The hottest RFID can really subvert supply chain m

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RFID: can it really subvert supply chain management

recently, Wal Mart suppliers in China have been testing a new technology - RFID (radio frequency identification). In 2005, Wal Mart will adopt this technology in global logistics and distribution

seize opportunities. Maybe many people are not familiar with this technology, but in 2005, when you walked into any Wal Mart supermarket, including China's. The shopping scene will be beyond your imagination: when you take something off the shelf, a wireless signal will remind the employee to replenish the goods on the shelf and tell him where to look in the warehouse

if he mistakenly puts the goods he picked up on another shelf, he will be warned with a "bang". At the same time, you don't have to queue up to go through the checkout exit. An electronic reader will automatically scan the items in your shopping cart and charge on your debit card

money saving RFID

if you briefly summarize the benefits of RFID, it is money saving. In 2003, Wal Mart, the world's largest retailer, announced a resolution requiring its top 100 suppliers to use electronic label technology when sending pallets and packaging boxes to the company's distribution center by January 2005; Before January, 2006, this technology must be used in every single commodity

it is estimated that Wal Mart can save $8.35 billion annually by adopting electronic label technology

unlike bar code system, RFID system does not need line of sight contact when identifying labels, which means that RFID can truly realize automation without manual scanning. Even when the goods are loaded in the truck and cannot be seen outside, they can be identified. In addition, RFID tags store much more information than bar code tags. It can record information such as serial number, color, size, production date, current price and experienced supply chain links of commodities. Some RFID systems also support information writing, modification or locking, so that tags become a dynamic database. These applications are of great significance to the inventory management of high-end goods, which makes it possible to realize real-time information and automatic sorting and tally

this just solves the challenge that retailers always face: how to deliver the right goods to the right location in time and keep them intact. The application of RFID will minimize the labor cost originally used to monitor the flow of goods and inventory, and enable manufacturers and retailers to better monitor the entire supply chain

moreover, RFID can be applied not only to goods, but also to trucks, trailers, pallets and other equipment, and even raw materials. This ubiquitous RFID application will bring unimaginable supply chain changes. Moreover, combined with smart cards, RFID can identify the identity of operators, and even automatically alarm if someone steals

rfid has recently been warmly pursued by foreign investors. Accenture even predicted that this technology would trigger a supply chain revolution. It is predicted that retailers or consumer goods manufacturers using RFID technology can save nearly 3% of the total labor cost of the warehouse, mainly because the efficiency of handling such links as receiving and delivery has been improved

in addition, this technology has great potential benefits in Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). Consumer goods manufacturers can use RFID to obtain goods information and exchange information through the network, which can more efficiently make up their inventory in important customer factories, save plastic products for both sides, and reduce the production cost of car enterprises by 20% - 40%, or even higher inventory and shortage costs

cost is the biggest challenge

although in the long run, RFID technology is both economical and practical, like its advantages, its disadvantages are also very prominent: the cost and early-stage investment are too high

in fact, RFID tags have been used in automatic charging systems and security identification for a long time, but they cannot be popularized due to their high cost. Although the cost of tags has continued to decline in recent years, the cost of tags and recognizers is still relatively high, which has become a major obstacle to the wider application of RFID

even with the continuous innovation of technology, the tag price began to decline, but in 2000, RFID tags were still $1 each, and the current price is 25-40 cents. Compared with bar codes, this is the sky high price. Experts predict that it will fall to a level of no more than 5 cents in the next few years. However, considering that labels should be applied to all individual products, 5 cents is still too expensive. But on the other hand, for high-value commodities such as boxes, pallets, carts and household appliances, RFID has shown some attraction

the second is the maturity of technology. Because RFID technology is not mature enough, the convenience and cost savings it brings are easily offset by the high recognition failure rate and damage rate. An experiment conducted by auto ID center in October, 2002 found that even if the pallet with RFID tag was attached with double tag, there was still a failure rate of 3%; However, only 78% of the information of individual labeled pallets can be accurately read. This shows that this technology needs to be constantly improved

fortunately, many companies, especially some large companies with industry status, are aware of the opportunities brought by RFID technology and strive to seize a place in this growing market. Recently, Sun Microsystems of the United States proposed a concept to gather the information of every commodity in the mall. A person in charge of Sun said that sun is about to release a software that can capture information in readers and databases and then transmit it to supply chain partners. The attention of more and more large enterprises has made the prospect of RFID clearer

however, at the beginning of implementing RFID, any company whose scale cannot be comparable with Wal Mart has to go through a difficult period of time. In addition to spending US $13million to US $23million, steel bars (slabs) have to be squeezed and tested to adapt to a large number of new rules. So far, only a small number of retailers have announced that they are ready to adopt this technology, and most retailers are still waiting to see the trend of market leaders. Maybe Wal Mart starts to use it and achieves success, RFID will really be "hot"

RFID technology, which has appeared since the "World War II"

RFID is not a new technology. During World War II, radar technology was improved and used on a large scale. In this context, RFID came into being in 1948. The next two decades are the development stage of RFID theory and laboratory application. It was not until the 1970s that this technology was put into practical application. Since then, the development of RFID has experienced twists and turns. Due to the high cost and the lack of unified standards, it has never been able to be applied on a large scale. In 1999, the auto ID center was established. Led by the Massachusetts Institute of technology, the center includes representatives of five famous universities, software integrators and nearly 100 major target customers, such as P & G, Unilever and UPS. The center is committed to promoting the establishment of RFID global standards and promoting RFID technology to truly affect the development of the supply chain. Thus, the development of RFID has entered a golden age

simple RFID system

a tag with a built-in chip and antenna, which can be printed on the tag like ink

a recognizer that interacts with tags (similar to wireless LAN). There are many kinds of labels to choose from in different environments. "Passive tag" is mainly used in the retail supply chain. It obtains energy from the recognizer and then feeds back the information to the recognizer. "Active tag" has a built-in battery, which supports long-distance information interaction. The recognizer can be fixed or portable. The identification range of RFID system ranges from a few centimeters to tens of meters, which depends on the frequency used. It has been 10 years since the main quarterman joined Parker company. It is dynamic or passive, as well as the direction of antenna and recognizer


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