RFID in Supply Chains

RFID helps run complex supply chains and take care of critical inventory by enabling end-to-end, real-time visibility across all modes, suppliers, and distributors.

Complex supply chains have a high degree of interconnectedness and interdependence. RFID technology assists in transforming this complexity into synchronized efficiency.

Supply chains face significant challenges such as ensuring proper visibility, guaranteeing quality and safety, and coordinating efficient operations.


RFID offers field-proven solutions to enable end-to-end visibility, speedier operations, and data-driven insights. In addressing these challenges, the technology helps deliver greater efficiency, resilience, and sustainability.

Impact of RFID in Supply Chains

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+30% Forecasting Accuracy

Demand forecasting for more accurate inventory planning and reduced excess stock.

-40% Carrying Costs

Just-in-time replenishment with RFID, while maintaining required stock levels.

-95% Reduction in Counterfeiting

RFID-enabled authentication and anti-counterfeiting.

What are RFID vending machines?

RFID vending machines are automated systems that incorporate RFID technology to streamline and enhance the vending experience. These machines utilize RFID tags to enable secure transactions and provide real-time inventory tracking. 

In healthcare for instance, vending machines are deployed by medical device manufacturers to securely distribute medical supplies and equipment, ensuring accurate charging inventory management with their hospital customers.

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Vending machines have also gained traction in manufacturing as a means to efficiently manage and distribute tools and equipment.

One such example is Fastenal, a supplier of industrial and construction supplies, which offers RFID-equipped vending solutions. These machines allow employees to access tools and supplies by scanning their RFID badges, ensuring accountability and real-time tracking of usage. Another example is AutoCrib, a provider of automated inventory management systems.

Their RFID-enabled vending machines cater to manufacturing and industrial facilities, offering controlled access to tools, parts, and consumables. These solutions not only improve tool availability and reduce downtime but also provide data insights that drive informed inventory management decisions in industrial settings.

What are RFID mandates?

RFID mandates refer to regulations or requirements set by industries, governments, or organizations that dictate the use of RFID technology for specific purposes such as inventory management, traceability, or security.

In the retail industry, major retailers like Walmart and Target have implemented RFID mandates for their suppliers, demanding the use of RFID tags on products to enhance inventory accuracy and streamline supply chains.

In the pharmaceutical sector, the FDA has encouraged the use of RFID technology to improve the tracking and authentication of prescription drugs, ensuring patient safety.

Additionally, the aviation industry has seen mandates for RFID tagging on critical components.

These examples underscore how RFID mandates drive the adoption of technology to achieve efficiency, transparency, and compliance in various industries.

What are supply chain management systems?

Supply chain management systems are sophisticated software platforms designed to orchestrate and optimize the various processes, activities, and resources involved in the entire supply chain lifecycle, from procurement to distribution: SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain, McKesson SupplyManager for healthcare organizations, Oracle SCM Cloud, etc.

These examples showcase how supply chain management systems revolutionize industries by providing data-driven insights, streamlined processes, and improved collaboration among stakeholders.

Which tracking technologies are best for supply chain management?

Complex supply chains often utilize RFID in combination with other identification and tracking technologies to enhance visibility and efficiency.

Barcodes play a crucial role in numerous industries. QR codes are commonly used in the automotive industry for parts and vehicle traceability. Companies like Tesla utilize QR codes on components, enabling quick access to production data.

GPS tracking systems are extensively used in the logistics industry, with companies like UPS employing them to monitor the real-time location of shipments.

Moreover, Blockchain technology is gaining traction, particularly in the food industry. Walmart’s “Food Traceability Initiative” uses blockchain to track the journey of produce, ensuring transparency and food safety.

These technologies, alongside RFID, exemplify the diverse range of tools employed in complex supply chains to achieve accuracy, security, and streamlined operations.

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