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Ask the Experts: How Can RFID Be Used to Prevent Theft and Asset Loss?

Using RFID technology for asset protection is smart – as long as you do it the right way.

UHF RFID can be used as a tool to help mitigate retail shoplifting, but in a retail environment this misses much of the value a user might gain. RFID can reduce the cost of keeping accurate retail inventory including limiting lost sales owing to ‘out of stock’, reducing losses during merchandise movement (either through shrinkage or misrouting) and facilitating retail shelf space allocation. In short, the technology is an accurate tool that enables rapid and efficient inventory management. Consequently, RFID has fast been displacing barcodes as a less labor-intensive and more immediate method of data acquisition.

Automated Asset Control

With a professionally-designed RFID deployment, the system does the work, automating asset control and protection no matter the industry, communicating pertinent data about tagged assets and greatly improving speed and accuracy over manual tracking. In many industries—such oil/gas exploration and transmission, aerospace, and manufacturing—keeping close track of just high value asset in non-negotiable, particularly for public companies. RFID provides near real-time, auditable data on location, check-in/check-out times, shipping history and, if the extended memory of the RFID chip is used, additional status information of the tagged asset. If you need to know where a specific item is at a given time, a professionally designed system can provide periodic reports and real-time queries.

Auditable Trail of Asset Inventory

When you’re dealing with expensive assets and public companies, accounting compliance dictates maintaining a periodic inventory. A well-designed RFID system can go one step further, providing an auditable trail of asset movement and use. Prominent examples are tool cribs, monitoring tools going in as so chain of custody and usage is tracked, and data centers, where servers and storage devices with sensitive data are often re-deployed and updated.

The bottom line is RFID can be a powerful tool when used for asset control, making loss prevention of large ticket items much less onerous.

Find out more about RFID technology and asset management here.

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