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10 things to tell your boss about RFID

When considering an introduction of new technology into your business, it inevitably raises some questions. Convincing your boss that RFID will actually resolve your challenges is perhaps the scariest step but undeniably the most rewarding one to overcome. Here are some of the doubts you might face when discussing about RFID with your boss.

1) why do we need a new system?

The current system might still be excellent but the circumstances are constantly changing, so the requirements for the system are changing too. The increasing need for more efficient performance requires a renewable system as the existing one is designed for serving current processes. We cannot therefore say that there would be something wrong with the current system - only the requirements for the system have changed. Therefore it is advisable to search for another business intelligence option, such as RFID. But, please bear in mind that if your boss has personally selected the current system, stick in pure numbers and figures instead of pointing at the problems.

2) Why RFID?

Start by defining the existing challenges of your company. Which problems can only be solved by RFID compared to other technologies? Most importantly, RFID enables item-specific identification and brings an overall solution for monitoring and locating goods. Dig for some concrete case study results about RFID applications and the actual benefits gained - if your boss will be convinced only by providing him with numeric calculations including potential inventory accuracy and shrinkage percentages, then search for them and reflect the numbers into your company's current status. The most concrete calculation is ROI, Return on Investment. It can never be over-emphasized.

3) Is RFID a safe technology?

Although UHF RFID tag can store much information, it possesses no larger privacy risk for the company than other technologies. The company's own data is valuable and therefore more than worth protecting, as well as customer data. Moreover, GS1 has a tool called RFID Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), which helps companies in assessing privacy risks before a new RFID application is launched onto the market. When an RFID system is implemented within the company, it is crucial to ensure protecting the privacy of the customers as the company might have some personal information of their customers. Also handling customer's personal data should be implemented in regards to current national and local laws and best practices. So no worry, with RFID your data will be safe.

Shutterstock _120499345 Engineer And Boss Discussing

4) How does this impact our logistic processes?

A rule of thumb is that if the whole supply chain is applying RFID, the goods transfer is easier as the goods can be tracked and traced along the delivery chain. In other words, RFID enhances and speeds up the supply chain operations and ensures the goods delivery. Another important fact is that you are constantly aware of your goods' location - if they will not be delivered, you know where to ask for them. A case study relating to this is provided by  Container Centralen, who brought RFID into business for logistic process optimization. As they have more than 3.5 million CC containers, they needed to monitor the container circulation and to solve the problem of counterfeit containers and at the same time to ensure that the returned container is one of their own.

5) If we choose RFID, how does it impact on our supply chain parties?

If you see that implementing RFID is beneficial in your part of the supply chain, it will benefit others too. Share this information with other supply chain parties too - they might have had similar thoughts. Although they would be reluctant, they might change their minds after they see how your system works. And as your goods in pass their part of the supply chain as tagged, they might see the implementation of RFID as a logical step for more effective operations.

6) How to engage and commit the staff?

If RFID is the one and only technology for your business, perform a little survey among your workmates. Ask them what problems they are facing with the current system, and if they would be willing to adopt a brand new system if it would help them with their jobs. Give them more information about the RFID technology - show them videos about RFID inventory and other applications, and if they are still reluctant, ask them why and have a discussion about it. When they see that you give time to hear their opinions, maybe they consider your opinion valuable too. And when the staff is on your side, it is even easier to convince your boss. This will help also in the adoption process - involve the staff already from the start. A new system always requires training, maybe the best solution would be to train a few members of the staff who would be able to bring a positive opinion about the system from the employees' point of view.

RFID_or _not

7) Does this mean that we need to either fire or hire staff?

To implement a coherent RFID system, you usually do not need to hire any extra staff. You only need someone to train your staff to adopt the RFID system and to show them how the thing really works. Most of the time you neither need to fire anyone - an effective RFID system saves labor hours and the time gained can be allocated in other operations.

8) Where do we get the system and how much does it cost for us?

Find out who is your local RFID partner and ask them for help - they have experience on this field and they know which solution would serve you best. An RFID implementation system is not something that can be delivered on a standard parcel, it is a customized solution made only for your company. As different companies have different needs, one solution does not fit all - therefore they are always tailor-made. The price depends of course on the system range and the integration. No technology is free but keep in mind that the price of the investment and benefits gained always get together like a horse and carriage - and that's what you need to tell your boss too.

9) How fast can we adopt the system, and how to start the implementation process?

A key word here is piloting. After selecting the RFID partner and the solution, it is time for pilot testing. Piloting shows the company how the system works in practice, and is an important transition phase in RFID implementation. Piloting is described in the following picture.

SMYK_RFID_pilot 2_web

10) if we are happy with RFID technology, where else can we apply it?

RFID is a technology that can be applied almost everywhere. In business, you can monitor both people and goods through RFID tagging as RFID can be used for example in personnel access control. Moreover, RFID Arena Guest Blogger Adam Bluemner has listed 7 unexpected and awesome uses of RFID tags, for instance loss-resistant golf balls. We have also heard about a case where RFID is utilized in cat flaps - it opens the flap for your cat but not for your neighbor's cat. Here we can see that the use cases are unlimited. Simply, RFID can be everywhere!  

 

Sources:

http://www.gs1.org/epcglobal/pia

2 comments on “10 things to tell your boss about RFID”

  1. Posted 10 September 2015 at 15:42:15

    we have provide big solution of item level asset tracking system in india.

  2. Posted 02 September 2016 at 13:48:33

    Really nice article! RFID has so many applications and potential that it is increasing exponentially in different sectors

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