Thursday, May 25, 2017

RFID Technology as a Strategic Control System

Technology has provided a multitude of conveniences not just for individuals but for corporations.  One of these advances is the Radio Frequency Identification technology also known as RFID. This microchip is being used in a variety of manufacturing and inventory control applications today.  Walmart became an early user of the chip to improve their vast distribution network.  Inventory control is vital to every organization and the use of smart technology and RFID helps provide better and more accurate inventory control in very large operations.  Walmart can track their products from any one of their 150 distribution centers to the shelf of the store.  It helps the store control the levels of inventory to have what the customer is wanting and it helps the distribution center keep proper inventory of product that the stores are selling.  They can watch the inventory levels and know what sells and what doesn’t.  Then they can take action to increase or decrease inventory at any level. 
RFID technology has caused concern for many consumers who believe that they are profiled or that their home can be scanned from a distance and know what is inside.  RFID chips are being inserted into almost everything including our driver’s license, passports, credit cards and more.   Many feel that this invades our privacy and is easily hacked by thieves.  I do not see this technology going away any time soon as it is too valuable in inventory applications. 
Recommendations to the COO of Walmart would be to continue use of RFID technology and to keep equipment in good working order and up to date.  Training for all levels would be a constant issue to ensure that all employees understand how the technology works and its importance in the management of inventory.  The days of inventory manual counts are becoming less frequent and used to make adjustments to the electronic inventory levels.  Walmart could work with inventors to see if they could develop a reader that could scan and account for all items that leave the store and give a secondary look at inventory.  This would help to account for products that are stolen from the store and make inventory adjustments less frequent.  It would also help to know how much product gets stolen and maybe help to find ways to stop it.  Reducing theft at the store level should improve profits and help inventory control.  This should also help to keep the cost of product low due to less theft.  

Mary
Hyde, R. 1/18/2015 How Walmart Model Wins With “Everyday Low Prices” Investopedia, Retrieved from:  http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/011815/how-walmart-model-wins-everyday-low-prices.asp
Walmart – Our Business, Retrieved from:  http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/our-business
Pearce, J., Robinson, R. (2016-01-02) Strategic Management, 13th Edition. [Kaplan] Retrieved from https://kaplan.vitalsource.com/#/books/0077807634/

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