RFID has certainly changed the game for asset management across many industries. But, the only way to learn the true value of RFID is to test a desired application in your business environment, says John Rommel, the senior manager of RFID channel development for Motorola Solutions, a leading provider of leading edge, mission-critical communication solutions and services. The following steps will help ensure a successful implementation:
Step 1: Evaluate your existing processes. Where are there gaps in information? Where are you losing visibility? Where are your major inefficiencies? Then, evaluate if RFID makes sense.
Step 2: Understand your visibility requirements. What items do you want to read? How often? From what distance?
Step 3: Test in a real-world setting. Put tags on assets and inventory items and set up readers at the points you seek enhanced visibility.
Step 4: Evaluate technical performance. Do you get reliable reads? Do they properly update applications?
Step 5: Assess the economic and business benefits. Does the process improve workflows or how you currently operate?
Step 6: Understand the impact. How does the technology affect business processes? Are there integration issues with enterprise systems?
Step 7: Make a decision. Decide if it makes sense to move forward with a larger scale implementation. Refine the trial using different processes, technologies, items and/or read points, or cease activity.
"It takes a dedicated team with the appropriate leadership sponsor and authority to successfully navigate through these steps - and the right vendor," says Rommel.