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School Inventory Made Easier Utilizing RFID Tracking
Jun 13, 2018

School Inventory Made Easier Utilizing RFID Tracking


Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that you often hear about and how it holds great promise for a lot of applications and systems throughout everyday life. Even though it has been around, it's only been in recent decades have RFID systems have spread silently into most aspects of public and private life including school districts.


An RFID system usually consists of a product, a RFID tag, a reader and often some type of inventory software. The RFID tag contains a small microchip connected to the antenna.  The chip inside the tag is encoded with an identification number that makes that tag unique.  The school's receiving office attaches the RFID tag to the product when it arrives and scans it with a handheld device called an RFID reader. The read data is sent to the inventory software which identifies and catalogs the product. Subsequently, after the product has been placed, the tags are scanned with the either a mobile or stationary reader to locate, verify and analyze stock as items are moved or used from the inventory.


Now that RFID technology has become more commonplace, the tags and readers of RFID systems seem to be everywhere-and that's, mostly, a good thing. It's certainly a positive step to have RFID technology helping with school inventory process and systems.


For years, teachers, secretaries, and detention-room teenagers have had the responsibility of counting inventory and recording the numbers with paper and pencil. Eventually, this task was done with the help of barcodes and readers. Now the RFID can reduce inventory counting time up to 95% over manual and barcode counting. Staff is free to do what staff was hired to do, in some cases, actually teach. Plus, the data gathered has proven to be more accurate than if counts were done by human or barcode count, consider an inventory where no interruptions occur and where the text showing results is easy to read.


Although using active RFID tags, which collect data in real time, for school inventories is cost prohibitive, use of passive tags is not. Managing an inventory with regular and frequent cycle counts using a reader with passive tags is an efficient way to keep up-to-date on inventory. Using supply chain management practices, district-wide administrators can keep supplies current without overstocking.  





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