RFID is a growing technology that many trading partners within the General Merchandise and Hardlines sector are beginning to adopt.

Like the barcode, it allows the easy identification of products and traceability throughout the supply chain. However, RFID tags do not require line of sight and do not need to be manually scanned, which can increase the speed of many processes.

Although still in the early phase of adoption in Canada, RFID is a growing capture standard around the world and GS1 supports its use with robust standards.

What is RFID?

What is RFID?

RFID uses radio waves to read and transmit product information stored on a tag or label (similar to a barcode label).

RFID connects well with existing barcode systems because established identification keys including GTINs can be encoded into RFID tags. This means RFID technology can be interoperable with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

RFID is ideal for processes that require:

  • The ability to count and identify multiple objects—such as products on a shelf—simultaneously. Increase your inventory count rates from 200 to 12,000+ per hour.
  • The identification of objects that are components of a larger product. RFID gets rid of the need to disassemble a product to count components such as cases of goods or household tools/appliances, etc., that require assembly.
  • Manned labour. Because you do not need a person to align and scan a product (unlike a barcode), counting happens automatically and faster. Labour productivity can increase by as much as 96%.*
  • Maximum accuracy. RFID raises SKU-level inventory accuracy from an average 63% to 95%, and shipping/picking accuracy by 80% compared to manual processes*.
    *All data: GS1 US, 2014

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