Improving warehouse inventory management through RFID, barcoding and robotics technologies
Burke, Eric M.
Ewing, Danny L., Jr.
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The purpose of this MBA project is to explore the potential value of combining automatic identification and robotics technology in order to improve asset visibility within a warehouse environment. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) experiences high costs associated with inventory inaccuracies and annual inventory audits. Our project examines technologies that could be used to improve the DLA’s asset visibility. This study examines current industry applications of viable technologies in the marketplace and whether implementing these technologies would provide a sound economic solution. A cost–benefit analysis is included to determine the affordability of efficiencies that RFID and barcoding bring to warehouse operations. This analysis encompasses costs for systems purchase, implementation, and integration. Benefits are measured by determining cost savings in manpower requirements, increased efficiencies in order and restocking times, and improved accuracy in inventory management. The qualitative analysis addresses the advantages and disadvantages of an automatic identification system implementation. It also addresses future potential for the use of robots to improve inventory management. Ultimately, the project concludes that 2D barcoding far more cost effective within 10 years; however, both 2D barcoding and RFID can provide a positive return on investment.
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