The technology is useful in inventory management for large retailers in a number of ways (as cited by Schuster et al. 2002). Radio frequency identification technology is used for tracking inventory.
Tracking of inventory is very easy especially when dealing with shipments of millions of luggage. Apart from large retailers using this method, Airlines have also begun using this technology. Travelers’ suitcases are attached with either passive or active RIFF tag for routine checks and therefore minimizing chances of losing bags.Inventory control – Traditional methods of stock taking are quickly coming to an end. Large retailers including Walter use this technology to keep track of their stock. Re-order level is automatically detected by the system, and this reduces chances of out-of-stock therefore saving hours spent for counting inventory. Products are automatically removed from the inventory upon purchase.
Suppliers can also be linked to the retailer point of sale and be able to supply immediately when re-order level is reached. Radio frequency identification ensures proper security of items in the store.Some tags are very tiny to be seen and only can be detected by the receiver. It controls shoplifting in supermarkets or any other forms of theft.
If that item is not bought and removed from the inventory, it can be detected by a sensor and trigger an alarm. Modern libraries are using RIFF to locate books easily in the shelves and also prevent theft. RIFF is used by large retailers on their credit-cards. These are large retailers that offer credit-cards to customers, and this makes easier to detect their cards only and reject other cards.The idea reduces chances of theft since it minimizes contact with money; also, customers can earn points when they use credit card on specific outlets. This technology as reviewed by Thornton et al. ‘s (2006) has proved to be a powerful solution to large retailers and also to public and private sector projects.
What are the benefits of Radio frequency identification? However, Thornton et al. ‘s (2006) in their book stated the use of Radio frequency identification (RIFF) by large retailers comes with benefits. These benefits include: Radio frequency identification reduces labor cost.The use of this technology reduces firms labor cost on point of sale. All goods loaded on Lorries or those on cart can be scanned and recorded by computer and billed at once.
The use of RIFF technology has reduced cost of hiring large scale personnel to manually record and bill suppliers. Radio Communication – Radio frequency can be used by retailers to keep in touch with suppliers whenever an emergency arises. These waves carry cordless critical information to radio receivers on the other end.
Telephone calls rely heavily on radio waves and less on cables.Use of radio frequency identification has made communication easy in retails shops and other forms of business ventures. RIFF is used as a wildlife conservancy tool. Animal welfare agencies can monitor, keep track of animals and prevent poaching. RIFF chip is inserted in the animal skin, and this chip is detected by the receiving station, therefore, controlling increase or decrease of population as well as breeding sites. It is also beneficial to hospitals. Hospital equipment, patients, bed availability, surgical equipment, and operation acquirement, as well as medicines, are detected by IT experts.
What are some of the challenges in relying on the use of Radio frequency identification? Palmer (2009) stated that the adoption of new technology comes up with benefits as well as challenges. Implementation of Radio frequency identification by large retailers and firms comes with the following challenges. With the increased use of RIFF, maintenance cost is very high. It is Justifiable implementation of this system requires new hardware and software as well as architectural management. Maintenance isn’t call for its initial phase only, but the whole time the system is running in the business.This means an expert has to be employed to monitor and repair the system in case of any malfunctions. If costs outweigh profits then, the system is of no use to business it has to be discarded. In connection with the above maintenance and investment cost, RIFF requires closer attention thus a lot of time will be invested onto it.
It is said to be more complex compared to bar-coding. This calls for a unique installation and carrying out trial and error tests to minimize chances of malfunction n the future.Because this is a new technology to some, it requires customer training and orientation on how to operate the system, failure to which it will cost the investing firm a lot.
Radio frequency identification system must change with the changing technology and allow for an upgrade whenever a new idea comes in. Another challenge is that different countries have different standards and regulations governing adoption of new technologies. One must seek legal advice when using radio frequency identification because some might be in contravention tit country law violations.Most of security agencies use radio waves that can be affected by adoption of some RIFF, therefore, interfering with security of the country in question. In conclusion, the above are challenges to the use of Radio frequency identification technology.
However, firms and large retailers should not consider the challenges and not use the technology in the growing business world as examined by Select (2012). As discussed in the paper, the uses of RIFF and its stored benefits outweigh challenges, and firms must take the advantage of this new technology.