Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) has been slowly replacing barcodes especially in the supply management chain. RFID tags which consists of small electronic devices together with an antenna, which are usually as thin as or even thinner than barcode stickers, are placed on the stuffs. Unlike barcodes, which requires direct line of sight to the scanner for it to be read, RFID does not require being directly on the line of site of the scanner and is also capable of being read at a greater distance than the barcode. RFIDs also is capable of reading tags by 10’s, 100’s and 1000’s simultaneously while barcodes can only be read one at a time. In addition having a read/write capability and reusability feature, RFIDs can be fully automated not requiring human intervention to collect data and is capable of uniquely identifying each of the items or assets tagged. Barcodes on the other hand, are read only and always require the assistance of humans in collection the data and is only capable of identifying types of item. However, RFID are a little expensive compared to barcodes. (InLogic, 2012)
Applying RFID in companies, especially retail companies would help them become more efficient and productive. Since, RFIDs are not exposed, these tags are not wear and tear, ensuring that the tags of each product are well in place, removing the burden from the employees of checking every now and then for barcodes thus adding to a faster service. Aside from this, since RFIDs does not require the direct line of site from the scanner, customers could pack their purchases while shopping even if they haven’t passed through the cashier. Since RFID is capable of reading all the tags uniquely and adding their total without unpacking them one by one, this would save the shopping time for the customer. Once at the cashier, the total bill can be readily available without needing to bring out all their purchases an scan them. With this, the service time of the employees to their customers will also improve. An important benefit of using RFIDs to suppliers is its ability to simultaneously read tags because packing would be faster and the fact that they are automated (RuggedPCReview.com, 2012)
Overall, the use of RFIDs in a company (both the retail store and the supplier) and their customers provides for a more efficient services and management of data especially if they connect these to their inventory system. There is also a possibility of manpower reduction since their employees would be faster and the scanning is automated. They may have increase expenses with the RFID tags but they can lessen the number of employees they require.
InLogic.com (2009). RFID vs. Barcodes Comparison. Retrieved from http://www.inlogic.com/rfid/rfid_vs_barcode.aspx
RuggedPCReview.com (2009). Tips on deploying RFID in the Supply Chain. Retrieved from http://ruggedpcreview.com/3_definitions_rfid_vs_barcode.html