Warehouse Challenge: How do we protect service levels and profitablilty yet leverage technology to maintain a competitive edge.
A global supply chain customer with over three million square feet of warehousing space in the US, providing end to end supply chain shipping services to retailers needing to move any amount of product from overseas manufacturers to the warehouse and on to the store shelf faced this challenge.
Customer service and lean pricing are king in this industry. With rising fuel costs threatening already slender margins, this company was seeking a way to further streamline operations to reduce labor costs – while improving customer service. .
The Solution: an RFID-enabled Warehouse
RFID solutions were investigated and they determined that deploying RFID in the warehouse would address multiple business needs. The efficiency and accuracy of everyday warehouse operations would be improved by automating traditionally manual processess. The valuable real-time data from RFID could allow them and their customers to monitor the “right now” status of shipments at any time of the day. And the company could also now offer a new service – RFID compliance- to its customers.
The solution deployed consisted of Fixed RFID readers and High performance antennas at the five import and export warehouse dock doors: two RFID Gen2 EPC thermal label printers for on-the-spot printing of RFID tags; Handheld readers to enable anywhere, anytime reading of RFID tags; and the software application that enabled the easy integration of the entire solution int0 the compnay’s existing business systems.
Benefits: Better service, fewer errors, reduced labor costs…and a rapid return on investment.
The RFID solution proved its worth by delivering a multitude of benefits including:
- Faster throughput for faster service, eliminating many manual steps.
- 100% accuracy in shipments, eliminating mis-ships.
- Expansion of customer services for a sharper competitive edge. Providing the ability to track shipments from door to door.
- The ability to offer a new value-added service – RFID compliance services.
- Rapid Pay back. The RFID solution provides such a wealth of business benefits that the company expects a full return on investment in a short 14 to 16 months.