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In every office, things get moved around. Documents, laptops, chairs, people – the movement is often unexpected, often unrecorded, and very often inconvenient or even dangerous. Locating a missing legal document in an office, or a specific doctor in a large hospital, can mean the difference between a good outcome and a very bad one.

A compilation of studies from revealed the statistics and costs associated with documents that have moved from their assigned location. Some key findings:

  • Companies on average spend $120 in labor to find one misfiled document.
  • 400 is the number of hours per year the average employee spends searching for documents.
  • One out of every 20 documents is lost.
  • Approximately 25 hours are spent recreating each lost document.
  • 90% of a business’s information is in documents.

Add to this the cost of furnishings and equipment that have somehow migrated elsewhere, or key personnel who are needed at a moment’s notice. The inability to quickly locate assets translates into significant dollar sums.

RFID (radio frequency identification) offers a simple solution: a combination of RFID readers and small, inconspicuous RFID tags. RFID tags communicate with RFID readers via radio waves, as the name implies. When an RFID system’s readers are affixed in doorways or other transition points, anything with a system-specific RFID tag is recorded as it moves through the doorway.

An example: Document X is given an RFID tag programed with identifying information about the document. If Document X leaves its filing cabinet in Room A and moves to a copier in Room B, then moves to Office C for a signature, those movements are tracked by the RFID readers in the doorways of Room A, Room B, and Office C. And when someone is looking for Document X, a quick glance at the RFID log will show the document’s latest location. It’s like a trail of bread crumbs that leads directly to the missing cheese.

And RFID isn’t just for documents. Tags can be applied to furnishings, file folders, artwork, personnel ID’s, practically anything and anyone whose location is essential to know. RFID’s asset management information enhances operational productivity and security top to bottom, throughout an enterprise.

Can your business benefit from an RFID system? If you have documents, furniture, equipment, inventory, or staff, the answer is, “Yes!”


Photo © gstockstudio / AdobeStock

*“Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, 1998