Go Beyond Mere Inventory Tracking. Find Hidden Damage with ShockWatch RFID

Ensure your laboratory equipment leaves your hands in perfect condition. Key Takeaways: RFID technology has long been used for inventory management. ShockWatch RFID furthers this…

Ensure your laboratory equipment leaves your hands in perfect condition.

Key Takeaways:

  • RFID technology has long been used for inventory management.
  • ShockWatch RFID furthers this technology to detect impact damage, even inside the packaging.
  • In addition to damage detection, ShockWatch RFID ups the ante for warehouse workers, who learn to be more careful.
  • Many supply chain disruptions are unpredictable – get more insightwith ShockWatch RFID.

It’s imperative to do everything you can to protect your laboratory equipment products in the supply chain. With disruptions causing $1.6 trillion in lost revenue – amounting to a revenue loss of up to 11% – the last thing you need is for your items to arrive damaged. This not only costs money but creates a poor customer experience.

Most nefarious is hidden damage, when products arrive seemingly intact but with internal issues due to mishandling. This situation is particularly vexing for laboratory equipment manufacturers that meticulously package their products. If only there were a way to know where the damage was happening. Is it occurring in-house or after the items leave your dock?

Delicate products require delicate handling throughout the supply chain. RFID (radio frequency identification) has an established role in inventory management. But what if that technology was taken a step further to include impact monitoring? Read on.

Reimagine inventory control with the power of ShockWatch RFID

When used in the warehouse, RFID enhances efficiency and accuracy in inventory management, enabling businesses to locate and count items in a given area quickly. The tags can be scanned remotely without a direct line of sight, saving time and reducing human error. This makes it easier to keep track of inventory, improve stock visibility, and streamline supply chain operations.

However, traditional RFID systems have limitations. While they excel in providing information about where an item is, they cannot provide real-time data on the item’s condition. For example, they cannot detect if an item has suffered any impact that could affect its quality or functionality.

This is where ShockWatch® RFID comes in as an innovative solution. ShockWatch RFID combines RFID technology with impact monitoring capabilities. It integrates traditional RFID tracking with ShockWatch impact indicators, which are small devices that can be attached to items to monitor and identifyany impacts they experience during transportation or storage.

These impact indicators are designed to change color or display a visual alert if an item has been mishandled, dropped, or exposed to excessive shock or vibration. By combining impact monitoring with RFID, laboratory equipment manufacturers gain valuable real-time information about the condition of their inventory. This offers proactive damage detection, enabling prompt actions to prevent further harm or identify potential quality issues.

Case study: a manufacturer takes control

A major laboratory equipment manufacturer was experiencing a high rate of internal supply chain damage to unsold products transferred from their manufacturing plant to the distribution warehouse. The company needed a cost-effective solution to track individual product damage and alert supply chain managers of the damage due to impact and tilt before the product moved further along the supply chain.

Solution: The manufacturing company already had standard UHF RFID readers positioned at each dock door. To complete their setup, they simply configured their readers to read the “impact event” that could be signaled from an activated ShockWatch RFID unit. ShockWatch RFID can replace existing UHF RFID tags used for inventory control, so no extra tags are needed.

The process they now follow includes:

  • ShockWatch RFID is affixed to the packaging of all sensitive or fragile laboratory equipment in the company’s supply chain before it leaves the facility.
  • If a product is dropped or receives a potentially damaging impact, the window on the ShockWatch RFID unit turns red, and the “impact event” code in the RFID tag is triggered.
  • As the damaged product is loaded onto the truck and passes by the RFID readers at the dock doors, the impact event associated with the specific product is automatically entered into the company’s warehouse management system.
  • Any potentially damaged product is pulled for inspection byquality assurance.

ShockWatch RFID doesn’t just call attention to hidden damage, it also enables a shift in the behavior of supply chain workers and instills a sense of accountability and responsibility –ShockWatch RFID acts as a visual deterrent for unacceptable handling.

More than damage detection: The positive ripple effects of ShockWatch RFID

The immediate benefit of ShockWatch RFID is its ability to identify potentially damaged equipment for inspection, allowing for quick intervention and preventing further issues down the line. By attaching ShockWatch RFID tags to sensitive or fragile items, such as electronic equipment or delicate machinery, you can easily monitor if they have experienced any impacts or mishandling during transportation or storage. This real-time data enables you to address any damages promptly, saving you from potential operational disruptions or costly repairs.

However, the benefits go beyond damage detection and mitigation. ShockWatch RFID improves your entire supply chain operations. 

  • Ship faster: With the ability to quickly identify damaged equipment, you can reduce shipping times by swiftly determining if a shipment should be inspected. This expedites the shipping process and ensures that only undamaged goods leave your inventory, streamlining workflows and increasing efficiency and productivity.
  • Minimize damage-related costs: By proactively identifying and addressing damages early on, you can avoid returns because of equipment failure or reduced lifespan. This saves you from expensive repairs or replacements and prevents any potential loss of revenue due to downtime or delays in operations.
  • Deters mishandling: An unexpected benefit of ShockWatch RFID is its role as a deterrent to mishandling within the supply chain. The visible presence of ShockWatch RFID tags is a constant reminder to handlers and workers that their actions are being monitored. This promotes a sense of accountability and responsibility, leading to improved handling practices and reduced instances of rough or careless treatment of goods. Consequently, the overall risk of damage or mishandling decreases, contributing to a more reliable and trustworthy supply chain.

Optimize your supply chain with data-driven insights

ShockWatch RFID is a sophisticated system that utilizes RFID to take it beyond mere inventory control. When products are equipped with RFID tags containing impact sensors, the system can generate valuable data on where and when impact events occur.

This data is incredibly valuable for laboratory equipment manufacturers. It enables them to pinpoint areas where frequent impact events occur within their supply chain. By analyzing this information, companies can identify weak points in their supply chain processes, such as improper handling techniques or inadequate packaging, which may be causing these impacts.

Identifying these weak points is crucial because it informs the targeted and proactive measures to address them. For example, specialized training programs can improve handling techniques, or work with suppliers to develop better packaging solutions. These targeted improvements can significantly reduce impact events, minimize product damage, and decrease costs associated with returns or replacements of damaged goods.

The continuous collection and analysis of shock data from ShockWatch RFID empowers companies to refine their supply chain operations over time. By monitoring impact patterns and detecting any deviations or trends, companies can make data-driven decisions to optimize their processes. This might involve adjusting packaging designs, reevaluating transportation methods, or even redesigning warehouse layouts to minimize the likelihood and severity of impact events.

State-of-the-art protection: SpotSee® and ShockWatch RFID

ShockWatch RFID improves damage control, reduces costs, and enables data-driven optimization. 

Innovative technology enables real-time monitoring and tracking of your products and assets throughout the supply chain. It provides instant alerts for potential damage or mishandling, allowing you to take immediate action and prevent further issues.

Utilizing ShockWatch RFID minimizes the risk of product damage and losses to reduce costs associated with product replacements, repairs, and customer complaints.

ShockWatch RFID also provides detailed data on the handling and transportation of your products. This data can be analyzed to identify patterns and trends, enabling you to optimize your supply chain operations. You can make informed decisions based on this information, streamline processes, and enhance efficiency.

SpotSee is a leading expert in providing innovative supply chain solutions. With our extensive experience and expertise, we constantly strive to develop cutting-edge technologies like ShockWatch RFID. Our solutions address the specific challenges in effective supply chain management.

We have a track record of delivering reliable, accurate, and efficient solutions that help businesses improve operations, reduce costs, and achieve optimal supply chain performance. Find out how we can help you – Contact us today for more information.