Moving towards a more efficient management of RTIs
Enterprises spend a lot of time, money and effort tracking RTIs using manual methods or barcode-based systems. Existing methods of tracking (manual & barcode-based tracking systems) have their own limitations, bringing about inefficient management of RTIs. However, the rise of cloud computing and the push towards RFID-enabled IoT solutions have presented companies with the opportunity to solve these problems. To gain a deeper understanding on the matter, we shall look at some of the primary issues surrounding the management of RTIs:
What are RTIs (Returnable Transport Items) and which key industries are they used in?
RTIs (Returnable Transport Items) are items such as containers, bins, pallets, racks and kegs. They are an essential part of operations, acting as major components in supply chain as well as manufacturing. Some of the key industries that utilise RTIs are Aerospace and Defence, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Healthcare, Automation, Logistics.
What are the main challenges of tracking RTIs?
- Lack of Visibility and Control
Once the RTIs leave the production facility, companies are unable to track RTIs in real-time. The inability to possess real-time visibility and control may give rise to unreliable tracking of these assets.
- Manual processes and errors
Accounting for RTIs manually is subjected to human error, leading to additional customer service costs. These processes are also labour-intensive and time-intensive, incurring redundant costs that could be reduced with automation
What are the inefficiencies that companies face while tracking RTIs?
Tracking RTIs manually has its pitfalls, incurring major unnecessary costs in the companies’ supply chain operations.
- Longer Cycle Times
Inability to manage RTIs efficiently will result in asset underutilization and more downtime. Failure to monitor RTIs will also result in supply chain bottlenecks as assets may be mishandled
- Fleet Shrinkage
RTIs could be stolen or misplaced without proper accountability, causing the asset fleet to shrink. According to RACO’s White Paper, organisations face a shrinkage rate of 3-20% per year if assets are not accounted for.
- Inefficient product recalls
Not knowing your asset fleet well enough will lead to unnecessary product recalls and wastage of resources.
- Delayed Orders & Inaccurate shipments
Uncertainty and lack of accountability of RTIs will lead to inaccuracy in the execution of orders and shipments.
What are the benefits of using RFID technology to track RTIs?
There are multifold benefits when it comes to employing RFID solutions to track RTIs, revolutionising existing supply chain operations.
- Real-Time Visibility throughout the supply chain
With RFID solutions, companies have the ability to track the RTIs wherever they are, with the RTIs never having to go out of sight.
- Optimised Trading Partner Relationships
Accurate Visibility of Assets allows for effective communication, planning and accountability within supply chain partners.
- Reliable Asset Management
Companies can compile automated maintenance history records with RFID solutions, allowing them to monitor the condition and availability status of assets. This could mitigate any risk involved, avoiding potential asdamage and curtailing asset shrinkage and their losses.
- Data Integration
The usage of RFID solutions allow for the compilation of data records on RTIs, which could be used to optimise existing supply chain processes.
What ROIs do companies stand to get by using an RFID-enabled solution?
These are the returns companies stand to gain by using RFID-enabled solutions, as articulated in an example provided by RACO’s White Paper:
Assuming company X has 100,000 RTIs in its fleet with a replacement cost of $100 each.
Annual Shrinkage rate = 5%(5000), Replacement of 5000 lost assets = (500,000)
20% reduction in shrinkage = Savings of $100,000 yearly
- Accuracy in inventory tracking incurs zero labour costs and 100% automated shipping, greatly reducing human error and improving order accuracy
- Accurate billing provides exact figures and improves customer service
- More efficient and accurate inventory provides precise numbers for audit or compliance purposes
- Improved product recall enables companies to more easily identify flawed product and more quickly get it out and good product in
What comparative advantage does RFID solutions have over existing solutions (e.g. barcode, manual)?
Unlike barcode and manual systems, RFID solutions allows companies to save time and labour. Manual recording systems tend to be labour and time-intensive while barcode-based systems have limited capabilities in locating assets. With automated scanning processes, real-time capabilities and tracking reliability, RFID solutions have an advantage against other solutions as a more efficient method of managing RTIs.
Should companies get an RFID-enabled solution?
Despite concerns of initial high costs, it is a worthy investment as RFID- enabled solutions can bring benefits to the company’s operations in the long run. For companies that are looking to save long-term time and money on asset management, the improvement of asset flow and management is necessary.
Tracking RTIs manually can be a huge headache for many companies. Xerafy’s RFID technology may be the solution you need with the capabilities and expertise we offer. TPV Group had challenges of its own when it came to tracking RTIs. But with the help of Xerafy’s Roswell RFID tags, they were able to attain full track-and-trace capabilities throughout the production process. Xerafy’s Roswell tags are also highly resistant to extreme conditions, allowing them to endure the high-temperature conditions of the manufacturing process.
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