In the logistics industry, time is vital. If the accurate & effective inventory control and timely delivery cannot be guaranteed, the enterprise may suffer great loss. Then how to realize the high effective warehouse management?
Absolutely not the manual management, as you know. Actually, as the RFID technology develops, the RFID warehouse management systems, in other words, the smart warehouse managing systems designed for the warehouse management, occurred, and have become a perfect warehouse management solution!
In this article, we would systematically introduce the RFID warehouse management systems including their importance, working process, what benefits they have brought, as well as some RFID tags and readers suitable for this kinds of systems. First of all, you can check the following table of contents to get the main structure of this blog:
Table of Contents
Things become easier if we make the key points clear. You might have known the core of these RFID warehouse systems, I guess. Well, let’s start with their key technology – RFID technology.
What is RFID Technology?
RFID technology (Radio Frequency Identification technology, a non-contact automatic identification technology realized by radio frequency communication, mainly includes two parts – the RFID tag and RFID reader.
The RFID reader communicates with the RFID tag wirelessly through the antenna, reads or writes the tag identification code and memory data, which makes the remote and centralized management possible.
In modern society, RFID technology has been applied to various industries. For example, some RFID tag chips with the rewritable & programmable function and read-only memory, can store the identification code or other data, and have been widely used. By the way, Newbega have all kinds of RFID chips optional if you need to customize RFID products, and you can click the “Inquire Now” button below to know more details.
They support non-contact remote working, repeatable reading & writing, and identification of moving targets, and are very suitable to be used as the goods identification tags. In the logistic field, the RFID technology (read more: How does RFID work?) is usually adopted to make the RFID warehouse management systems which can help realize the global goods tracking & information sharing.
Here comes a question. Are RFID warehouse management systems really so important for enterprise management? The answers is “yes”. Well, next let’s check the reasons together!
Are RFID Warehouse Management Systems Necessary?
RFID warehouse management systems are necessary, indeed. Why? Compared with the manual management and barcode management, the RFID warehouse management are far more accurate and higher effective. You can check the following table:
|Management Methods||Accuracy||Simplicity||Speed||Reusable||Preservation Difficulty|
|RFID Warehouse Management||High||High||Fast||Yes||Low|
Now that these RFID warehouse systems are so useful, what are they composed of? Let’s check the details together!
How are RFID Warehouse Systems Like?
How about Software Design for Warehouse Inventory Systems?
The software of warehouse inventory systems mainly include 3 modules – user management, material management, and warehouse management. Now let’s check the detailed introductions of them one by one.
The hierarchical management of users can be realized via the user management. For example, You can assign different users with different permissions.
Generally speaking, the system administrator has the authority of daily management, inbound management, warehouse changing management, outbound management, printing, etc; while the salesperson has the permission of warehousing works, query management, warehouse changing works, outbound works, printing, and so on.
Through the material management, you can update, delete and query the material information (including the name, supplier, price…) at the warehouse.
Via the warehouse management, you can realize the receiving, inbound, warehouse changing, outbound, and inventory taking management of materials and goods at the warehouse; meanwhile, you can export the documents of each module which makes it more convenient for users to manage materials and goods. Besides, users can query the various warehouse operation details freely, so useful!
That is to say, the hardware makes the data transmission possible, and the software makes various management operations come true and easy. Both are essential for the RFID warehouse systems! Then do you know the working process of the stock management systems? Let’s check the next part to make it clear.
Check Hardware Configuration of Warehouse Management Systems
The hardware involves the main control computer, RFID tags, RFID hand-held reader(reading & writing distance at about 2m; mainly used for operations such as entering & leaving the warehouse, changing warehouses, and inventory counting) or fixed reader (reading & writing distance at about 6m, mainly used for reading & checking the location information in the RFID cargo tags), server and so on.
The server connects the main control computer and the RFID reader through the wireless network, and transmit data among them. You can see their relationship according to the following sketch：
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- Different RFID tag shapes and materials for different applications such as the animal tags, door access tags, laundry tags, pallet tags, goods tags, tire tags, etc.
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- Almost all tags can be OEM/ODM customized.
- You can choose suitable RFID chips on the chip table for your tags.
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How do Stock Management Systems Work?<Hot!>
As you know, the system can’t work without the mutual cooperation of each parts. Firstly, let’s get known of what kind of roles (take the head, hands, and objects for analogy) and functions each system parts play.
Functions of Different System Parts
Handheld Reader – hands; workers connect the handheld reader and the main control computer via the wired or wireless network; the reader auto download the instructions sent by the host; next, workers do the works using the reader according to the instructions, then send the work information (finished or not) back to the main control computer.
Forklift Reader – hands; fixed on the forklift to read the location information on the RFID location tags when receiving/picking goods and check if they are the same as the inbound instruction.
RFID Tags – objects; stuck/ fixed to the goods, pallets, or inventory position; include the goods information (goods name, quantity, type, price, location number, etc.) to manage the goods info and location info; some are reusable; main components of the RFID logistics warehouse system.
Now that the basic working principle is clear, do you know the specific operation process of the inbound, outbound, warehouse changing, inventory counting respectively? Continue reading, and you would know that.
Step 1: Check the consistence between the goods and order.
Staff check whether the consistence between the actual goods quantity and specifications and the purchase order manually generated in the database, when the goods are delivered to the warehouse. If they are consistent, the goods are ready to be put into the warehouse.
Step 2: Automatically assign the goods location.
Put the goods on the trays, and use the readers to read the cargo information, so that the system will automatically assign the location address according to the cargo info.
Step 3: Put goods at the designated warehouse location.
Staff download the location number and cargo code to the RFID reader, and transport the goods to the designated warehouse by the forklift according to the inbound instruction.
After checking the position via the fixed RFID reader on the forklift, the goods will be put at that location of the warehouse (if necessary, you can also modify the goods number and quantity information recorded in the location tags); while the system will issue an alarm if the location is wrong.
Step 4: Information back transmission and update.
The relevant acceptance information is automatically identified and transmitted to the computer management system by the RFID reader, then updated to the inventory information database, meanwhile, the storage documents are printed.
In this way, the time consumption during the inbound process will be reduced and the inbound accuracy will also be increased. Excellent!
Step 1: Generate a sales order via the RFID management system and download the relevant goods data and the corresponding warehouse location to the RFID reader.
Step 2: Reach the designated warehouse location as prompted by the RFID reader.
Step 3: Take out the goods at specified quantity and put them on the pallets, and rewrite the goods quantity in RFID tags.
Step 4: The information of the goods will be auto read by the RFID reader and compared with the outbound instructions when the goods are delivered to the exit.
Step 5: If the information doesn’t match with the requirements, a warning will be given and a manual inspection will be carried out; if it matches, the outbound information will be updated to the system through the RFID reader, and an outbound order will be generated.
Step 6: Remove the cargo tags so they can be reused.
Outbound management mainly solved the work of picking and information entry. The RFID reader can directly read the content of the RFID tags, thus eliminating the trouble of unpacking and checking, eliminating the tedious workload of manual entry, thereby greatly saving labor costs, and improving work efficiency and accuracy. Really helpful!
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When the outbound of a batch of goods is coming to an end (the inventory is running out), or when the next batch of bulk goods need inbound, the warehouse changing needs to be taken. Here are the simple steps of the warehouse changing via the RFID warehouse management system:
Step 1: The system sends warehouse changing instructions to the reader in the operator’s hand.
Step 2: Operators see the instruction, and know the corresponding goods locate and quantities which they need to move to the corresponding target warehouse position.
Step 3: Modify the tag information and send the corresponding data back to the system, having finished warehouse changing.
To ensure the consistency of the physical stock and the records in the inventory and warehouse management system, the inventory counting is necessary. Inventory counting via RFID warehouse management system can not only decrease the intensity of the operators, but also greatly shorten the inventory counting cycle.
Inventory counting is very conducive to grasping the inventory situation in time and making reasonable purchase plans. Even if the goods are missing or stolen, you can know that soon. Besides, the operation is also simple as you can see as follows:
Step 1: Operators carry a handheld reader and enter the warehouse, traverse all the warehouse locations in turn, and check the corresponding goods number, name, warehouse location barcode, quantity, etc.
Step 2: Transmit counting results to the system management center, and generate various inventory reports according to your demand.
Till now, we have known that the RFID warehouse management system is very useful. Then do you know its specific benefits? Well, let’s explore it together!
What Benefits have WMS Systems Brought?
RFID warehouse management systems, also called the WMS systems, have been widely used in modern society. As for the field which relies most on them, it must be the logistic field. Here are the main benefits the logistic enterprises get, concluded as follows:
- A large number of tags can be read at one time, the tedious workload of manual input can be eliminated, labor costs can be greatly saved, and the work efficiency can be improved.
- The goods inventory changing information (type, location, name, quantity, etc.) can be updated in time through the RFID tags, which reduced the manual operation errors and increased the operation speed.
- Due to the data accuracy, many unreasonable orders have been avoided, and the operation cycle of supply and distribution has been greatly improved.
- The throughput of the warehouse products increased while the operation costs decreased.
- The efficiency and accuracy during the picking and distribution process are greatly improved, and the distribution speed also gets faster.
All in all, RFID warehouse management systems can not only improve management efficiency as a whole, but also bring direct economic benefits for enterprises, thereby help them enhance the core competitiveness.
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