Posted On: 11 May 2021

Using RFID to save on Returnable Asset Tracking

Returnable Asset Monitoring | Inteltagrfid

If you’ve been observing recent supply chain patterns, you’ll know that everything in the supply chain lately is about these few words, from barcodes to RFID tags, and from BLE to IoT. Therefore, it is now time to pay heed not only to the supply chain but also to the packaging products, i.e., boxes, pallets, barrels, totes, and the complete enchilada.

Returnable assets such as crates, pallets, reusables, and leases are vital but undervalued economic components of modern supply chains. Tracking and monitoring such objects is paramount to the sustainability of businesses that buy or lease such products. However, as these properties are transferred between partners or become destroyed, overstocked, misplaced, or stolen, organizations often lose a lot of money.

Traditional methods are often to blame. In these industries, spreadsheets and other paper-based approaches are also widely used. Manual monitoring of fixed assets, on the other hand, is time-consuming, susceptible to human error, and inefficient as opposed to modern alternatives.

Questions to Consider When Implementing Asset Tracking:

Using RFID to save on Returnable Asset Tracking | Inteltagrfid
  • How much money do you lose on your assets each year?
  • How many assets do you really own, and how many are excessive?
  • Can your processes support unattended systems (e.g., RFID, Vision)?
  • Is it your main goal to increase traceability, or do you just want to save money on labour force?

Here are a few ways to save money on monitoring returnable properties with an RFID solution. Consider how gaining real-time insight into your returnable assets could help you achieve long-term financial success and growth.

Track and Trace

Track and Trace | Inteltagrfid

Establishing a connection between the commodity and the original container would lay the groundwork for traceability. Inability to map and monitor this can jeopardize the ability to guarantee end-to-end traceability and visibility. Where there is a mistake in the procedure, this will result in expensive mass returns rather than a tailored recall. The modern-day supply chain is an inherently (and increasingly) complex creature, with countless shipments handled at a high speed. And yet, an astonishing number of links in those supply chains, across several companies, industries, and geographies, still employ manual record-keeping, tracking, and auditing. Tracking your supply chain assets, and by extension, your shipments, could change all that. The heightened visibility that effective shipping assets tracking brings will help improve supply chain efficiencies.

Excess Inventory

When the value of the returnable commodity exceeds the value of the goods in transit (as is often the case in the fresh food industry), being able to properly track it will result in substantial savings. In order to maintain operating performance, a lack of insight into the returnable assets pool can necessitate increased expenditure. Excess inventory is needed to ensure the continuation of operations when it is unknown where assets are stored or when stakeholders may return them.  By tracking your assets real-time, you can ensure none of your shipping assets are sitting idle in a lot, reducing the need to maintain emergency reserves for those ad-hoc situations.

With constant tracking and real-time visibility, you don’t have to wait for anyone to do a manual audit and play hide-n-seek with your missing assets either. 

This does two things: 

  1. Reduces the time needed to take stock of inventory, and 
  2. Increases the speed at which you can spot anomalies or shortages.


As businesses monitor their returnable assets on paper, the efficiency of the back office suffers because it requires double-work to enter the information collected by the operators into the ERP. Similarly, asset monitoring is critical for maintaining efficiency because a lack of insight into the accessible pool has an effect on preparing and scheduling. Time may be spent searching for crates or roll cages that have been improperly stored or have not been obtained from stakeholders, which may cause the next phase in the order fulfilment process to be delayed or even halt the production line. Knowing where exactly your assets are at any given point gives you the advantage of being able to predict the location of each asset when it is required and route it to another location at the earliest. This would make it easier to route assets from one facility to another based on inventory too, reducing the overall time spent in planning the routing of the RSAs.

Supply Chain Productivity | IntelTagRFID

Lifecycle Monitoring

Reusable Asset Lifecycle Monitoring | IntelTagRFID

Lifecycle and Process monitoring has to be performed on a daily basis and have an expiry date, organisations may expend large sums of money if their resources are not carefully monitored when executing these processes on many occasions. For effective asset lifecycle management assets are tracked continuously and when this work is done with software. It provides real-time data for each asset. Tags adhered to each asset. These tags or labels provide data and information of each such as where it is located. These tags or label comes with asset tracking technology such as barcode, QR Code, RFID. Some of the tags are more advanced such as NFC, IoT, etc. The data reveals how you can increase the potential of assets and equipment. It also shows the opportunity for improvement.

There’s a growing emphasis on accountability, environmental responsibility, and enhanced responsiveness to improve efficiency and customer service in supply chains across the world; tracking your supply chain assets will play a big part in realizing these loftier goals and dreams. Through the deployment of real-time shipping asset tracking and shipment monitoring solutions, supply chain managers of the future will be better able to cope

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.