Inventory Management Tops List of RFID Benefits

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The greatest benefit of radio frequency identification (RFID), a wireless information collection tool that uses electronic tags to capture data, will be its improvement of inventory management in the supply chain, according to the findings of a new CompTIA Web poll.

RFID tags are used to identify certain items without actually coming into contact with them or even being near them. While bar codes must be brought close to the scanner for reading, RFID tags are read when they are within the proximity of a transmitted radio signal. RFID tags can be read without line-of-sight scanning or physical contact, and allow organizations to accurately track objects or people they might otherwise have difficulty tracking because of movement or location.


CompTIA, through its Electronics Industry Data Exchange (EIDX) Leadership Group, is engaged in several RFID initiatives for the computer, electronics and IT industries. One of these initiatives involves a working group tasked with developing supply chain business process models that incorporate RFID and identify potential return on investment at points along the supply chain.


Better inventory management was cited as the key benefit of RFID by 29.2 percent of the nearly 500 respondents to the poll. Other anticipated benefits of RFID, according to the poll, include:



  • Reduced product tampering, theft and counterfeiting (12.3 percent).
  • Improved collaborative planning with supply chain partners (11.9 percent).
  • Easier product tracking and recalls (9 percent).
  • Automatic replenishment of parts and products (7.2 percent).
  • Reduced invoice reconciliation and labor costs on the receiving dock (4.5 percent).


Less than one-fifth of respondents (19.5 percent) said RFID will have little or no impact, and that the promised benefits of the technology are exaggerated. Perceived obstacles to RFID implementation currently include the newness of technology, lack of standards and high cost.


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