RFID Supply Chain | How Does It Work?

RFID Benefits for the Value Chain

  • Improve Production Process
  • Share Production Plan
  • Improve quality of Outbound (quantity, item, destination)
  • Improve traceability


In the Supply Chain
Tags can be incorporated into labels of attached directly to items, cartons or pallets. RFID scanners throughout the supply chain track goods as they move from factory to warehouse, to store. Most tags simply report an identification number to the scanner.The systems then look up this number in a database - often through the Internet - to obtain detailed information about the product.

  1. At the Factory
    Raw materials can be tagged so that the manufacturer know precisely how much is used in production processes. Once the item is manufactured, it can be tagged individually or by the carton or pallet before being put on trucks.

  2. Monitoring Conditions
    Sensors built into the tags can monitor heat, humidity or other conditions and report if, for example, frozen food has thawed during transport.

  3. At the Factory
    Scanners at the loading dock track every incoming item, carton or pallet. Other scanners inside track items as shipments are prepared for individual stores.

  4. Leaving the Gate
    The contents of a truck can be verified as it drives by a scanner located near the warehouse gate.

  5. At the Store
    Scanners in the back rooms record the contents of all shipments arriving at the loading.

  6. At the Checkout
    The contents of a shopping cart can be read and tallied as it is pushed past the checkout counter.



At the Manufacturer

  1. RFID tags arrive at the factory from individual identification with EPC number, SKU, size, colour manufacturing date and more.
  2. RFID tags are placed on full assembled garments and can be tracked through factory.
  3. Product is put away in warehouse locations and handheld terminals can be used to perform periodic cycle counts and update.
  4. Operator uses handheld reader to pick and pack shipping according to order. Software audits each box to ensure shipment was completed correctly and notifies operator.
  5. QC verification application with time and operator stamp audits each carton/container/order.
  6. Automated shipping verification out dock door using RFID Portals decreases claims from distributors for mis-shipments.