RFID. How to adapt the supply chain to the Covid era

Adaptar la cadena de suministro a la era Covid

Companies have always had the obligation to adapt to trends and phenomena that affect their production processes. COVID-19 has been a wave that many companies in the industrial sector did not count and that have affected them. Then there is the case of Bionix Technologies, which has managed to take advantage of the current situation and adapt its improvement systems for the supply chain.

In this article we tell you how to adapt your supply chain to the COVID-19 era. You will see how it is possible to improve the efficiency of your business at a time when health prevention measures do not make it easy.

The importance of logistics in the COVID era

The health crisis in the Coronavirus era has given greater visibility to a key activity sector to guarantee the supply of the population, logistics. In turn, this sector has allowed many companies from other areas to continue their activity, despite the fact that their digital development is minimal.

This is where we see the first rusty link in the chain, knowing the potential of electronic commerce there are still many companies with that great handicap. It is essential both for the present and the future to supply the consumer wherever they want or choose: their home, their workplace, a point of convenience, the establishment itself, etc.

Technology, which has been a great ally of e-commerce logistics, can become a real engine that to drives the way out of the crisis.

  • The importance of traceability and real-time information about the product and its delivery to the customer (where RFID systems, monitoring, geolocation, IoT and big data intervene).
  • The use of a customer delivery system (delivery vehicles)
  • The digitization of information and documentation associated with logistics and transport.
  • The importance of having a real stock to be able to respond to customer orders.

How to adapt the supply chain in the time of the coronavirus?

At Bionix Technologies we tell you what you need to do to adapt your supply chain to RFID technology during the COVID-19 era step by step:

Step 1: Process analysis

Carry out an exhaustive analysis of the different phases of the process, in order to establish improvements:

  • Control the times and execution of each process.
  • Data collection: detects dead or empty times or processes, where to put the spotlight.
  • Prepare a decision plan, where to prioritize risks.
  • Establishes an improvement plan, creates estimates of the impact of the proposed improvements.

Step 2: Implementation of the action plan

Assign a command center or department to launch a rapid response to the gaps detected in the analysis.

  • The department must be transversal and include communication and management channels.
  • Priority actions based on predefined protocols will be executed.

Step 3: Restructuring the process

Once the technical and digital improvements have been implemented adjust in the shortest possible time the operations involved in the supply chain process.

  • It is time to test the processes by applying unusual situations and measure the impact of risk.
  •  A continuous risk assessment is essential to adapt response protocols.

Step 4: Strengthen capabilities for operations to continue

  • It is important to create a support of the supply chain control center. Monitor the protocols and control the processes that are executed.
  • Updates the business continuity plan considering future skills of employees, technology and processes.
  • Leverage data to take into account extreme cases and the impact they will have. Use these scenarios for simulation, extract information to manage the response protocols with agility.

How does COVID-19 affect companies?

According to a Webinar from The Economist: Coronavirus outbreak economic and business implications

“71% of the companies surveyed do not have a contingency plan regarding business operations in case the outbreak lasts more than a few weeks.”

Which indicates that companies do not have their infrastructure adapted to this time.

This can have a negative effect on the different dimensions of the value chain:

  1. Suppliers: Quarantines, sanitary restrictions or border closures have a direct negative effect on the distribution of raw materials.
  2. Manufacturing: Lack of supplies has jeopardized work in manufacturing plants that have been completely shut down.
  3. Logistics: With the Coronavirus pandemic, transportation and the closing of markets have been restricted.
  4. Sales: Consumption habits change and the purchase of essential goods is prioritized and purchases of other goods are postponed. On the other hand, due to the lack of distribution and lack of stock, the establishments decide to reduce their hours and even close.
  5. Work: As a result of COVID-19, unemployment increases, working hours reductions and those companies that opt for quarantine, the telework modality arises.

What are the advantages of adapting the supply chain of your business to new RFID technologies?

Reduce time and improve management

One of the main beneficial aspects of the implementation of an RFID system in the supply chain of a company is the transmission of information in real time. You will be able to obtain data in each of the steps of the supply chain, which will allow you to speed up decision-making.

At the same time, the times assigned to logistics processes are also reduced: reception, loading and supply of products thanks to the use of RFID tags and readers that allow a multitude of items to be identified automatically.

To sum it up:

  • Overall, it supports smooth functioning of business operation and provides accurate knowledge of inventory status.
  • The improvements implemented by RFID technology increase productivity and improve the performance of resources. The goal of RFID is to eliminate costly and time-consuming phases of the process to streamline the supply chain to minimize errors that may occur.
  • This increase in process control allows for a better classification of products, which guarantees greater precision when loading the order and reduces shipping time.
  • By improving performance, the time in which orders are generated and distributed is shortened and, therefore, the cost is reduced, allowing for lower and more competitive prices.
  • Reduction in manual operations, which results in the need for fewer employees to control, monitor and manage inventory.
  • Maintaining constant control of merchandise and shipments promotes better customer service.
  • As a consequence of the set of benefits, the satisfaction of the end customer increases.