RFID Manufacturing Trends

RFID Manufacturing Employment Trends

If you’re in the manufacturing business, it won’t be surprising that U.S. manufacturers still find hiring the workers they need challenging. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there are 12.9 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and 467,000 openings as of September 2023. Hiring is even more problematic considering the specialization required for particular roles.

Even more concerning is that 45% of manufacturing executives surveyed rejected growth opportunities because they couldn’t hire the needed people. The bottom line is this: when manufacturing businesses don’t have the workers they need, they can’t produce the products.

Or can they?

RFID for Manufacturing

RFID technology eases the manufacturing hiring crisis by making operations more efficient. It gives you complete visibility into your operation and provides actionable data that makes your supply chain, equipment maintenance, and inventory more efficient. You can do more with increased accuracy and fewer employees when you increase efficiency. Here are a few areas where RFID boosts efficiency, productivity, and accuracy, helping to offset hiring challenges.

Inventory Accuracy and Efficiency

Often, the manufacturing process requires many raw materials or parts that need to be in stock for smooth production. Running out of components is one of the surest ways to slow or stop production, but over-ordering materials “to be safe” can erode profitability. RFID gives you item-level tracking of parts from the largest to the smallest. At a glance, you can see if the number of items for a particular process is sufficient to meet production targets. Ordering can be more precise, aiding cash flow and profitability with fewer overstocks and less waste.

Track Equipment Location

One of the biggest time-wasters in a manufacturing facility is tracking down shared equipment or tools in a large warehouse or on an extensive manufacturing floor. With RFID tracking, you can tag equipment, and as it travels around the facility, passing RFID gateways, you can locate it in your RFID software. RFID tracking can also alert you of equipment theft.

Track Equipment Maintenance Cycles

Manufacturing equipment has to be maintained to stay up and running, but tracking maintenance cycles is a daunting task when you have multiple machines of different types. Unexpected downtime slows or stops production, costing you productivity and profit and potentially damaging customer relationships. You can stay on top of required maintenance and preserve your uptime using RFID tagging and software.

Optimize Asset Use

When your assets are tagged and tracked with RFID, you know where each pallet, bin, forklift, truck, or container is. Has a customer not returned bins or pallets? Have items mysteriously “walked off” the site? When you see the location of these assets, you can take action to retrieve them, saving money on reordering necessary goods and following items between supply chain locations.

Shipping & Receiving

Retailers increasingly require RFID tagging before their items reach a brick-and-mortar store, so accurate item-level tracking is essential. Without item-level tracking, you are operating blind, trusting that you have received what you ordered or that the correct product(s) are going to the customer. Manual tracking is laborious, time-intensive, and grueling for employees.

Properly configured RFID gateways automatically register goods traveling in and out of your facility, record the information to your software, and give you actionable data. When you have what you ordered, production is more efficient, and when your shipping accuracy is high, customer service and relationships improve.  

Employee Retention

With the difficulty in hiring for manufacturing jobs, simplifying manufacturing processes for existing employees can go a long way toward retaining your human capital. When you have complete visibility into your supply chain, inventory, equipment, and assets, production line workers are assured of the necessary tools and raw materials, improving job satisfaction. Efficiency replaces the frustrating experience of downtime followed by overtime or exceptionally long hours to meet production goals. 

Customer Satisfaction

The bottom line for a manufacturing business is to profit from its products, and customer retention is crucial. Customers do not appreciate excuses such as equipment downtime, insufficient parts, or lack of raw materials. Just like in manufacturing, they need what they need when they need it.

Making your supply chain, inventory, product tracking, shipping, and receiving more efficient with RFID enables you to produce on time so your customers can have what they need, increasing customer satisfaction, solidifying long-time relationships, and building a reputation for reliability that attracts new customers.

Implementing an RFID System

Implementing or improving an RFID system doesn’t have to be complicated. MSM Solutions has provided traceability solutions worldwide since 1981, and we know the manufacturing business. If you currently use a barcode system and want to integrate RFID, we can help. We offer both and have helped many customers optimize their current systems while adding RFID’s efficiency. We can also help you replace a barcode system with RFID if that’s best for your business.

Your business requirements are our starting point. We first understand your operation and recommend user-friendly automated solutions like mobile computers, RFID readers, thermal printers, labels, and media. Equipment from our key partners and our PortalTrack software combine into a workable, easy-to-use tracking solution that makes your manufacturing business more efficient and cost-effective and helps retain workers.

Contact us today to optimize your operation.

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