Companies can benefit greatly from using autonomous mobile robots for RFID cycle counting. By combining the speed and accuracy of RFID technology with the efficiency of AMRs, companies can improve inventory management and inventory accuracy, accelerate their cycle counting processes, save time, and reduce the risk of errors. To get the most out of this technology, it is important for companies to work with a consultant who has experience in implementing AMRs for cycle counting.
How Cycle Counting Improves Inventory Accuracy
Cycle counting is an important part of inventory tracking for companies. It involves counting a portion of the inventory on a regular basis to ensure that the company’s records accurately reflect the actual amount of inventory on hand. Companies conduct inventory cycle counting to avoid having to do a full physical inventory count, which can be time-consuming and disruptive to normal operations.
However, manual cycle counting can be a challenge for companies, especially those with large and complex inventory systems. Conducting cycle counts with employees can be time-consuming and prone to errors, and it can also pull valuable resources away from other important tasks.
RFID Accelerates the Cycle Count
This is where RFID technology can help. RFID, or radio-frequency identification, is a technology that allows companies to automatically identify and track inventory items using radio waves. RFID technology speeds up cycle counting by allowing companies to quickly scan and track inventory items without having to manually count each item. The RFID tag / RFID label attached to each item or carton can be seen when within scanning range of an RFID reader. This can be a powerful tool for inventory tracking, since each item no longer has to be touched by an employee… the typical RFID scanner offers read rates which exponentially exceed those attainable by humans.
With an RFID system in place:
- Inventory inaccuracy can be reduced
- Inventory counting time can be reduced
- Inventory visibility is improved (RFID can even be used to help locate items, which is why it is also frequently used for high-value asset tracking).
- Customer satisfaction is improved by reduced lead-times and fewer stock-outs
But RFID Cycle Counting Still Requires Labor Hours
But even with the use of RFID technology, manual cycle counting can still be a time-consuming and error-prone process. This is where autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) can further accelerate cycle counting and minimize human involvement.
Best Practices: Use AMRs Alongside RFID Cycle Counting
AMRs are robots that can move around a facility and perform tasks without the need for human intervention. When used for cycle counting (by equipping the AMR with an RFID reader and programming a route through the warehouse), AMRs can quickly and accurately scan inventory items using RFID technology, reducing the need for manual counting. This can save companies time and reduce the risk of errors.
In addition to speeding up the cycle counting process, AMRs can also help to minimize human involvement in dangerous or hazardous areas. For example, AMRs can be used to perform cycle counting in areas where there is a risk of injury or accidents, such as in a warehouse with heavy machinery or in a manufacturing facility with hazardous materials.
The Fetch TagSurveyor is an AMR equipped with RFID Tag Reader for extremely efficient RFID cycle counting
Expert Guidance on Using AMRs for RFID Cycle Counting
Implementing AMRs for cycle counting can be a complex process, and it is important for companies to work with a consultant who has experience in this area. There are a number of consulting firms that specialize in helping companies implement autonomous robots for cycle counting. These consultants can help companies determine the best type of AMR to use for their specific needs, as well as assist with the implementation and training process.
Contact CSSI for Help
To discuss autonomous mobile robots and their potential application in RFID cycle counting to attain accurate inventory data in your warehouse operation, please contact CSSI.