If you are an RFID system supplier or an RFID system buyer you have probably wondered whether or not to use the services of a specialist tagging service provider. Or maybe you haven’t even considered it. To help you decide we’d like to clarify some of the most common misconceptions about an RFID tagging service.
If you tag using your own staff, you will save money!
On the face of it you might expect this to be true, using existing staff means no direct additional expenditure, or does it?
There are some very important factors to take into account.
- You’ll need to ensure your staff are fully trained. To achieve that someone needs to understand everything about RFID tagging, the technology, the process, error potential, error monitoring and repair and staff management.
- Planning staffing levels, imperative to ensuring you hit your timescales. You’ll need to understand how many items each person can tag per hour/day/week. Then extrapolate that number across the scale of the project to calculate your labour requirement. Take into account all the variables your internal team will generate, other duties, distractions, training, sick days, holidays and lack of enthusiasm for the task.
- The deadline is more important than you may think. RFID works when everything is tagged and, on the system, until that point it’s of little benefit. The investment you’ve made in the system only achieves an ROI when it’s fully up and running, so plan that timescale carefully.
If all this is achievable with your current team you can reduce costs by not appointing a tagging as a service provider, but be aware of the potential for false economy if it doesn’t go as planned.
It is very simple and easy to do!
Some might find it easy and simple but most people who have never implemented RFID tags before will struggle. From our experience, even people who have done it before, make errors and have difficulties. It is not as simple as just placing the RFID tag on the asset. There are specific requirements for different assets, different types of tags to be used, some assets need special preparation before applying the tag and any errors will affect the whole system.
If you are starting an RFID asset tagging project you need to fully understand the RFID Project Implementation process and all the key error categories and plan accordingly.
Nothing can go wrong!
Anything can go wrong! From incorrect tag placement to incorrectly programmed items. There are so many variables and requirements that the possibility to get the RFID asset tracking implementation wrong is considerable, and the effects can render the system useless.
That’s why planning, following specific guidelines, expert consultation and process supervision is essential. You can find a copy of our Free RFID Project Plan here.
The RFID implementation time frame is not really important!
The time frame is extremely important. Not going live on time doesn’t just mean a delay in going live, it means a delay on the ROI, that effectively means the system costs more the longer the implementation takes.
Additionally, the longer RFID takes to implement the less enthusiasm and confidence is generated pre-launch. You need your team to embrace and believe in the system, that way they’ll help it work not hinder it, lack of confidence early breeds bigger problems later.
If you are an asset tracking system supplier, missed deadlines means delayed payments. For more details, please take a look at our tips for hitting RFID deadlines .
You can always get some temp staff to do the tagging for you!
You could, but this has a high potential for error and requires considerable management. The RFID tagging process relies on 2 key factors:
For a successful project you’ll need a very high degree of both accuracy and productivity. Accuracy, this will ensure that your project actually works. You need to manage this through every step of the tagging process. Each application requires both a physical check and a data integrity check to ensure compliance with the tagging protocols that will ensure your system works. Using temporary staff without training and strict monitoring is risking the accuracy of both the physical tagging and the data inputting, that’s a risk you need to manage very carefully. Productivity, applying a cost to the project will mean understanding exactly how much expenditure you have per tag applied and data inputted. For this you need to calculate the amount of tags applied and data input per person per week, day or preferably hour. Then you can calculate the expenditure per tag, doing that ahead of employing temporary staff is a guessing game, it’s difficult to plan such a project with costings without understanding the staff being employed and having a deep insight into the process.
Partnering with an RFID service supplier will not add value to your Asset Tracking solution sale!
As a system provider we think you have some key aims, to sell your systems, to implement them as quickly as possible and to be sure they work when you do. Achieving those objectives is easier with a complete solution, for you and for your clients. You can read more here: RFID System Suppliers, Why You Hit Problems With Implementation.
Adding the RFID Tagging service to your selling proposal will make it more expensive and less appealing!
Our partners would disagree, they’d say having a tagging solution as part of their offer makes that offer more compelling. They’d also say that a ‘tagging as a service’ addition to their portfolio achieves a quicker sale though removing barriers. Their customers would say that the tagging element of the project was a potential headache which they no longer need to worry about.