4 Benefits of Implementing RFID Tracking
Solutions for Your Reusable Assets
2ViziTrace / 215.489.2538 / www.vizitrace.com
Technology is developing at a rapid pace, changing almost every aspect of
business operations. With distribution centers constantly searching for innovative
ways to become more efficient, many are turning to radio frequency identification
RFID technology provides real-time visibility via wireless communication between
the RFID tags and antenna/reader infrastructure. Unlike barcode labels, RFID
tags don’t have to be within an employee’s line of sight to be scanned and read.
This enables higher levels of automation, further reducing costly labor and
accelerating data collection processes.
While the cost of deploying RFID hardware has fallen dramatically over the past
decade, many deployments have been hampered by struggles with managing the
data generated by the tags, turning that data into usable business intelligence,
and integrating RFID with existing inventory, asset, and enterprise resource
Most organizations also lack experience when it comes to deploying and
maintaining these widely dispersed IT systems. There are now software products
and services available, however, that can simplify the design, deployment and
management of RFID solutions – putting them within reach of organizations of any
size, even those with limited IT resources and experience.
ViziTrace software from Advanced Mobile Group can enable this type of
automation for work-in-process (WIP) materials, warehouse and distribution
machinery, tools, IT equipment, files/documents, containers, and even employees
or visitors using RFID-enabled badges.
Moreover, companies need this technology. The loss of reusable or returnable
manufacturing and shipping totes or pallets costs billions of dollars per year
across multiple industries. RFID tags, backed by intelligent and easy-to-deploy
software, can reduce those losses by providing a real-time view of every asset.
3ViziTrace / 215.489.2538 / www.vizitrace.com
Here are four ways that using RFID technology on your reusable assets can benefit your company.
1. Asset Visibility
RFID allows companies to perform complete inventory counts and to locate assets in much less time
than manual methods or even barcode scanning. Fixed-position RFID readers can track inventory
and assets as they enter and leave a room, loading dock, or facility. Handheld readers can be
used to quickly conduct an inventory or asset check in seconds, even when there are dozens (or
hundreds) of items in a location.
That enables companies to conduct more frequent inventory counts and achieve greater asset
visibility. ViziTrace software and services give operations the ability to achieve up to 99% inventory
accuracy using RFID – and to do so with a less complex and costly integration.
Using RFID technology and the ViziTrace solution, a company can automatically know what goods/
or assets have left a facility, floor, or room, and where those items went. With RFID, you will know the
second the asset is received to the second it leaves the facility.
Being able to track totes and other reusable supply chain assets and know where they are in the
shipping process is vital so that staff can prepare the next shipment. Applying RFID to reusable
containers, tools, and other assets provides companies with a way to effectively leverage the
technology in a closed-loop system, while also creating real-time tracking, work-in-process,
maintenance, and other data that can be used both internally and communicated to external
customers or suppliers, enabling end-to-end visibility.
ViziTrace offers Asset Validation features that will enhance your confidence of what is being shipped
or received. Asset Validation is a comparison capability that allows companies to validate or
compare packing lists, ASN, customer orders, etc. to the actual assets that have been counted
automatically with RFID.
4ViziTrace / 215.489.2538 / www.vizitrace.com
2. Proper Management of Assets
RFID tagging enables you to be be notified exactly when containers (like totes, pallets, trays, WIP
carriers, etc.) are returned. With manual or barcode-based methods, there can be significant delay
between when the containers arrive and when staff are made aware that they’ve been returned.
If the shipping containers need to be sterilized or processed in some other way in order to prepare
them for reuse, there is no way to know whether or not (or when) those processes have occurred.
Without accurate data, the containers can’t be used, items can’t ship, and customer shipments are
delayed. This can create additional scheduling problems across the supply chain.
With RFID and automatic alerts, all cleaning/sterilization processes can be tracked and logged. If a
container hasn’t been properly processed, staff can be alerted as soon as the container is scanned.
Containers and other assets can be quickly and efficiently routed through the facility so that they are
available for reuse. This helps optimize container utilization.
Likewise, RFID allows companies to know when containers are ready to be filled and shipped – there
are no guessing games as to how many assets are available or where they might be stored. If you
have 100 pallets of product, but only enough containers for 50 of the pallets, then the order can’t be
shipped. RFID helps ensure you always have the right number of assets and in the right location.
All of these processes can also happen much more quickly because the RFID tags can be
scanned without a line-of-sight requirement. This makes the process quicker, more accurate, and
easier to automate.
5ViziTrace / 215.489.2538 / www.vizitrace.com
3. Increased Employee Productivity
Manual inventory and asset management processes rely on labor – a quarterly inventory
count requires dozens of employees to count and record data, while other more
important work grinds to a halt. With RFID, the technology does the inventory tracking for
you. There is no more manual inventory tracking that requires walking, climbing ladders,
ViziTrace, for example, provides automation that enables 10x more efficient inventory/
asset counting. And RFID software can automatically capture all of that data to generate
built-in and custom reporting.
By eliminating all of the walking, counting, and manual data entry associated with asset
management and inventory counts, companies can slash the time required for these
activities by a significant amount and reduce hours of wasted labor. Employees can
spend more time addressing customer service-related activities, and the productivity
improvement and labor savings can go straight to the bottom line.
6ViziTrace / 215.489.2538 / www.vizitrace.com
4. Loss Prevention
Reusable and returnable assets can help save money by reducing the need for ongoing capital
purchases, but only if companies can actually keep reusing those assets. Often, shipping
containers, totes and pallets are lost, stolen, or redirected within the supply chain by suppliers,
customers, and logistics providers. This not only makes it difficult to ensure asset availability, but
also generates significant costs as companies replace these expensive items each year and hold
extra (and unnecessary) safety stock to help address shortages.
The cost of these losses can be steep. According to the Automotive Industry Action Group, the cost
of replacing lost reusable packaging and pallets just in North America is roughly $750 million per
year. Total plastic pallet and container loss in the U.S. costs somewhere between $800 million and
$1.5 billion annually.
Using RFID and real-time asset management software can provide “last known location” data for
each of these assets, track them as they enter and leave your facilities, and generate automatic
alerts when items have been in the field too long. This makes it easier to find those assets later and
to provide greater accountability for supply chain partners that are responsible for returning them –
they can be presented with date/time-stamped proof that the asset was last located in their facility.
There is little room for error when companies can track these assets 24/7. This helps eliminate theft
and loss, improves security, and eliminates unnecessary container purchases.
7ViziTrace / 215.489.2538 / www.vizitrace.com
Explore How RFID Technology Will Benefit
RFID is a fast developing technology that is becoming more and more
mainstream in the distribution industry. With all of the different softwares on the
market today, you want to ensure that you’re choosing the one that is customized
to your distribution needs.
With ViziTrace, companies can easily install an RFID solution and integrate with
existing databases and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) point of sale
(POS) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, as well as asset
management and warehouse management systems. ViziTrace offers automated
configurations to simplify deployments using automated application configuration
and remote monitoring, and gain business insights using the embedded data
and business analytics features.
As part of the ViziTrace offering, Advanced Mobile Group’s experienced team
of RFID experts can provide an on-site assessment to determine the unique
requirements of your application, and then design a custom solution including
hardware, software, and services. Most solutions can be implemented within 60
days, and Advanced Mobile Group offers full dedicated hardware and software
ViziTrace prides itself on providing the simplest, most effective RFID applications
to maximize your business’s assets.
About Zebra Technologies
With the unparalleled visibility Zebra provides, enterprises become
as smart and connected as the world we live in. Real-time information
– gleaned from visionary solutions including hardware, software and
services – gives organizations the competitive edge they need to
simplify operations, know more about their businesses and customers,
and empower their mobile workers to succeed in today’s data-centric
world. For more information, visit www.zebra.com.
ViziTrace™ is an enterprise-class RFID visibility platform from
Advanced Mobile Group that makes it simpler than ever for any
business to implement RFID quickly and effectively. This platform
reduces human effort and error and gets you on the fast-track to
deploying RFID with pre-built interfaces, handheld apps, highly
configurable software and dependable performance.