What is RFID Asset Tagging?
Any physical asset is exactly that, an asset. Asset tagging will help you to track your assets, for a number of reasons:
To ensure loss is minimized
To ensure maximum use is made of your assets
To manage repair / maintenance of assets
To manage PAT testing schedules
Saving money, by understanding your assets better your make better use of t h e m and save m o n e y against waste and loss
RFID is part of many asset management systems and forms the link between the asset itself and the database that stores the required information for that asset. But the system itself allows you to maximize the usage of your assets.
How Does RFID Work?
There are a number of types of RFID tags using slightly different technology within them to communicate with a reader.
An RFID tag will usually contain an aerial and a microchip. Some will contain a battery but mos t will not. All RFID uses radio frequency t o communicate, some operate on High Frequency some on Ultra High
Frequency. The m a i n difference is t h e distance t h e signal can travel, UHF travels further t h a n HF as a rule of thumb . There are also b o t h powered and passive RFID tags, p u t simply, p o we r e d tags have a
battery and can send a signal further, passive has no battery a n d
generates charge f r o m t h e radio signal it receives f r o m t h e reader, its signal is not as strong and therefore doesn’t travel as far.
There are ma n y systems on the market today, most systems, will use RFID instead of a barcode, t h o u g h this is not a necessity it has a n u m b e r of key benefits.
Firstly, the ability to read multiple i tems quickly and simply. A recent retail application of RFID showed a mo re accurate read was achieved than a manual
barcode scan process.
Secondly, the speed of the data capture wi t h the RFID system was less than 5% of the t i me taken in a manual process.
Example Use Case
Picture a large warehouse full of inventory, any k i n d of inventory. Almost every organisation running such a place wo u l d require a monthly, perhaps quarterly or possibly just an annual check of t hat inventory. The cost of d o i n g t h a t ishigh, t h e accuracy in a m a n u a l
process is low. So, you have a h i g h cost l o w accuracy process, wh i c h basically means an expensive waste of t ime.
By using an RFID based, probably a UHF passive system, t h e process is entirely different. The read accuracy should be 99%+, t h e speed of t h e process should equate t o less t h a n a couple of percent of a manual process.
The end result is a very accurate, very quick stock take, which has great value b o t h in terms of t i m e saved and stock management.
But, and it’s a big but, you shouldn’t need to do t h a t at all!
The fact you have an RFID based asset t racking / m a n a g e m e n t system operational means you should have a live asset database that’s accurate, wouldn’t t h a t be a revelation.
Benefits t o RFID Asset Tagging
Retail stores have shown an 8% – 10% sales g ro w t h f ro m
knowing wh a tthey have in real time. Using RFID
technology for real t i me stock analysis means popular
items don’ t run out of stock.
RFID allow i tems to be identified quickly and reliably. The speed of data capture using an RFID system is less than 5% of the t i me taken in a manual process
Who Will Perform The Asset Tagging Procedure?
This is number 1 on the list of asset tagging challenges to consider for a very good reason. As a commercial asset tagging company we’ve seen the results of badly tagged assets, across a n u m b e r of industries.
Your first instinct is probably to use your own staff to perform the task, that wold be the natural conclusion. Please don’t, or if you do, ma k e sure that the asset data being i n p u t is closely monitored. Managing the quality of the tagging process is essential.
The difference between using a commercial tagging company and internal staff, in ma n y instances but not all, is the quality of the work. There’s often a t e mp t a t i o n to use staff w h o may well see the system as a negative not a positive. Asset tagging is often seen as a big brother system, a security system showing a mistrust of staff, or an opportunity to have less staff. None of these things will help your asset tagging process. Other companies have used agency staff to perform the tagging, again not a good plan, we’ve seen the results, they are generally not good.
RFID asset t racking is a m e t h o d t o quickly and efficiently m o n i t o r assets of almost any type. It protects f r o m losses, manages the use of your assets, maximizes returns on assets, increases overall efficiency and ultimately saves both time and money.
Ma x i m u m efficiency is achieved through intense management of any tagged assets, creating all the obvious benefits t h a t surround t h a t result.
The RFID element of the system is the conduit f r o m the asset itself t o the database t h a t manages the asset data. A n u m b e r of RFID system type scan be utilized w i t h different benefits and costs to each.
The key challenges revolve around implementation , from tagging your