only generated by the part of the reduction of operating costs, but also by the sales generations.
Facility in the collection’s management at the sales point
The traditional systems require reading each barcode located inside each product. Once again, the possibility of identifying objects by radiofrequency, and without the need to read each code in a visible way, allows us to manage the collection of the products selected by the client quickly and effectively. This is an important advantage, especially in sectors such as fashion retail, where sales are concentrated in very specific moments in time (sales, Christmas, …). The facility to quickly identify all selected items, and thus manage the collection quickly is an important advantage that prevents consumers from leaving certain products in front of the boxes to avoid long queues and waiting times for payment.
In addition to the above, it also allows to make self-check-out systems easier, where the costumer can enter all the selected products in a reading drawer for the automatic identification of all the content that allows them to manage the payment easily and quickly.
Facility in the return’s processing
One of the characteristics of RFID labels is that each of them has a unique and unrepeatable reference. In this way, although there are several products of the same model, size and color at the sales point, for the RFID system, we have as many different references as products. Thus, when we make a product sale, we identify the product, being able to differentiate it quickly and easily from others, even when they have the same characteristics (same size, color, reference…). This feature allows us to identify if the return of any product corresponds to the same product that was previously sold, and therefore, this identification allows us to manage the return without tickets, knowing all the details of the previous sale without any mistake.
As we will see later, one of the advantages of managing with RFID label is to guarantee the authenticity of the products. In the return process, a differential value is also provided in the management through the RFID system, because we identify whether the product that is being returned is a genuine product or not. The possibility of uniquely identifying the reference of the product allows us to identify if the reference that we are now going to manage as a return is exactly the same that we sold. On how many occasions has there been a sale of a genuine product, and a return of a counterfeit product? With the use of RFID labels this possibility is absolutely limited.
Big data analysis and artificial intelligence systems integration
The characteristics of RFID systems based on multiple readings, at high speed, without the need for code visibility for reading through radio frequency, allow us to obtain a lot of information that can also incorporate the data on the product’s location. This combination generates a very abundant information that can be analyzed in an advanced way for decision making and for the management of any system. We thus enter into the possibilities that both big data and artificial intelligence can provide, with the RFID system being a perfect complement to these technologies. This association allows to generate important benefits through the crossing of multiple information that without a doubt are already multiplying the effectiveness of any management system.
High added value information on the product
In one of the previous points we have talked about the importance of verifying the authenticity of a product. In this case, we referred to the return process, but it can also be of high added value for the consumer that the product can be read in the sales process and that it obtains the guarantee that it is really a genuine product.
There is more information that can be identified quickly, easily, with a low cost and that can generate an important added value in the management process through RFID systems. Imagine the possibility of identifying expiration dates, what products belong to a certain manufacturing lot… that allow us to withdraw from the sales area those products that may be unfit, or identify those that will expire in a few days. All this would allow specific promotions to try to generate the sale before the expiration date arrival.
We have seen some of the RFID labels advantages. Obviously, there are more than those listed here, and in fact, RFID is an identification system that can be applied in multiple situations and projects. The issue is that we must consider it as a management tool, applicable to any project and sector to generate abundant quality information at a reduced cost, and with high efficiency in its management.
The main advantage that we offer in ETI – TEXTIL is that we are manufacturers of RFID labels, and we can produce any RFID label with the measures, materials, and specifications that are necessary for each product and project. In addition to the standardized RFID label solutions, we have the technological means to manufacture customized RFID labels.
We invite you to contact us to let us know the needs and particularities of your project or product.