Traditional Barcoding or RFID? Which should you choose?

October 24, 2022
March 13, 2023
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Read time: 2 min

As business environments change, supply chain managers need to answer the question if they want to stick with traditional barcoding or upgrade to a newer RFID solution. While many businesses rely on traditional barcoding to complete tasks, RFID technology can reach new capabilities for shipping and other asset management processes. Furthermore, although barcode scanners require a line of sight to scan each code individually, RFID scanners can read multiple codes simultaneously. For dynamic operations with numerous touch points, RFID solutions are much more efficient when scanning a large number of items. Nevertheless, they can be more expensive and require more setup than traditional barcoding. However, studies show that manufacturers and distributors who implement RFID technology into the supply chain see an 80% improvement in shipping and picking accuracy. Studies also indicate that distributors see a 90% improvement in receiving time when implementing RFID. Compared to traditional barcoding, RFID ultimately improves:

●     Efficiency because RFID increases inventory accuracy from an average of 65% to 99.9%

●     Durability with a more rugged andpurpose-built design for challenging environments

●     Security from a design that alerts users if any attempt is made to remove an asset

On the other hand, traditional barcoding can be more affordable and better suited for environments that aren’t scan-intensive. Therefore, businesses must assess their workflows to see if RFID is the best fit.

Understanding the benefits of RFID

While traditional barcoding could still seem appealing and remain the preferred method, RFID will continue to grow across all operations. RFID solutions can help automate the data capture process and free up workers for more important tasks. Studies show that 36% of decision-makers believe they will use these technologies within five years to begin augmenting their environment. More supply chain decision-makers are turning to RFID because it:

  1. Delivers reliable performance even in the most demanding environments - Reliable operation through shifts is something traditional barcoding solutions cannot achieve. Purpose-built RFID devices have high sealing rates to protect against drops and liquids and withstand challenging conditions. Reliable performance helps frontline workers stay productive during important moments in operations.
  2. Boosts speed and accuracy to quickly locate critical items - A faster and more accurate mobile device like RFID     technology can increase uptimes and optimize the fulfillment process. RFID devices can read tags faster and expand the read range to enhance inventory management.
  3. Empowers your workers with enhanced connections - Integrated, enhanced connectivity is possible with RFID. Equipped with constant signals and the latest wireless connectivity features, RFID enterprise devices deliver smoother communication. This forms a solution to connect your workers at critical times when they need extra help.

The right scanning solution can redefine accuracy and performance to implement operational visibility. Contact us today to learn more about the differences between traditional barcoding and RFID.

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