In this age of rapidly changing business environment, many organisations and business houses faces a constant pressure to continuously adapt and redefine their business process. One of the key processes in doing business whether big or small ranging from small grocery store to a big retail chain is the supply chain process. With the increase in exposure of the companies to the global environment, liberal trade policies, business partnerships and virtual proximity between any two locations of the world, supply chain management has become one of the buzz words in this global business environment. Supply chain management is a collaborative effort of multiple channel members to ...view middle of the document...
Main uses of RFID technology are reduction in time taken to reorder shipments, reduction of tracking time, improving tracking of pallets, items, reduction of shrinkage and provide better planning, control and optimization of inventory and assets (Coltman, Gadh, & Michael, 2008).
WHAT IS RFID AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
RFID is a means of using radio Frequencies to identify persons or objects. It is a wireless automatic identification and data capture technology which is used to identify and track entities (Turcu et al., 2008).According to the book written by Sunil Sharma there are 4 main components of RFID
1) RFID tag – It consists of an antenna attached to a microchip. A serial number which identifies the product, cases or SKU’s in retail is stored in the microchip. There are generally two types of tags active and passive. Active tags are those which are integrated with a battery whereas passive tags do not have battery. They derive the power to operate from the magnetic field generated by reader. The RFID tag is called as Transponder.
2) RFID Reader – It is connected to a workstation or an information system and it serves same purpose as that of a bar code scanner. It is powered by a battery and handles communication flow or information exchange between RFID reader and RFID tags.
3) RFID antenna – It is connected to the RFID reader and it is available in various sizes depending on the connected systems performance and the communication distance. It activates the RFID tags which transmit information to reader using wireless electromagnetic pulses. The reader converts these radio waves into digital information and passes it on to the workstation attached.
4) RFID information Systems: It consists of application software designed to read information stored on an RFID tag. These RFID workstations are mounted at transfer points like POS points of a retail store so that they can track items moving through the process. These points in turn are connected to an application server which is a data aggregation centre and acts as an interface between custom logic and business processes.
One of the key components of the RFID technology is the Electronic Product Code (EPC). It is a unique identifier designed by the Auto ID centre. Only the EPC is stored on the tag, thus making the tag simple which keeps the costs low by reducing hardware and software costs related to solving interoperability issues. With only EPC stored on the tag and the other related information stored in the central database, the information stored on the tag is less thus improving the read rates considerably. EPC contains multiple ID’s which identify the product uniquely. These ID’s are that of manufacturer, product identification number and serial number of that particular item.
RFID IN RETAIL SUPPLY CHAIN AND ITS ADVANTAGES
The primary focus of the retail supply chain is to reduce human effort on asset tracking by automating the process of stock...