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RFID in Logistics Management

Logistics management involves the efficient control of some or all of the supply chain functions, including:

– Product research and development
– Sourcing and purchasing
– Manufacturing
– Production planning
– Sales, marketing, and forecasting
– Inventory management
– Cross-docking and flow-through
– Customer service
– Transportation
– Freight payment
– Information reporting

Using RFID logistics tracking has helped many organizations solve the main challenge at every node in their supply chains: the lack of visibility of logistics data. RFID technology is a powerful solution that improves asset visibility, data quality, inventory management, and interoperability in an end-to-end integrated supply chain. In fact, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued a mandate in 2005 that requires all of their suppliers to use RFID in marking any items that are sold to the DoD. The need for this mandate arose from decades of logistical challenges faced by the military with regard to the supply chain.

RFID has proven to alleviate various logistical problems associated with the DoD supply chain. RFID technology, in combination with the Internet, allows the DoD to disseminate accurate, real-time data to commanders worldwide so that assets can be easily located and used according to the Department’s highest priorities.

Whether you are required to comply with the DoD mandate or not, it may be beneficial to use these standards as a guide for integrating RFID technology into your business processes. Use of RFID in logistics management is particularly beneficial in manufacturing, where parts bins feed parts in an automated plant because placement of the correct part into the correct place is critical.