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- May 1, 2007-

 
   

RFID, Used Right, Will Fundamentally Change Distribution Center Operations

 
 

Users will Move from a “Periscope” to “Sonar,” According to SCDigest’s Mark Fralick

 
 

 

SCDigest Editorial Staff

Fralick Says:
Key to taking advantage of this new level of input and visibility is an “event-driven” WMS architecture that can intelligently react to RFID reads.

What do you say? Send us your comments here

Speaking on Supply Chain Digest’s Videocast last week on “The RFID-Enabled WMS” (go to this link to view the Videocast on-demand: The RFID-Enabled WMS), Fralick offered a great analogy to help companies understand the difference in how the WMS can operate and deliver value.

A traditional WMS is dependent on operators within a specific, understood part of the WMS application to scan bar codes or enter other data, according to Fralick. Using the analogy of a submarine, these individual, controlled bar code scans are like a periscope that is looking at one thing at a specific point in time.

Fully embedding RFID into warehouse operations changes the scenario dramatically. RFID tag reads can come into the system at any point, not controlled by an operator or a specific “screen” of the WMS software. As a result, using RFID is more like a submarine’s “sonar’” scanning, which gives a continuous, 360 degree view of what’s happening in the DC.

Key to taking advantage of this new level of input and visibility is an “event-driven” WMS architecture that can intelligently react to these RFID reads. Rather than having a specific area of the WMS application prompting for a bar code scan, the read of an RFID tag may call an area of the application to communicate with the operator – a totally different paradigm.

RFID Will Change the Model of WMS Data
Capture from a Periscope Model to "Sonar"

 

What do you think of the “periscope” and “sonar” analogies for use of RFID in distribution and WMS? Will more event-driven architectures be needed to ultimately take advantage of RFID capabilities? Let us know your thoughts at the feedback button below.

 
     
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