An account of RFID in ERP solutions

Use of RFID on ERP systems

Radio Frequency IDentification-RFID is an effective technology used to uniquely identify objects. It consists of a reader and a tag; a tag containing data can be interrogated by the reader by a distance to fetch its information. It is the seamlessness of the communication in RFID that gives them edge over more traditional, less-agile barcode systems. Gone are those days when you scan the barcodes, set merchandise on pallets, find storage area for the same kind of merchandise, print bar codes labels, and the never ending process of procurement and release of goods. Now before you begin scanning the inventory, you set up the software by navigation to a specific location, and click. It is done! When time is money, you save a chunk.

RFID nowadays is being heavily deployed with ERP Supply chain management systems. RFID tag attached to a shipment can contain encrypted data associated with that shipment. The ERP system containing reader interprets the data from the tag and immediately the shipment is directed to the warehouse location. A passive RFID tag doesn’t need batteries; it draws its power from Radio frequencies generated by its reader.

The software used for collecting data from a tag and store it is called meddleware. The two properties of a meddleware in an ERP inventory:

  • Handling large data volume: Continuous stream of data follows into the system [sent by the readers], it is required to manage the data stream. A reader doesn’t have any ability to perform any sorting or calculating operations and that is why “managing” of data comes down to the meddleware.
  • Device management: RFID meddleware is the layer between the business applications and the hardware devices. It provides a central managing node for IT services, and connects to the back-end database. For example, a reader may give just a tag ID to the meddleware which queries that ID in the database to get all the information associated with that tag.

Retail giants Walmart, use RFID tracking device for their inventories which is incorporated by SAP ERP at the back-end. Hence, it becomes imperative for the companies doing business with big companies like these. There are a lot of efficient Open source ERP solutions for ERP-Inventory management which support RFID. Some of the names include OpenERP, OpenBravo, BlueErp, Opentaps, NolaPro and Compiere. There has already been increasing interest in RFID technology. Soon it will completely replace barcodes; hence ERP inventory managers should look for RFID deployment in their solutions.

Programmer at E-nova Technologies

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2 Responses to “An account of RFID in ERP solutions”

  1. vidhatanand says:

    Excellent writeup.

  2. Hopper Grace says:

    ERP systems are elegant,simple and user friendly.Haence a wide range of companies use it to increase their profit.

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