1. The case talks about implementation of RFID in the Ludhiana based Abhishek Industries.
2. The use of RFID technology, in conjunction with ERP, has helped the company drive greater efficiencies.
1. There was problem of tracking semi finished goods
2. Manual tracking of the doffs was a cumbersome task and also threw various challenges like locating the right doff.
3. Another problem was sequencing of doffs in first in first out manner which led to wastage of time.
RFID to the Rescue
1. The company outlined on the RFID solution from Avaana to automate the tracking of doffs.
2. The RFID tags were placed on each of the doffs, while RFID readers were placed in strategic locations in the greige stock area.
3. This helped the store managers know the stock levels location of the physical stocks and whether there are any non-moving stocks.
4. It also sends an alarm signal when unauthorized doffs are moved.
5. The company has integrated its RFID system with its SAP R/3 ERP system
6. The company invested around 25 lakh on the RFID implementation
The company even intends to extend the usage of this technology in other areas like finished goods warehouse, cotton warehouse for raw material tracking of certain critical moveable assets, and manpower access control and attendance. The pilot project of tracking employee attendance recording through RFID has already been taking.
n Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
ü Technology that uses a tiny chip with identification information that can be read by a scanner using radio waves from a distance
ü Another live example :
Turkish based company Tetas Textiles is a provider of equipment and supplies for the textiles industry, has expanded its use of radio frequency identification to include an employee-tracking system linked to an information system used to manage its fleet of cars. The data collected by the car information system—such as a vehicle's fuel consumption and whereabouts—can be combined with personnel information culled via RFID, along with data regarding goods collected via bar code. Together, this information enables managers to have a real-time overview of the status of particular products being delivered by individual employees.
At its warehouses, Tetas installed RFID interrogator antennas under its forklifts, in order to read location tags embedded in the floors.
SAP has been investing in RFID technology over the past six years, working with its customers to find out how RFID can best meet their needs.SAP RFID combines the virtual world of transactions, business rules, and processes with the physical world of products and people. It automates the execution of processes by providing sophisticated mechanisms that distribute data to various applications. Based on the SAP NetWeaver™ platform, SAP RFID is designed to handle the massive amount of additional data accumulate from scanning RFID tags. It minimizes the replication of data across systems and processes by:
1. Focusing on business-related events rather than all data captured in the RFID infrastructure
2. Basing decision-support applications on aggregated, rather than granular data as much as possible.
SAP’s approach to RFID lets you take advantage of several SAP technologies.
CASE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. What are the key challenges that the Abhishek Industries faced while implementing RFID technology?
Ans. The implementation of RFID at Abhishek industries was not without its set of challenges as the implementation partners had to work around the interference with metals. There was specific casing done for each tag depending on which material it was going to be placed on.
2. Implementing RFID was Abhishek industries own decision or was it a part of global strategy?
Ans. The Abhishek industries is one of the leading textiles exporters, exporting to over 40 countries and supplying to the biggest brands in the retail market so quality control was must.
Thus implementation of RFID was a part of global strategy as well. The application of IT developed by global companies depend on their global business/ IT strategies and their expertise and experience in IT. Their IT application however depends on a variety of Global Drivers.
Business Drivers of Global IT
1. Global customers: Abhishek industries had trade relations with 40 countries. Global IT can help provide fast, convenient services.
2. Global products: Products are the same throughout the world or are assembled by subsidiaries throughout the world. Global IT can help manage worldwide marketing and quality control.
3. Global operations: Parts of a production or assembly process are assigned to subsidiaries based on changing economic or other conditions. Only global IT can support such geographic flexibility.
4. Global resources: The use and cost of common equipment, facilities, and people are shared by subsidiaries of a global company. Global IT can keep track of such geographic flexibility.
5. Global collaboration: The knowledge and expertise of colleagues in a global company can be quickly accessed, shared, and organized to support individual or group efforts. Only global IT can support such enterprise collaboration.
3. What are the key benefits that the company achieved by implementing RFID?
Ans. The key benefits of RFID implementation were that it helped the company save time earlier lost in trying to locate which doff is lying where.
Another key benefit was improvement in the operational efficiencies as the loader is now able to pick up the correct doff for the specific order. All this eventually helped in improving quality.
SAP’s approach to RFID provides with both short-term and long-term benefits. From a technology standpoint, it:
o Provides an out-of-the-box solution that enables the company to comply with the RFID requirements of Wal-Mart and other major channel partners
o Can be quickly implemented and integrated
o Can easily incorporate new business processes
o Gives the company centralized administration capabilities for distributed auto-ID infrastructures and auto-ID hardware
o Minimizes RFID data replication through the clear separation of data updates – that is, it separates the information that is integrated into operations and decisions from the information that is used in tracking, tracing, and triggering events as well as from the information used to monitor detailed history on a local basis
o Supports controlled changes and continuous ramp-up in a production environment
o Supports information exchange with business partner.
o From a business perspective, SAP RFID technology can help increase stock accuracy, reduce administrative effort, reduce inventory levels, and improve planning. When used to support warehouse processes.
o Increases operational flexibility and efficiency
o Hands-free warehouse execution and the automation of outbound processes accelerate warehouse processes – an acceleration that translates into reduced fulfillment of lead times and workloads.
o Increase business visibility and insights
o RFID-enabled processing greatly enhances visibility into stock levels and reveals the status of the logistics and execution processes used by your partners in the supply chain network, enhancing both planning and execution.
o Provides timely, instantly communicated and verified goods-issued stock data RFID-enabled processing helps ensure that the pallets and cases issued by a warehouse conform to outbound fulfillment requirements by verifying actual reads versus expected reads –in the warehouse, as activities are taking place. Exceptions and errors can be spotted in real time, allowing warehouse staff to make corrections prior to shipment.