For years, radio frequency identification (RFID) was the only game in town and represented the state-of-the-art in inventory tracking devices. Then along came near field communication (NFC), an updated form of the technology. Both are contactless and use tags attached to assets that allow you to track them as they move from location to location. Both are valuable tools, but do have their differences—which is right for your operations?
To decide, have a look at their chief differences:
• RFID tags allow you to scan more than one tag at once, a valuable tool if you have many different assets to manage.
• When it comes to scanning range, RFID again comes out on top, allowing you to scan from up to 650 feet away, a big advantage in a large warehouse with numerous assets to track. The same holds true for scanning assets without a direct line of sight—RFID allows for it, while NFC does not.
• If security is a concern, both RFID and NFC come in about even, with strong levels of security. In this case, it’s more a matter of partnering with a good provider than which technology counts.
• The same holds true on pricing—the two technologies are relatively similar in cost.
For now, in the supply chain management environment, RFID appears to have the advantage. However, NFC is newer and still developing, so it’s worth keeping your eyes on the technology as it evolves.