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.
4) How does this impact our logistic
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
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
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.
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.
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
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!