To prove the bold claim in our headline, we’d have to prove a negative (which is impossible), but the very real probability exists that RFID has saved lives.
RFID is well known as a true labor-saving device. Manual inventories used to take days. RFID inventories take minutes. A single click of a handheld RFID reader identifies the contents of an entire room of furniture, equipment, books, parts, etc. Time-wasting manual check-out logs are replaced by doorway-mounted RFID readers that automatically track the movements of assets, from people to documents.
But saving time is only half of the RFID equation. The other half is accuracy.
An inaccurate inventory is a danger. Consider what an inaccurate manual inventory costs your business:
- Working capital is tied up: Businesses overbuy when their inventory is imprecise.
- Sales and customers are lost: Faulty inventories lead to stock-outs and disappointed customers.
- Write-offs are common: When inventory expires or goes missing, or when small incremental errors add up over time, the write-offs put a big dent in the balance sheet.
- Labor is wasted: Finding and fixing inventory errors requires many hours of additional labor.
Unreliable inventory data can put your business in a precarious financial position. However, the accuracy of RFID shields you from asset management disasters.
And sometimes it can even mean the difference between death:
- Using RFID, a hospital is able to maintain an adequate supply of a life-saving drug, and locate essential equipment and personnel the moment they are needed.
- A fire chief deploys real-time RFID to track the movements of each firefighter in a burning building, pulling them out of danger zones or sending in a rescue squad.
- In a chemical plant leak, RFID is used for headcounts at mustering points to ensure workers have been safely evacuated.
It’s possible that the hospital wouldn’t have run out of medicine, or the medical equipment would have been close at hand, or the firefighters or chemical plant workers would have exited safely. But guesswork and luck are no way to manage an operation, whether it’s the life of patients, workers, or your business.
Don’t fall victim to an inaccurate inventory. RFID will take your asset management from “maybe” to “for sure.” And that’s something we can prove.
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