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Many manufacturers implement RFID for process improvement

10 January, 2007

New research reveals details of tremendous variety of process changes being made by manufacturers using RFID.

A survey of 275 manufacturing firms highlights the stark difference in ROI between mandate-driven vs. process-improvement-driven RFID implementations.

This report from ChainLink Research drills deep into the specific process improvements companies are making across the enterprise—in inbound logistics, receiving, the plant floor, shipping, distribution, service and support, asset management, and managing the chain of custody.

The research found RFID spending by manufacturers will more than double from 2005 to 2007.

It uncovered a thriving and amazingly rich and diverse set of existing uses of RFID by manufacturers, particularly on the plant floor.

The report details the percent of manufacturers using the full range of various applications, providing numerous examples and case studies. Example RFID-enabled processes included:

- Improving freshness in food and Pharma
- Tracking clinical trial samples
- Tracking tools and tooling location, usage, and service
- Container track and trace
- Bulk load tracking and registration at weighbridge
- Receiving and putaway
- Electronic Kanban
- Reverse logistics
- Quality control
- Recall processes
- Batch and lot tracking
- Sequencing and routing of components/WIP on the plant floor
- Manufacturing instructions and recipes
- Product customisation, configuration
- Pick, pack, ship
- Shrinkage reduction
- Container security
- Yard management
- Customs and border crossing
- Order verification/reconciliation
- Electronic proof-of-delivery

One surprise, the report found that 67% of smaller companies (under $25 million) are implementing or planning to implement RFID.

And these smaller firms are the most likely to be driven by process improvement goals (63%) or both process improvement and mandates (27%), rather than by customer mandates alone (10%).

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