RFID is a remarkably simple technology — and yet it has incredibly vast potential for business applications. Despite being almost 100 years old, RFID continues to find new uses throughout business operations, helping leaders organize inventory, equipment, employees and even customers. Already, the world’s largest organizations employ RFID in dozens of ways, and small business leaders and startup entrepreneurs are looking to follow their lead to compete effectively in their markets.
However, adopting RFID is not as simple as buying a transceiver and slapping tags on everything a business owns. Leaders should be careful to avoid the following major mistakes in RFID implementation to keep costs low and success high.
Choosing the Wrong Equipment
Most RFID systems include three hardware components: a scanning antenna, a transceiver and a transponder. The scanning antenna and transceiver are often combined into a single unit, called an RFID reader or interrogator, while the transponder is what is included in the RFID tag.
Not all RFID technology is interchangeable, which is to say that not all transponders work with all antennas or transceivers, not all transceivers work with all antennas, etc. Mixing and matching RFID technology is a good way to spend a lot of money on an RFID system that will not function.
However, much more common than mixing RFID tech is choosing the wrong technology for the intended application. Business leaders need to be careful in choosing RFID tags that suit their needs, considering issues like range, amount of data, materials involved and more. With a thorough RFID site survey and an intensive discovery process, leaders should be able to identify the exact RFID tech to benefit operations.
Investing Too Heavily Too Quickly
Startup entrepreneurs and small business leaders might see the robust RFID systems in operation in multinational enterprises and resolve to develop comparable systems for their own organizations. Often, over-eager business leaders will try to implement RFID throughout their entire operations all at the same time, in the hopes of elevating all processes with this advanced tech. Unfortunately, this is almost always a massive mistake.
Like other technologies, the adoption of RFID will follow a learning curve that will almost certainly slow performance for weeks or months. Thus, not only will an organization incur the hardware and software costs of RFID, but they will also lose revenues as employees gain RFID skill.
If all departments are striving to implement RFID at the same time, business could screech to a complete halt. Instead, leaders should use data to determine which areas of the organization will benefit most from RFID and expand the system as necessary over time.
Neglecting RFID Software
RFID hardware — the readers and the tags — are undeniably important to RFID implementation, but hardware is only half of the entire RFID system. When an RFID reader scans a tag and acquires useful data, it needs somewhere to send and store that data, which is why RFID software is so important. Using RFID software, employees can take full advantage of RFID tech to analyze information and make stronger decisions.
There are many RFID software solutions on the market, so business leaders should take time to evaluate their options and invest in software tools that suit current and future needs.
Assuming RFID Doesn’t Evolve
Modern RFID might have its roots in technology that is almost a century old, but it is wrong to assume that RFID systems have not changed in 100 years — or that they will not continue to change into the future.
RFID solutions available today are better than ever; they have some of the longest ranges of use, and they can transmit the highest amount of data. Likely, these attributes will become even better in the future, and RFID tech could gain even more power through easier integrations with other business tech systems and more innovative applications across enterprises.
Thus, business leaders should consistently review RFID trends and make updates to their systems to maintain competitive advantages.
Refusing to Consult RFID Professionals
Any time an organization wants to implement a new technology system, it is best for business leaders to consult with experts in that technology field. The same is true for RFID. All of the mistakes listed above are easily avoided or overcome through partnership with RFID professionals, who maintain a staggering breadth of knowledge about the RFID industry.
The sooner entrepreneurs and small business leaders contact RFID experts for help, the better.