What is an RFID feasibility study? When facing complex projects that impact the entire supply chain – from production to retail and even the outlets – it is good practice to precede any activity with a feasibility study.
Much like the design of a house, the feasibility study is the design of the RFID system in its entirety. It defines the perimeters of the supply chain, identifying products, establishing processes, parametrizing the features of the hardware and software interfaces and estimating the return on investment (ROI) for businesses.
The feasibility study can be divided into a series of stages that are essentially sequential in nature. Once the objectives have been defined (see paragraph 1) and the tag type and coding that will be adopted is decided (see paragraph 2), the core parts of the feasibility study can be carried out, consisting of the as is analysis, the to be design and the calculation of the return on investment
As Is analysis: the As Is processes subject to engineering are initially mapped out, starting from the first upstream process (usually the production of the garment at the façon), by means of shipment to the distribution centre. At the distribution centre the internal processes are investigated in detail (goods-in, storage, picking, sorting, packing, shipping) up to the point of sale. Here the analyzed processes are typically goods-in, replenishment from the backroom, inventory counts, checkout and returns. At this stage the critical points and/or the opportunities that the technology could provide are identified for each process in the supply chain. To be planning: Processes are then engineered from an RFID perspective, defining the technical specifications (such as which hardware is assigned to a given process), information specifications (data to be exchanged with the resident information system, data warehousing specifications) and management specifications (activity flow charts for processes and operators). Economic assessment: The investment is assessed from a differential perspective with respect to the “As Is” situation, analysing the different items of capital and operating expenditure, these being the terminating and initiating costs connected with the project. This economic assessment touches all analysed processes impacted by RFID technology.
We offer a large variety of hardware (fixed readers, mobile readers, printers) and tags (UHF and HF), supplied by a range of top-class RFID Lab technology partners. While some competitors solely aim to promote and sell their own technology, even after becoming a Murata Company, we never rely on a single source for tags, readers or printers.
For every project, we are therefore free to offer our customer the best product for their specific use-case. Moreover, RFID Lab constantly monitors the market and attends fairs and exhibitions, regularly selecting new companies as technology partners. Whenever promising new products are available, IDS sends some units to the laboratory, where they are tested by researchers at the University of Parma. Then, based on the results, we assess whether to take the product into consideration for our projects.
Our policy is to select only first-class suppliers in terms of product performance, quality, robustness and ease of maintenance, as well as supplier customer service performance. Based on our 10 years experience (a long time in this relatively young field), we believe that in RFID the principle of “quality first, customer service second, price third” always pays. Nevertheless, we do know where to find solutions at bargain prices for customers willing to take the risk of reversing the priorities of his or her RFID project.
RFID is a powerful technology for supporting the improvement of business processes because it enables automatic item-level tracking.
Thanks to RFID technology, ITC systems automatically benefit from a large amount of data that makes it possible to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of processes throughout the whole supply chain.
The possibility of gathering such “atomic” data in the field is the foundation of every process improvement. But in order to generate value, RFID rough data alone is not enough. It is necessary to process, interpret and present this data in the form of value-added information for process managers, enabling them to act accordingly.
The RSA Dashboard® is the Business Intelligence (BI) tool designed for this purpose, transforming RFID data from the field into value-added information.
The dashboard enables full visibility of processes and physical product flows to everybody who is involved in managing processes in the supply chain.
• The RSA Dashboard® can be installed: ?in the RSA local Server, to get information about the local data collected from the site/s managed by the local RSA Middleware Server, or in the RSA Cloud Repository Solution, to get wide visibility of the whole supply chain, analyzing information from data collected in the Google Cloud database from all the local RSA Middleware Servers.
• The RSA Dashboard® is simply accessible via web through a browser, in both the version on hosts and the cloud version;
• The RSA Dashboard® is a modular solution born of field experience on projects developed in partnership with RFID Lab and members of various Boards of Advisors for consumer goods and fashion. It has been extensively tested in a wide range of different fields, including textiles and clothing, retail, consumer goods, healthcare and logistics.
The RSA Dashboard® is organized in modules, with each module responding to the specific needs of value-added information.