Rfid Implementation Issues at Metro

Topics: Better, Warehouse, RFID Pages: 6 (1998 words) Published: January 31, 2010
Question 1 – Examine the process flow in Metro’s grocery supply and identify how these processes would improve with the implementation of RFID at the pallet level and at the case level.
Major process improvements for pallet-level implementations are derived from basic RFID functionality. The major functional difference between barcodes and RFID tags is that RFID tags do not require a direct line of sight for scanning and processing. This translates to major process automation where ever the process requires scanning: “scan barcode on pallet”, “scan storage barcode to verify location”, “forklift driver scans barcode on pallet”, etc. Whenever a pallet comes within read range of an RFID reader, the scanning automatically takes places, so an employee doesn’t have to physically locate and scan the tag (See Exhibit 3). Also, since RFID tags are able to store information about the object it is affixed to (location, case counts, etc.), the picking and truck loading processes will see major improvements. Whenever the pallet is created, the number of cases and pallet location can be stored in the tag and placed on the pallet. Pallet movement can then be detected by readers placed within the warehouse for improved warehouse visibility. This allows for employees to locate pallets quicker and reduce time required to move pallets to outgoing docks for shipment. Also, inbound and outbound pallet inspection during the truck loading process will be faster, more accurate, and require fewer resources. RFID readers at the loading docks will be able to automatically check the identity of a pallet when it is moved onto or off the truck, eliminating the need for manual scanning. Therefore, less supervision would be required throughout the loading process (See Exhibit 3).[ Implementation of RFID tags at the case levelreduces the need for forklift readers to count cases on the pallet during receiving at both the Metro DC as well as the Extra Store, as the case tags provide immediate signal notification of case count. As pallets are stored in the Metro DC for potential case mixing, current process flow is facilitated by improved efficiency of mixed-pallet picking. Utilized in conjunction with warehouse storage models, RFID tags could identify optimal picking paths for the employees or the best route to take through the warehouse when picking for a mixed pallet. Eliminated during shrink-wrapping is the need to label the mixed pallets as case tags will verify and notify trucks headed from Metro DC to Metro stores of pallet content. Case level RFID tags also eliminate the 1% mixed pallet case recounting process currently utilized, a result of too many or too few cases being picked for mixed pallets or wrong cases altogether being picked. The tags on the cases will notify employees of improper inclusion or exclusion without the need for manual recounts (See Exhibit 4). Process improvementis facilitated through product availability at the store level. For the first time, employees will have improved visibility of what is in the backroom, instead of relying upon memory of backroom items. Not only will this help limit stock outs but will also improve inventory-ordering accuracy. Storage mapping utilized in conjunction with case level RFID tags can limit employee time searching for replenishment cases. When the point-of-sale data indicates that a shelf is empty, employees will be notified that replenishment is required, will have clear visibility of numbers of that particular item available in the backroom, as well as exact backroom item location. Question 2 – Is RFID a good investment for Metro? In your analysis, use the benefits listed in Exhibit 8 of the case and any other benefits mentioned in the case. Quantify the total savings that Metro would realize from full-scale implementation of RFID (for both pallet-0 When the benefits listed in Exhibit 8 are quantified and other unquantifiable benefits are weighted against the cost of...
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