What problem are you trying to solve by adopting RFID?

RFID is most valuable when used to reduce high labor costs or reduce high costs of data errors related to item identification and handling. Other problems include when there is time or labor constraints, traceability of an item is critical or more data is needed than a barcode system can provide.

What is the timeframe for RFID implementation?

Depending on how extensive the implementation of the RFID tags is, the time estimate can then be prepared accordingly. If it is as simple as fitting RFID tags on expensive electronics on a floor display in your retail store, it is hardly a day’s work. However, if you wish to create an entire inventory management system for your warehouse, then that would require a significant time and investment to make it happen, as thousands of different products and materials are stored within a warehouse. Depending on the nature of your RFID implementation, you have to decide whether the time frame available to you is adequate or not.

Who is involved in the decision process for implementing RFID and what are their roles?

Considering the views of stakeholders is especially important when adopting a new technology. Problems can emerge at late stages of implementation if all stakeholders are not considered from the start. For example, in the medical industry when a hospital considers adopting RFID, it must not only think of the staff that will be working with this technology everyday but also of the patients that will be exposed to the technology. If the patients’ concerns are addressed before an RFID project starts, then any road bumps that their concerns may result in can be addressed in the beginning without disrupting the project.

How many users do you have?

The sheer potential of RFID technology is endless, from categorizing shipments to tracking and accounting for high-end equipment in retail stores. The real question is how extensively you are planning to implement the RFID technology in your establishment. If you wish to implement an RFID time attendance system, the number of users will be the number of workers in your employment. However, if you wish to keep track of expensive tech in your store, then the number of users will be the number of units, and so on. The cost may vary depending on the type of users; extensive warehouse application will cost far more than using it to keep track of expensive items in your retail store. Furthermore, training is required to make the users familiar with this technology. The amount of training required depends upon the type of implementation that you have done within the establishment.

Do you currently have a wireless backbone in your warehouse?

If your answer to the question is yes, then you already have a head start. Wireless technology improves efficiency in managing the warehouse because unlike barcodes that must be manually scanned to record information on company servers, RFID tags broadcast signals with imbedded information regarding the product attached to the RFID chip and the precise location of that particular product inside the warehouse. RFID tech provides interesting options that complements data collection, as well as identification of the product relevant to the concerned supply-chain management and overall warehouse operation. If your answer is no, and you do wish to implement RFID tags in your warehouse, then a wireless backbone is required to proceed.

20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Implementing RFID

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