Rethink Document Management with RFID

Posted by Advanced Mobile Group on Feb 17, 2023 8:00:00 AM


If your business is like many others, you probably have yet to entirely convert to a paperless document management system. And many of your records probably aren’t just paper; they may include folders, photos, DVDs, CDs, and even books. Misplaced records not only waste time and money, but certain record-keeping practices are necessary to adhere to various regulations. Here’s how RFID technology solves this issue, providing fast and seamless access to the files your business needs that keeps you in compliance with various regulations.

What is RFID Technology?

230221-rethink-document-management-with-rfid-1Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored data, which can be as simple or complex as you wish. For example, data might include document names, dates, authors, descriptions, and security information for access.

RFID tags can be passive, active, or battery-assisted. Passive tags are simply read by a nearby RFID reader that emits radio waves. These are the simplest and cheapest options. Active tags have their own internal batteries, allowing for real-time GPS monitoring of objects. Battery-assisted tags have batteries but are only activated when near an RFID reader.

Differences Between RFID and Bar Code Technology

If your business is wondering about the difference between RFID and barcode technology, this is a common question. Conceptually, you would be managing your documents paperlessly. But, there are many differences between the two solutions:

  • Technology — Bar code uses optical technology, and RFID uses radio frequency technology. 
  • Sight Obstruction — Line of sight is required for bar codes but not for RFID. 
  • Read speed — Bar codes are read individually in seconds, and RFID is read en masse in milliseconds. 
  • Writable — Bar code data is read-only, and RFID data can be read-only or writable, depending on your needs. 
  • Update — The bar code might be updated as batch downloads while RFID is updated in real-time. 
  • Cost — Bar code may be cheaper, but the cost of RFID has consistently dropped, and there are other cost savings associated with using this approach.

Benefits of Document Management with RFID

Paper documents are easily misplaced, destroyed, or altered. Fortunately, there is a better and more secure way to manage your company’s most important data. Automated RFID document tracking systems have many benefits, including:

1. Reduced Storage Space

Commercial property space has become more and more costly. If you are spending money to house filing cabinets and storage boxes, you can save a ton by converting those documents to digital files. 

2. Saves Time

221129-how-rfid-is-transforming-the-supply-chainMost businesses have spent hours filing away stacks of documents and then searching for lost files. When those records are digitized, it will save a lot of time and frustration. 

3. Enhanced Security

Many businesses are concerned about document security. Using RFID, you get more control over the security of your sensitive data. You can control access to documents at the file and folder level as well as get traceable records for document access. 

4. More Professional

Losing a critical client file would not only be embarrassing, but it might hurt your company’s reputation. Your business will establish itself as a much more professional partner when it uses RFID to manage its records. 

5. Better Backup and Disaster Recovery

What would happen to your business’s physical data if there was a fire or some other natural disaster? You can manage this risk and have instant backups of your critical data by using RFID to store everything in digital format. 

6. Improved Collaboration

With an RFID document tracking solution in place, it’s easier for employees and business partners to collaborate and share business information from various locations. 

7. Easier Compliance

Many businesses are subject to safety, security, and other government regulations that require a review of records to prove compliance. It becomes much easier to conduct internal audits and comply with regulations when using electronic recordkeeping. 

8. Saves Money

When you are taking up valuable space for filing cabinets or paying employees to handle paper files, you aren’t making the best use of your resources. Switching to an electronic record management system will save your business plenty of cash. 

Requirements for Managing Documents with RFID

If your business wants to implement RFID for document management purposes, the requirements are fairly minimal. Here is a basic breakdown of what you’ll need:

  • 230221-rethink-document-management-with-rfid-2RFID tags — RFID tags will be affixed to the various documents that you wish to store. 
  • RFID printer — An RFID printer can produce your customized RFID labels on-site. 
  • RFID reader — You’ll need one or more RFID readers to scan your records. 
  • Document management system — Your current document management system might already be compatible with RFID technology. Otherwise, you’ll want to choose something that can securely store, sort, and allow you to access these files as needed. 

RFID Document Management Use Cases

RFID tags are used for object tracking and document management in many industries. For example, warehouses use them to track inventory and products through the fulfillment stage. Automakers attach tags to vehicles to track the production process through the assembly line. Even RFID microchips are implanted in livestock and pets to track animals. Here are some other examples of document management using RFID:

  • The U.S. Military is using RFID to track military personnel records.
  • The Public Prosecution in Qatar has implemented the world’s largest RFID document tracking system. 
  • library in Korea is using RFID to record the location of its books.
  • UK Hospital has used RFID to reduce the hours needed to retrieve and put away patient files by 80%. 

Whether your business is looking to go paperless, find a more efficient way to manage its documents, comply with regulations, or all of the above, RFID is an ideal solution. Using RFID for document management can help your business save time and money while complying with even the strictest document-related regulations.

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Topics: RFID, Supply Chain, Automation

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