6 ways RFID can help businesses adapt to new ways of working during the pandemic
How can RFID technology help your business work effectively under new working conditions during the COVID-19 crisis?
1. Help to comply with social distancing standards
Using a BLE real-time proximity warning system, such as the one offered by Paragon ID, employees can wear wristbands or use mobile phone apps within the workplace which helps ensure social distancing in work environments. Any proximity breaches can be recorded so that if an employee later tests positive for the virus, others who have been working within close range of that individual can be alerted to self-isolate.
2. Production monitoring
RFID systems and technology can help facilitate remote collaboration and support indirect and direct operations such as allowing production managers to monitor manufacturing output and processes remotely, for example when working from home. By tagging product parts and placing RFID readers on the production line, managers can track where assets are in the manufacturing process. This means they can identify potential disruption and workflow exceptions, such as bottlenecks, a lot quicker before they can impact production output and without having to enter the workplace.
3. Inventory management without stock counting or scanning
RFID technology has the capability of automatically collecting and recording data relating to inventories and stock levels within seconds. This can be done through the use of fixed RFID readers and therefore, no physical interaction or human intervention needs to occur and inventory can be checked remotely. This means without the need to manually stock check, employees are aware of how much stock is available and if more needs re-ordering.
4. Asset tracking
By tagging assets with RFID chips, employees can see if there are enough devices available for testing or carrying out production and quality checking processes efficiently without having to physically be on-site. Accessing accurate, real-time data off-site can help reduce the number of employees needed in the workplace and therefore help the business comply with social distancing whilst keeping track of the company's assets.
5. Reducing physical contact with assets
As assets are tagged with RFID chips, there is less need for physical touch when sorting through and locating specific items as serial numbers can be checked by scanning without line of sight. A large number of items can be scanned at once using handheld or fixed RFID readers and therefore the need to sort or touch items is reduced. As the virus can sit on surfaces, this ensures that employees are at a lower risk due to the reduced level of contact, for example a maintenance engineer would be able to identify specific items for repair without having to touch all possible items.
6. Business continuity
Having an RFID system in place, can prepare companies for unprecedented situations like COVID-19 or other circumstances that would put a halt to production and business-as-usual due to social distancing rules for example. Companies that are reliant on knowing where their assets are and the volume of inventory they are holding would be able to continue as usual as tasks that would previously involve human interaction would be carried out by the RFID software such as stock take and locating assets.