Discuss the role IT and RFID plays in the warehouse
This paper discusses the role of IT and RFID in warehouse management with a close view at Tesco. Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that automatically identifies particular materials or products as well as collects their detailed information without human involvement. At Tesco for instance, RFID technology has been integrated throughout the company’s warehouses to help increase the efficiency of supply chain procedure. RFID is a significant technology at Tesco’s warehousing when it comes to locating, monitoring logistics devices, increasing the flow of products or management of inventory. RFID technology contributes to the improvement of supply chain procedure by increasing productivity and significantly improves traceability (Drummond and Ensor 2005). In this scenario, product identification at Tesco warehouses takes place when the RFID tag is on a similar frequency. Basically, RFID is a wireless application; it has distinct identification ability and tracks and traces material. These key characteristics make RFID effective compared to bar coding technology. In other words, RFID technology is important in warehousing because it has advanced automation procedure, closed loop tracking and tracing ability and provides supply chain visibility (Blanchard 2007). At Tesco warehousing, RFID technology reduces the use product positioning related to bar-code. This helps Tesco to identify mixed pallets without necessarily unpacking throughout its warehouses. RFID supports higher levels of checking as well as handling automated products. This ability is very significant for Tesco’s warehousing as it eliminates product handling times and human mistakes during operations, including counting inventory, data entry, cross-docking routing and clearance of cross border delivery (Blanchard, 2007). Additionally, RFID presents a distinct identification with greater information ability. This offers this technology with quality record keeping and recovery capability that are vital in tracking of products (Moore and Pareek 2010). In medical fields for instance, FRID technology is widely used by medical institutions to track medical appliances, in casinos it is used to game chips and in flower firms it is used bloom seeds. Since RFID can trace as well as track objects, gives it the ability to help Tesco outlets with synchronized visibility of individual products. Tesco also integrates RFID with other devices such as global positioning systems, which helps in gathering all the necessary product data like production and expiration dates, product description, product departure and delivery and location of its producers (Moore and Pareek 2010). In this RFID can offer a unique degree of visibility in the supply chain management when shared among several parties involved in supply chain, a visibility that cannot be achieved with bar codes. For instance, in retail sector where inaccuracy of inventory information is a main challenge, RFID helps in improving as well as ensuring effective visibility (Lysons and Farrington 2006).
Measuring Warehouse Performance Measurement
Performance measurement is a critical component in logistical development in all industries. It can enhance proficiency and competence of not only transfer of items, but rather information sharing between the intricate hierarchies of all the tiers. Performance measurement on warehouses is an appraisal of the performance comprising of overall functional level, the node enterprises warehouse, the company relationship flanking the node enterprises and so forth. It is therefore necessary for a business-process centered performance measurement approach.
Management of logistics is important, since it helps companies to survive in the competitive market as well as defeat their competitors. Following technological advancements, companies have adopted sound and efficient warehouse management in their operations. Measuring performance in warehouse is one of the main aspects firms should comply to. Sainsbury for instance, has initiated warehouse management by implementing various techniques that use various benchmarking styles to measure its performance. Nevertheless, it has a flexible warehouse management system that helps the company to identify areas that are performing well; in turn this can be employed as benchmark to assess performance. On the other hand, Tesco’s success in the ever growing business world has been achieved by their close focus on improving main operation areas including warehousing which the company uses to measure performance. When companies fail to address their warehousing systems, they are regarded as flop.
However, with a continuous development of warehouse management theories and enhancement of practice, a somewhat effective index structure can be used for quantifying the performance per se with regard to the following; by focusing on key areas and substantive review on the key performance benchmarks that should be undertaken on a regular basis (Drummond and Ensor 2005). This can also be achieved by way of adopting performance clustering benchmarks which mirrors the actual business processes.
It is therefore important for companies such as Wal-Mart put in place effective tools for measuring performance in the event that warehouse systems fail to sustain companies throughout fiscal climates. At Tesco for instance, various factors are responsible for the vitality of warehouse performance. Considering that warehouses are a main aspect at Tesco’s operations, they help the company to assess its performance through product circulation and supply. Moreover, it also allows Tesco to understand profitable allocation, due to ever growing reliance on electronic techniques for product acquisition and manufacturers place high demand on warehouse help them to assess overall performance
Performance evaluation benchmarks should be executed in a way that reflects the operation position of the general supply chain, instead of simply the operation status of single nodule organization supply chain. The rating approach should be as far as probable integrated with real mode evaluation to be able to extend the degree of measurement to be benchmark at which the real-mode functional statistics can be reflected. At the event of performance measurement on supply chain, the rating benchmarks that mirror the association between suppliers, manufacturers as well as clients should be adopted, to be able to extend the scope of measurement to a level that entails the relative organizations of the supply chain (Brown 2005).
According to the objectives and basic aspects of supply chain control system, performance determinant benchmark should be rather able to reflect the collective operation status of supply chain and the functional association between enterprises of interlinked nodes within a supply chain effectively, far from analyzing the operations of an independent supplier without considering the issue of supply chain control (Kurtz et al. 2009).
Increasing service level, flexibility of warehousing indicates that definitely they are very important. Marks and Spencer, for example has always been strategic when it comes to positioning of their warehouses, design, product handling as well as inventory for lasting performance. Essentially, Tesco’s warehousing performance largely depends on several factors including cross-docking, return handling, internal product distribution cycle counting and quality assessment. As such, warehousing is an important facet in supply chain management; which comprise of more than 20% of the overall logistic expense of any given company.
The company should also consider procuring raw substances from a supplier with competitive rates in the supply chain; the purveyor should probably be analyses as one that can be chosen by looking at an isolated position. However, if the case is analyzed from a standpoint of cross-operational level across the supply chain, more benchmarks, such as correspondence and versatility must all be closely evaluated for purposes of efficacy (Brown 2005).
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