Supply chain management is an integral part of running any business smoothly. The simple, lowly barcode is what holds the supply chain together. However, it is often ignored until it doesn't work--and that is a preventable disaster.

Barcodes, QR Codes, and RFID tags play an important part in keeping the supply chain functional. They help companies improve the speed and accuracy of their processes by tracking inventory.

A Guide to Digitizing Logistical Supply Chains

Barcode Supply Chain Management 

At a minimum, if you are not using QR Codes or RFIDs, you should be taking advantage of barcoding. Barcoding was the first data tracking technology and offers what some refer to as one-dimensional data. Barcoding helps avoid human data entry error, speeds up the process of manually keying data into warehouse and admin systems, and improves fulfillment accuracy. 

QR Code Supply Chain Management 

QR Codes offer more of a "2D view" of data. They give you a lot of data points. They let you know a shipment's location, times when scanning occurred, how many scans were taken through the shipment's journey, and more.

QR Codes allow you to automate processes in your ERPs, WMS, CRMs, ordering systems, and more. Their use can help prevent loss as they gauge every leg of a shipment's journey.

RFID Supply Chain Management

RFID, or Radio Frequency ID, offers a "3D view" of data. There are two types of RFID. Active RFID and Passive RFID. Active systems make use of a transponder on the shipment. That transponder receives and transmits data. Passive systems do not. Passive systems only reflect a signal to a reader. 

RFID has strong applications. It allows for greater automation of tasks through its scanning capabilities. In terms of inventory control, RFID enables warehouses to readily identify inventory still on the truck, to include item-level accuracy. RFID tracking improves the ability to locate items quickly, prevent theft, and can be used in tracking returnable assets (pallets, containers, etc.).

Proper tracking improves productivity by: 

Saving Time and Money

Manual inventory takes hours to complete and requires additional manpower. Barcodes and tagging allows businesses to take inventory quickly. Cutting down on labor costs enables companies to reallocate resources elsewhere and grow.  

Ensuring Accurate Data

Manual entries are prone to human error. A single mistake can cause significant problems for a company, such as shipment delays, lost items, damaged customer relationships, and overspending. 

Barcodes and tagging provide a simple and efficient solution, giving companies constant insights into their stock availability and product movements. 

Tracking & Reporting Guide


IoT Improving RFID tags 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is seeing improved sensor and tracking capabilities with RFID and GPS-enabled devices. This technology brings an enhanced layer of efficiency to logistics processes, with crucial, up-to-the-minute data for managers.  

Along with barcodes, QR Codes, and RFID tracking, supply chains are much more efficient when using a Transportation Management System, or TMS. 

A TMS helps ensure you are paying the lowest shipping rates with minimal manpower.

A solid TMS can help you use your in-house resources more effectively so you can grow your business.

Typical TMS features include:

  • Communication between an ERP or order processing system and your warehouse
  • Evaluation and suggestions on the best routing solutions
  • Analysis of the best carrier rates
  • Real-time tracking
  • Freight audit reporting

Even if you currently use TMS software, you should demo FreightPOP's solution. We offer enterprise-level integrations and customizations for small to medium businesses. 

You will save thousands of dollars by being able to do quickly what currently takes your shipping team hours to do. Our IT team is extremely skilled and responsive and will accommodate our system in ways that make perfect sense for your business. 

For a demo, reach out to us today!  

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Posts in this series

NMFC Codes for Freight Classification
Freight of All Kinds (FAK) & Class Exceptions
Transportation Management Systems: Reducing Shipping & Freight Costs
Freight & Shipper Optimization Guide - Carrier Rate Shopping