RFID enables RTI tracking at large flower auction, increases rental profits

May 20, 2014 Lea DeJarlais

Located in São Paulo, Brazil, Cooperativa Veiling Holambra (CVH) is a flower cooperative that facilitates the sale, through auction and intermediation, of flowers from producers to retail clients. As part of its business, CVH supplies and manages over one million returnable transport items (RTIs). These items, including Danish trolleys, flower buckets, and flower trays, are rented to flower producers and flower retailers for transporting merchandise. CVH needed a way to track and regulate RTI rentals, and turned to RFID as a solution.

Prior to their RFID deployment, CVH counted RTI materials by hand. With over one million rental assets, this inventory method was labor intensive and error prone, leading to revenue losses. With such a large facility and numerous vendors, tracking real-time RTI locations was impossible.

How It Works

CVH partnered with COSS Consulting to develop an RFID solution. COSS installed RFID portals in strategic locations around the warehouse and auction areas to monitor RTI materials flowing through the facility. Each portal is configured with an Impinj Speedway Revolution reader and two far-field antennas. Plastic and metal RTI surfaces are tagged with different tags powered by Impinj Monza 4QT chips. Every RTI (empty or full) must travel through an RFID portal when moved from one area to another, such as when it’s moved from a truck to the auction facility, or when delivered to a client in a rented warehouse location.

Benefits of RFID-Enabled RTI Tracking

This RFID solution keeps track of individual RTI materials by location, allocation frequency, and turnaround time—in essence, performing lifecycle management analysis. The automation of counting RTI materials using RFID provides a 50% improvement in execution time for all processes, and a 15% improvement in inventory accuracy. As all RTI materials become tagged, it is expected that there will be an 80% improvement in the return of empty RTI materials. Return on investment will not be measured by labor savings, but by an increase in throughput capacity.

Once this RFID solution is in full operation, CVH plans to expand the asset tracking solution to producer and client facilities, providing its entire supply chain with the benefit of RFID tracking.

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