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Previously, we covered the differences between RFID and barcode systems, the different advantages of each, and how to choose one for your business based on those differences. But not every business has need for a clear-cut, one-or-the-other solution. Larger businesses might actually benefit from using both in concert with each other to accomplish different goals. Particularly in large retail outlets, the use of both an RFID reader, and either a wired or wireless barcode scanner (though the latter can offer greater flexibility) is highly encouraged. Here’s how:
A smaller retail store might be able to do inventory manually with good old pen and paper on a clipboard. But if you count inventory in the thousands or more, these methods are beginning to look a little slow. Every hour your employees spend counting is money spent that could go into other parts of your business. In this way, an RFID reader system could quickly pay for itself shortly after implementation. Because the reader can quickly and efficiently read multiple items, inventory tracking can be done regularly without eating up time elsewhere.
You’ve seen them: the big plastic tags hanging awkwardly from a pair of pants or a shirt. The little metallic sheets pressed between the pages of books, the metallic sticker inside your DVD case that hurts your fingers when you try to remove it. These are RFID-based security devices that set off an RFID reader typically at the exit of your store. Any time you’ve accidentally set one off, that’s because it wasn’t properly deactivated or removed. This kind of RFID system can save your retail store a serious amount of money in preventing theft and shoplifting. The discouragement alone that shoplifters feel upon seeing the security scanners at your doors will work wonders.
Learn more about item-level RFID tagging in retail: click here
Some people view the limits of a wireless barcode reader as exactly that: a limitation. In something like large-scale inventory tracking, this would be true. When a sales associate is moving a customer through a terminal, the scanning will be one item at a time. Even if every unit of stock for a product did have an RFID chip in it you still want sales associates to manually scan each item. This to address any technical errors a hands-on, human touch.
If you’re operating a large retail business and aren’t using barcodes and RFID readers together to maximize efficiency and reduce losses, then what are you waiting for?
Try our free online Barcode Generator.