The purpose of stock-taking is to improve daily operations in shop or warehouse, as well as to optimize expenses. Why then stock-taking itself is so difficult to perform and generates serious expenses? Luckily, RFID technology solves this paradox.
The beginning of year is a proper moment to analyze our stock-taking efforts. This should support us in drawing key conclusions and optimizing this process in future. As we perfectly know, stock-taking is necessary for business activity, therefore it is so important to perform it as effectively as only possible.
In the shadow of barcode
The great majority of shops still performs stock-taking using barcode and scanners. It is equal to great challenges and right from the start guarantees, that its result will be far from satisfying.
It is caused by barcode?s limitations:
- barcode must be scanned from max few centimeters;
- barcode must be scanned individually, one by one;
- barcode requires visual contact with scanner ? any obstacle make scanning impossible;
- it is easy to be damaged;
- it can be easily unstuck and it even will not be noticed;
- it is not rewritable;
- it has very little storage ? it will not contain much data.
The inevitable question is if it is possible to expect satisfying stock-taking results with so limited marker as barcode?
Costs, costs, costs
It is surprising that process planned to bring improvement in your shop or warehouse, is simultaneously so expensive. It seems that a great amount of money must be invested first to expected any results. Which are questionable, by the way.
Stock-taking with barcodes is undoubtedly time-consuming. It is easy to explain why that is. Very barcode must be scanned individually and from distance of few centimeters. Such action lasts quite long, especially when a scanned object must be moved or turned to find and scan barcode.
In the result, personnel are burdened with this challenge. Your people must leave their everyday duties and focus solely on stock-taking. It makes running your business difficult, isn?t it?
When it comes to stock-taking, every employer faces dilemma. He can shorten stock-taking by hiring additional staff for the time of stock-taking. But it costs. The other option is to sit and watch how this process lasts and lasts while the efficiency of your personnel is decreasing.
But these are not all personal costs of barcodes stock-taking. Often enough, shop or warehouse staff must work overtime. Sometimes even in night, what results in paying them extra salary.
Shop/warehouse closing costs
To avoid overtime, stock-taking may be performed when shop/warehouse is closed. However, everyday business activity must be stopped as all crew is engaged in stock-taking. It must be finished as quick as it is possible. Time is money: every non-working hour generates financial losses.
Barcode stock-taking will never be fully accurate. Omissions, scanning mistakes, damaged or worn-out barcodes, finally ? the fatigue of your personnel forced to repeat arduous activities over and over. It all makes that information on your products, gathered with such great effort, just cannot be accurate enough.
It means that manager will not be able to wisely plan supplies and estimate real demand for specific goods. In results, he orders too many/too little products or orders products that will not be selling at all, as no customer wants them.
Imprecise stock-taking leads to lack of demanded products on your shelves. Managers do not have full knowledge what products they have, which ones are running low and which are already missing. This results not only in lack of profits (because you obviously cannot sell what you do not have), but also in future profits losses and drain of your customers. Statistic tells us that client who cannot find in store what he is looking for, is more eager to choose your competition as the place for next shopping.
All these problems may be easily eliminated as if by magic. Yet you do not need a magic wand to do it. RFID technology (readers and tags) will do. Tags will successfully replace barcodes, offering you breakthrough in stock-taking:
- tags may be scanned even from some meters;
- tags may be scanned collectively ? even 300 tags in 1 second;
- tags may be scanned through obstacles (e.g. boxes, walls);
- tags are durable, can work for many years;
- tags are rewritable;
- their storage is much larger than barcodes?.
RFID stock-taking has been heavily tested all around the world. And it has been proved that it brings real benefits. Trade giants as well as single boutiques enjoy its advantages. The key features making RFID so exceptional are:
- 99,7% of accuracy ? costs related to imprecise stock-taking and wrong supplies are eliminated;
- it lasts some seconds or minutes ? cost related to closing shop or overtime of your staff are finally gone;
- engages only 1-2 employees ? operational and personal costs are very limited as there is no need for employing additional staff.
Therefore, if we would have to reach only one, final conclusion regarding our stock-taking efficiency, it would be: ?next time we do it with RFID?.