Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2004


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Engineering Technology Management

Course Number

ETM 520/620


Radio frequency identification systems -- Applications to Supply chain management, Bar coding -- Evaluation, Technology -- Management, Technological innovations, Emerging technologies


The concept of supply chain management has been done since prehistoric times. It has evolved over time with the optimization in manufacturing technologies. In today’s business climate, it is a standard operating practice that companies are continually trying to perfect in order to be more competitive. Supply chain management is far from perfect; there are still many issues, inefficiencies, and challenges that must be resolved. The current issues include uncertainties of process, supply, demand, or control.

The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) is an established technology that is finding a new use within supply chain management. An RFID tag can transmit its information via radio waves when queried by a tag reader. When assembled onto a product, case, pallet, or container, this information can provide visibility to a company’s inventory system. This visibility can be extended throughout the supply chain. Since RFID tags do not need line-of-sight or contact, it can also be automated and provide benefits such as labor efficiencies, error reduction, labor savings, accurate asset tracking, and proactive stock management.

Research was done through literature review of articles, websites, and white papers. Various examples demonstrated operational savings from the use of RFID within a supply chain. The variety of pilot studies and proposed implementations showed unlimited applications within supply chain management.

The use of RFID in the supply chain is still in its infancy. There is a push by retailers and agencies to have the technology used. The use of RFID in supply chain management is not the cure for all the issues that a business may have. There is specific customization of the application as defined by business needs. The use of RFID in supply chain management still has future strategies that are currently unknown. Over the next decade, RFID will proliferate the supply chain due to usage maturity, decreasing tag prices, and better understanding of the technology.

Note: The presentation associated with this report is included here as a supplemental file.


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