How RFID technology can help (re)globalisation

In recent years the phenomenon of globalisation has slowed down significantly, mainly after the financial crash in 2008.

The world is now more at risk of deglobalisation, best demonstrated by the upcoming Brexit and rise of nationalism across Europe and the USA.

Yet there are still many shoots of hope for (re)globalisation, as RSM demonstrates, mainly in emerging markets. The implementation of RFID technology can help this.

BRICS and emerging markets

The world’s engines of growth have been and still look to be with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Such emerging markets have been responsible for a variety of global growth, from China becoming the world’s largest exporter to the transition economy in Russia and technological innovation in India.

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It’s this type of technological innovation and the use of RFID tags that is helping emerging markets grow. Within India RFID tags have been used for a wide variety of purposes, from the tracking of train coaches for effective transport of both goods and people, to use with new cars and with animals out in the rural parts of the country.

There have been a few obstacles for the adoption of RFID technology within some of these emerging markets though. When RFID tags were first becoming more affordable and considered for use by businesses, in India there was still a lot of cheap labour that could perform many of the same tasks for a lot less. Human error was a risk and as RFID tags have become even cheaper, with automated and other benefits, they have been adopted more.

Increase the ease of global supply chains

Whatever industry a company is based in, implementing RFID technology in supply chain management is advisable for improving the process. Not only can this work well on a domestic level but for international trade it can smooth out any potential issues. These could be when importing materials from abroad to create a product, such as steel from China, or delivering items to customers overseas.

One of the main benefits of RFID tags and readers in supply chains is that they can automatically count any item with a tag attached. When done manually this can take longer and involve more labour. However, with RFID this means items can be quickly counted at each stage of the chain to ensure all goods are present.

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Tracking is another way it can improve strategies and help foster (re)globalisation through RFID. This provides transparency for both the business ordering and waiting on supplies and customers, as well as providing accountability if there is a delay or problem in the supply chain.

Broken down, the main benefits of RFID technology in any supply chain include:

• Improved visibility
• Less manual labour required
• Reduced costs

• Quick location of products
• Increases accuracy and efficiency

(Re)globalisation will focus on trade

In order for (re)globalisation to happen, technological advances, improvements in transport and communication all need to play their part. Removing obstacles to international trade such as the time and costs involved are two key areas to focus on and ones that RFID implementation can work to address.

>See also: Tesco buys thousands of RFID tags

As RFID tags and readers reduce in price it makes it a lot more affordable for start-ups and SMEs to afford the technology and use it in their supply chains when expanding overseas.

Plus, as the technology grows in popularity then larger ecommerce companies can begin to use it more frequently and in innovative ways. Even though RFID technology has been around for many years, it’s only recently that it has been employed by many businesses and there is still plenty of time for it to evolve and develop further.

RFID technology can help drive (re)globalisation by aiding businesses in emerging markets to improve their trading methods without impacting too badly on costs.

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