The business case for RFID enabled returnable asset management
To protect high value industrial products, a lot of manufacturers develop customised packaging material that is used to transport the products to their customers. Managing the returns flow and keeping track of these materials, in many cases high value objects themselves, is often a sensitive topic. Because during shipping, all focus lies on delivering high quality products in time and in full to the customer; and registering how many and which packaging materials are used is often neglected.
The result: no visibility at which customer site the assets are, no management process for getting them back in time, no reliable stock data ensuring sufficient assets are available for upcoming shipments, and in the worst case, rush orders to procure new assets to be able to ship the customer order according to promise!
Essentially, what ScanTrack does is, maintain a balance of assets received for each individual customer, by automatically registering the issuance of assets to the customer, and the receipt of the assets back from the customer. As this is done based on unique RFID tags, the dwell time of each individual asset at each customer can be monitored. When the dwell time exceeds a pre-set limit, an alert is provided to the customer to return the asset, and collection instructions to the logistics service providers. If this doesn’t result in the desired effect, more severe measures like charging rental fees can be considered.
Key characteristics of the ScanTrack solution:
- Dependent on the asset, standard or customised UHF RFID tags, to meet the requirements of all possible environmental conditions.
- Fixed mounted, or handheld RFID readers, and device based (hardware agnostic) registration applications to automatically register in and outbound asset movements (linked to customer orders, outbound deliveries or shipments).
- A scalable, cloud based or locally installed balance management and reporting application that can work stand-alone or easily be integrated with ERP system.
- Intelligent event processing algorithms that validate and enrich all registration events.
- Real-time, comprehensive and secure web reporting and alerting portal accessible for all supply chain partners.