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From Resource Label Group

Smart label tracking and why it’s the future of product distribution

Posted on September 22nd, 2015

An emerging trend, smart label tracking, is changing the way producers distribute products. As retailers increasingly adopt the technology, producers and distributors will be required to implement it to place products in stores.

What is smart label tracking?

Smart label tracking is an emerging practice used to track products throughout warehouses, shipping and retail stores. It replaces the commonly used technology of barcodes and barcode scanners as a means of tracking inventory.

How smart label tracking works

Products, boxes and pallets are outfitted with labels that use passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to emit a frequency with product-identifying information. Then, companies use RFID readers that pick up the radio signal and link to a computer and software system that displays product information. Instead of workers going around and scanning individual products, the system automatically tracks the products in a warehouse, shipping or retail setting.

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The benefits of smart label tracking

Smart label tracking saves manufacturers, distributors and retailers time logging and tracking products. As a result, it saves money too.

Importance to producers

Aside from the race for manufacturers and distributors to reduce costs and get products to market, smart label tracking and RFID labels are becoming more important because of retailer requirements. The technology has been in use for more than 10 years, but as it’s progressed and become more cost-efficient, retailers have increasingly adopted smart label tracking. Wal-Mart, which was an early adopter and implemented it years ago for certain products, is expanding its use of smart label tracking. Now, other major retailers have followed suit, including Kohl’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Target to name a few. Some products, such as select men’s wear in Wal-Mart, are already required to come with RFID labels so retailers can use smart label tracking in their stores. As retailer adoption of the technology continues, RFID labels will become more and more standard on many products.

How to set up smart label tracking for your products

Before you can implement smart label tracking of your product inventory and reap the benefits of RFID labels, you’ll need to have the necessary infrastructure in place. The first thing you’ll need to do is work with a solutions architect that can evaluate your warehouse, products and computer system. Your solutions architect will identify the best technology for your needs and implement it so you can get the most from smart label tracking. Second, you’ll need RFID labels for your products. At Resource Label Group, we offer custom RFID labels. And we work with an extensive list of solutions architect partners, so we can help you find the best service provider for your products and warehouse.

Costs and ROI discussion

When evaluating whether or not smart label tracking is the best option for your business, you’ll need to weigh the up-front investment in computing infrastructure and RFID labels against efficiency savings. A solutions architect can show you the return on investment you’ll see from smart label tracking. And we can give you a range of budget-friendly and design-specific label solutions for your product.

Get started today

To take the first step toward implementing smart label tracking for your products, speak with one of our RFID label experts. Just fill out the form below or call us at 615-661-5900.

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Have a tight budget, a short timeline or a label branding challenge? Our experienced team will point you in the right direction.
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