Many inventory systems use passive UHF tags to manage cradle-to-rack accountability. Using these tags at the checkout is a natural progression and one that offers several benefits.
Much has been written about the effectiveness of UHF RFID tags as tools for inventory management. There is no doubting its effectiveness in supply chain monitoring. From manufacturer to distribution to the store the product is inventoried and managed using RFID readers, speeding the process and improving the accuracy of every step. Many stores now use these tags to manage product on the floor, quickly scanning racks of merchandise to make sure a full assortment of product is out for the customer to find.
Logically, point of sale is the next step in making full use of the RFID tag’s functionality. With its greater storage capacity and unique ID feature, using an RFID reader at checkout will allow management greater control of what has been sold and what needs to be restocked. Unlike a simple bar code, UHF RFID tags are serialized and have the data capacity to include specific features of every product being sold. A bar code will identify that a specific style of men’s shirt was sold. The RFID tag attached will tell what color and size that shirt was and the embedded serial number will allow tracing that item all the way back through the supply chain to the original manufacturer.
Perhaps it is fear of the cost of RFID readers, after all UHF scanners can easily cost 1200 to 1500 dollars each. Or maybe it is the idea of having to integrate the reader into their POS application. Neither of these concerns exists with the RFID Block reader from Supervision, LLC. It’s keyboard emulator software allows you to ‘plug and play’ the device as if it was a standard bar code scanner and it’s price tag of under $400 retail makes it a very affordable add on to your system.
Also, unlike other UHF readers, the Block was designed from the ground up to be a single tag reader. In other words, you will not need to tweak the reader and your software in order to get the device to return just a single tag value per read. As any competent retail manager will tell you, no one will ever check out merchandise at a register by scanning everything at once, there is too much opportunity for error and/or outright theft. Every item to be purchased needs to be scanned individually in order to verify that all items are read and that the price and description of each item matches to the product.
An additional value, to make this an even more ideal product for POS, the Block has an integrated sensor that allows for full ‘Hands Free’ operation. The user only needs to pass the tag over the top of the reader to activate a scan and return the tag value.