The Internet of Things (IoT) in its simplest form is fundamentally centered on enabling ‘things’ or objects to be Smarter. Smart Objects are those that are able to communicate with other things and with us. Yes, one day this will lead to self-replenishing fridges and multi-storey car parks that guide you to their available spaces but there are so many more applications of IoT technology that can aid every aspect of your life right now.
At RedBite, we have received numerous queries from companies and individuals who just do not know what technology exists that could help them solve their day-to-day challenges, such as performing a stock take, nor do they know where to find these solutions. One example is that from Mark Roberti’s RFID for All RFID Journal article. It appears that there is a real chasm between companies producing RFID inventory management stock take solutions and the people out there that are looking for such a solution. At RedBite, we have built a web and smartphone mobile application solution called RedStore that utilises Auto-ID technologies including RFID, NFC, QR codes and bar codes in order to manage inventory and perform stock takes.
1. Let’s imagine the scenario – It’s that time again; you’re faced with the dreaded stock take. You’ve got very limited time to count a myriad of items. Helpfully, things are rarely stored where they are supposed to be, thus making the stock take a mammoth and cumbersome task.
Now imagine a world where your assets are able to say ‘I’m present’ (somewhat similar to a classroom register) or ‘Hey, I’m not there, I’m over here’ when an asset has been misplaced. Okay, so your assets aren’t literally going to call out to you but what we enable them to do achieves the same end result.
2. When each asset is tagged with a low cost RFID tag, stock taking becomes a simple and efficient point and scan exercise. Using our smartphone app with an RFID handheld device, every single item is given its own profile page (much like people have on social media). This page includes all of the asset’s information and history in the form of comments, updates and attachments. An RFID tag can be coupled with a QR code, allowing the asset’s information to be accessible to all via any smartphone.
3. Having scanned a particular area, you will be presented with a list of found, missing and untagged items. In addition, unique locations can also be tagged and assets can be assigned to a particular location. This allows assets to also be searched for via their location remotely using the mobile or web application. Alternatively, the location tag can be scanned in situ to bring up a list of assets located within that area. The assets can then automatically be detected to provide a list of those items that are found, missing or untagged.
With this software, stock takes take minutes to complete rather than days. As a result, stock takes can be performed more regularly, providing greater visibility via real-time asset tracking in a very cost effective manner. [Alternatively, active RFID or fixed RFID readers can be used to send out an “I’m here” message, entirely removing the need for the stock take exercise – though this is much more costly and for a future Insights post!]
Here’s a neat feature for you… you’ve just realised that one of your assets has gone astray and is nowhere to be found. Great, so that means you’ve got to spend the next few hours searching high and low for it, right? Not necessarily. With our software, every time a tag is scanned, its known location is automatically recorded into our application. This means that you can locate assets using our “last seen location” feature. More impressively, so long as the item is within the read range of your mobile reader, you can simply find the ID number of the item using the smartphone and hit locate – the handheld reader will then guide you to the item by beeping more frequently the closer you get to finding it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what our solutions can enable you to achieve. We are making RedStore accessible to all and that is why it does not require any onsite server or middleware and works off-the-shelf, without any coding. The smartphone app works offline and syncs intelligently to the cloud web application, so you can use it even when wifi or phone signal is not available. Furthermore, assets can be tagged not just with Gen2 RFID tags but also with QR codes, NFC tags or any combination of the three!
Our solutions are currently being used to make the lives of facilities managers easier, manage spare parts in factories, track assets and airside vehicles in airports and even to establish efficiency in postal services around the world. There are so many applications in which RedStore can be utilised to save time and money and increase overall efficiency. If you’re interested in finding out more or have any questions for us on how RedStore can help you then drop us an email: [email protected] or leave a comment below.
Every object tells a story. Let them speak.