Startups, Technology

How RFIDs are taking over Barcodes in Pakistan?

Written by Asra Rizwan ·  2 min read >

Business processes are now becoming ‘smart’ due to the tremendous progress in business technology since a couple of years. It has become essential for local businesses to keep up with IT trends in order to survive and compete with the global market. Streamlining the supply chain process is always the crucial and the most significant part of a business.

Pakistani businesses are slowly adopting RFID over the barcode while the international market has already embraced this trend. RFID is utilized in providing solutions for warehouses, fixed and mobile asset tracking, field force monitoring and management, Point of Sale (POS), security, access control, etc. Thus, traceability and visibility can be achieved using RFID in any supply chain. Although, adopting RFID for supply chain management requires a relatively huge investment but it definitely is a long term investment making supply chain processes much effective and streamlined for years.

The use of RFID can be understood simply by the following examples:

    • Asset Management: Each year, a company has to account for its profit and loss in the balance sheet. Not only sales affect this calculation, but other assets for the company as well. The cost of hardware, furniture, electronics are also included. Therefore, with the use of RFID it will be easier to track which essentials were replaced, discarded or sent for maintenance.
    • Production Management: In a bedding manufacturing factory, each set consists of a bed sheet with respective pillow covers. However, if any of the set is left out of pillow covers then with RFID it is easier to track down which set it was and what was missing.
    • Inventory Control: With RFID tags on products, inventory management becomes much simplified as it is easier to track which products need to be restocked or running out of production.

The use of barcode has its own shortcomings such as they can be read one at a time and usually identifies the category of the product instead of uniquely identifying. On the other hand, RFID can be implemented for individual product identification and allow 100s of tags to be read simultaneously. While barcode reading can be obstructed by factors such as dirt or tearing, RFID suffers from no such hindrance. However, metals and liquids can affect the frequency.

When it comes to data collection through barcodes, manual intervention is necessary making it labor intensive. However, this process through RFID is pretty much automated and requires least human involvement especially while using fixed readers decreasing the chance of errors. All of this makes RFID almost 15-20 times faster than a barcode. According to Motorola, a company can experience 95% reduction in processing time with the use of RFID.

Autobar is a pioneer in Supply Chain IT solutions and is leading in providing such solutions to 100s of local companies. Autobar is proud of being a Pakistani company providing these state-of-the-art solutions using pure Pakistani talents. The CEO of Autobar, Nasir Qadri believes that the latest trend in RFID is catching fire promptly. There is now a pressure on local exporters to use RFID for product identification notably in garment manufacturing. According to him the greatest vantage of RFID is that it is now being integrated as a module in popular ERP systems such as SAP and EBF.

The CEO has asked not to reveal the brand names publicly, but Autobar is providing RFID solutions to various multi-national companies including a popular soft drinks brand, pharmaceutical companies, and the largest exporter of garments in Pakistan. With Autobar’s more than a decade experience in Supply Chain IT, its expertise and well-versed knowledge of Pakistani industrial needs, the CEO believes RFID is a good answer to our local supply chain problems.

Ejaz Tayab, the CTO of the company also believes that RFID is no more future and Pakistani companies are now embracing it. He speculates RFID will soon be everywhere replacing barcode and also be the enabler of Internet of Things and RTLS.

The company has partnered with Motorola, Pidion, Psion, Teklynx and NetCore to provide technological solutions.
It has now become essential for local businesses dwelling in global lands to adopt effective and smart IT solutions for simplified supply chain management that results in greater profits. It is now to be seen how fast RFID takes over barcode in Pakistan.

Written by Asra Rizwan
I profile people and startups contributing to the Pakistani technology entrepreneurial ecosystem. Share a story with me, Profile