Pen and Paper Inventory Is A Thing of The Past


Inventory data is some of the most important information you have powering your business. Knowing what product you have and where you have it is essential to keeping your company working at its highest potential. That’s why it is essential to have the most up-to-date, accurate information in order to make the best decisions for your company.

The age old method of taking inventory included employees individually identifying, counting, and writing down the information about each piece of merchandise in the warehouse.  This tedious process takes time, money and man power away from other important tasks that the employee could be performing.

This method also provides numerous touch points for human error to occur. The fees and costs associated with inaccurate packing and shipping quickly add up when inventory data is unreliable as a result of human error.  Using barcodes is a huge improvement.  Now data can be scanned and directly entered into an inventory tracking system.  Now more passing the slip of paper down the line and having someone type it it hours or, typically, days later.  Scanning reduces the data acquisition cost, increases your sales and profitability by freeing up employee time to produce instead of capture data, and lowers the amount of missing and incorrect data.  RFID takes this one step further and eliminates the need for employees to stop working at all because there is no need to pick up a scanner and search for the barcode.  With contactless tag reading capabilities, RFID technology automates and streamlines the inventory process.  This results in reduced time, money, and man power required to keep inventory data up to date.  That means higher profits and higher sales with the same resources!

The increasing migration towards RFID technology is putting more pressure on manufacturers than ever before to reduce processing time. The less time employees spend taking inventory, the more time they can spend performing other tasks. This redistribution of attention will make the supply chain more efficient. Here is a great example from retail.  According to Leslie Hand, Research Director of IDC Retail insights, “[with RFID] 96% reduction in amount of time to cycle count, enabling more frequent and more valuable insight into real physical inventory”*. A 96% reduction in the time required to take inventory could mean big savings for your company!  Manufacturers and warehouse operators should expect the same level of improvement.

Regardless of whether you choose barcode (good) or RFID (best), getting away from pen and paper tracking will have immediate impact on increasing your profitability.  Move away from the pen – it’s time to make more money!

*(IDC Community RFID for Better Store Level Inventory Replenishment and Other Retail Use Cases)