Study probes benefits of RFID in tracking reusable assets

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BOSTON, Mass. — Reusable assets are a significant capital expense for private fleets, but logistics management systems can show significant benefit to companies who invest in these systems and apply RFID, says a report by Aberdeen Group.

Many private fleets use logistics assets that have a circular flow within their distribution network, meaning they are reusable with intrinsic value. These include totes to deliver goods to stores, racks to deliver milk and bread to grocers, bins and roll cages to move parts from suppliers to assembly plants, shipping containers, rental equipment, and refillable liquid or gas containers.

Almost half of the respondents to Aberdeen’s survey reported that logistics asset operations consume 5% or more of corporate revenue. More than 17% said it consumes over 10% of revenue. Moreover, theft, damage and misplacement often gang up to erode asset productivity. Twenty-five percent of companies say they lose in excess of 10% of their container fleet each year.

Theft, damage and misplacement of such assets can significantly erode productivity. Consequently, more and more companies see the effective management of these assets as differentiating and key to customer growth and retention.

“The existing logistics asset management systems have delivered significant results through reduced costs, improved compliance and customer satisfaction, and improved fulfillment accuracy,” says Tom Ryan, Aberdeen’s vice president of value chain research and author of the report. “A fourth of these companies expect their new investments in systems and the application of RFID technology to double the current benefits”

The RFID Enabled Logistics Asset Management Benchmark Report recommends the following to those companies looking to optimize logistics asset management operations:

— Focus improvement plans on driving customer satisfaction by having assets where they are needed when they are needed.
— Use key performance improvement programs to determine the weaknesses in existing logistics asset management processes and systems
— Address these weaknesses, RFID tag all assets and implement system and process improvements that will take advantage of RFID’s capabilities

The report, RFID Enabled Logistics Asset Management Benchmark Report, is based on a survey of more than 230 senior operations, customer service, and supply chain executives. It found that at least one half of firms plan to improve asset management processes in the next 12 months. It also quantifies the business benefits inherent in logistics asset management strategies and procedures; benchmarks existing procedures for asset management operations; and recommends specific actions for maximizing asset performance.

To read the full report please visit:

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