Plan of Attack: Strategy and Tactics in Reusables Tracking
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In today’s world, the concept of tracking a package from the moment an order is placed until it reaches your doorstep is commonplace. The ability to monitor the progress of a package, or to quickly learn the underlying reason a package might be delayed, makes us feel informed, allows us the plan for when we’ll be able to accomplish what we ordered the package for, and register specific complaints if there are any issues.

In the industrial supply chain, many businesses track their shipments for the additional reason that they believe that just tracking their shipments will save time and money. However, the opposite is often the case, if the correct steps are not taken.

GPS, barcode identification, and RFID are all different methods of tracking. Each have their strengths, but one stands out from the others: RFID. While it costs a little more than simple barcoded tags, it is far more versatile and compatible than its counterparts. When accompanied by the proper infrastructure, an RFID system deployment can have near-GPS performance, without the huge price tag. When you know what data to collect and when, RFID technology can provide much more value than a tracking service alone. With RFID, you can boost efficiency and savings by setting up a reusable container management system fit precisely to your business infrastructure.

Before your business starts tracking, you should evaluate your strategy (your ultimate goals) and tactics (how to achieve those goals).

Strategy:

  • Improve cycle time (the period of time between when a reusable is shipped and when it returns to its point of origin)
  • Reduce needless purchases and encourage better utilization or repurposing

Tactics:

  • Reduce labor by eliminating the need to call around or otherwise waste time looking for containers
  • Reduce the need for expedited shipping
  • Better planning when you know where the containers will be at all time
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