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Nothing is more disappointing than opening the ice cream carton in your freezer, and discovering that someone else in your household has left you only half a teaspoon of  partially-melted soupiness in the bottom of the carton. Maybe Elsa in “Frozen” could let it go, but you can’t. The only cold things in your kitchen are your thoughts regarding the person who deprived you of the sweet joy of ice cream.

Now, thanks to a combination of RFID and robotics, you will soon have a constant supply of ice cream at your command. Technology company Robomart is deploying mobile ice cream shops – refrigerated vans paired with RFID and a smart phone app. Ice cream cravers use the app to hail the nearest mobile store, which then comes rolling up to the shopper’s door, filled with frozen treats.

Each ice cream carton has an RFID tag affixed to it. After a buyer makes their selections, the van’s doors close and an RFID reader automatically inventories the remaining containers. The buyer is billed for the products that were removed, and restocking locations are alerted that the supply of rocky road caramel swirl is running low. Purchasing statistics provide data to predictive inventory systems, to make sure a neighborhood’s favorite flavors are well-stocked.

This is just one of the innovative ways RFID has been changing the supply chain. From manufacturers all the way to consumers, RFID improves productivity and profits.

Reducing wasteRFID keeps a close eye on manufacturing inventory to ensure a constant materials supply. No time is wasted with stock-outs, and no perishable products are held beyond their use-by dates.

Reducing shrinkageRFID tracks individual items from factory to warehouse, to distribution, to retail, to consumer. Losses in any part of the chain are traceable.

Reducing customer disappointmentRFID delivers timely updates to ensure that supply meets demand, at any point in the supply chain. And if there’s a supply disruption, you know about it before it becomes a crisis.

With the current stresses on the supply chain, RFID keeps your business ahead of any bad news. You have an opportunity to proactively update your customers with any upcoming supply problems. They can adjust their operations before their productivity is affected, and their gratitude becomes your next big sale.

Imagine if the person who ate your ice cream had updated you on the personal ice cream inventory prior to the supply crisis. You might have been grateful for the heads-up, and instead of feeling cold-hearted, you would have opened that mobile ice cream store app and ordered for both of you. Customer relations and family relations are everything, and RFID is here to help.

Photo © Nebojsa / AdobeStock