There are two basic types of RFID systems – passive and active. Passive systems use passive RFID tags and active systems use active RFID tags. The basic warehouse workflow is the same in both types. RFID tags are placed on each cargo unit and read-write equipment is installed at the entry to the warehouse. When a cargo unit moves through the warehouse, the read-write equipment registers its movement and forwards the data to a backend system.
The benefits of RFID for inventory management are many. First, it provides greater visibility throughout the supply chain. Second, it lets the users know what materials are on hand and what needs to be ordered. Third, RFID helps reduce labor costs by automating certain inventory management processes. In addition, it helps reduce labor hours. With this, employees are freed to focus on customer service. RFID also eliminates the need for manual count and barcodes. This results in cost savings and frees up more employees to perform other tasks.
RFID systems work best in linear facilities. Complex facilities may require a different system. RFID systems are most effective for large items that are difficult to scan with barcodes. RFID labels eliminate the need to manually scan every single item. They also help prevent excessive inventories and dead items. Moreover, automated messages allow store staff to identify missing items without touching them. This eliminates human error from inventory management.