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Supply Chain Management (SCM)

It is the process of planning and management of materials, information and financial flow in a network consisting of manufacturers, distributors, vendors and customers with the objective of reducing operating costs and improving customer service. Companies are turning to RFID,GIS and GPS as key components in the supply chain software. Mapping software provides an easy way for users to visualize data

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

RFID is a method of remotely storing and retrieving data using devices called RFID tags. RFID tags contain a chip which holds an electronic product code (EPC) number that points to additional data detailing the contents of the package Readers identify the EPC numbers at a distance, without lineof-sight scanning or involving physical contact.Middleware can perform initial filtering on data from the readers The objective of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) is to provide unique identification of physical objects.


An RFID tag is a small object, such as an adhesive sticker, that can be attached to or incorporated into a product. RFID tags contain antennas to enable them to receive and respond to radio-frequency queries from an RFID transceiver.


Passive Tags Require no power source/battery within tag. Tag uses energy of radio wave. Most common and least expensive Semi-Passive Tags Rely on battery built into tag to achieve better performance. Batteries power internal circuits of tags during comm. Active Tags Use batteries for the entire operation, and can therefore generate radio waves even in the absence of an RFID reader

How RFID works?

RFID across industry sectors

Healthcare Retail



Field Service

Why RFID used in supply chain management?

RFID allows participants in the supply chain to know where a particular product began its life, its current location, and where it has been. In current systems, you may know there are 10 items on the shelf, and that information is compiled in an enterprise planning software system. With RFID, you know there are 10 items, their age, lot number, and expiration date and warehouse origin. Visibility across the entire supply chain.

Some areas of RFID applications in all industries

Retail Lower labour costs Out-of-stock triggers Reducing shrinkage Reducing inventories Locating products Real-time supply/demand data Smart shelves Self check-out Customer convenience Healthcare/ Pharma Tracking hospital equipment Patient ID and tracking Preventing medication errors Tracking samples/ vials etc Environmental monitoring (e.g. blood samples) Anti-counterfeit measures Product recalls


Transportation & Logistics


Quality control Lot Tracking Recalls Government regulations Inventory accuracy and visibility Labour & material costs Asset utilization Contract manufacturing Supplier Management Customer relations Supply chain management Inventory Gray markets/ theft Shrinkage Shop floor execution Homeland security Military/ defense asset tracking

Asset utilization and tracking Volume planning Automated sorting Automated data capture Shipment route tracing Delivery reliability/ efficiency Contract pricing verification Reduced claim costs Asset utilisation and tracking Automated data capture Yard control Safety equipment tracking Farm animal tracking Contactless payment systems Sensor/ sensing applications Theme park applications Airport tracking of baggage/ passengers




Comparison b/w Bar codes and RFID

Tags are read at faster speeds

Many tags can be read at the same time

Tags can be used in harsh environments and can be reusable Tags can be read through: dirt, paint, steam, mud, plastic, and wood

Passive RFID tags have virtually unlimited life

Tags carry larger amounts of data and may have Read / Write capability Not limited to contact or line-of-sight

Consumers view RFID as an expanded barcode

RFID IN SCM- advantages

Inventory Management: RFID will help maintain a real-time view of
tagged inventory as it flows through the supply chain.

Maximizing warehouse space: With the high costs associated with

storage real estate, the goal is to maximize warehouse space.

Minimizing goods shrinkage: Theft combined with imprecise inventory

management can create a significant shortfall in actual versus expected goods available.

Benefits to Consumers: RFID can play a role in food safety, counterfeit

control, and warranty programs.

RFID IN SCM- advantages

Value Innovation in customer service: eg. Tags on suits allow retailers to
monitor and replenish stock levels with far more accuracy at the end of each day to make sure that every size, style and color remains in stock.. Another example is that of lost luggage's in airports.

Minimizing errors in delivery: Misdirected deliveries or incorrect orders can

immediately result in on-shelf out-of-stock situations leading to reduced sales and damaged customer relationships.

Greater visibility in supply chain network Potential to share useful data and collaborate with supply chain partners Safety and Security

Limitations of RFID
High costs, as compared to bar codes The need to engage in process reengineering and restructuring Limitations of RFID systems for global applications due to various frequency ranges Lack of standardization Interference from residual radio frequency sources Interference with reading tags from environmental factors like metal and water

GPS (Global Positioning System)

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S. spacebased global navigation satellite system. Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. GPS satellites broadcast signals from space that GPS receivers use to provide three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus precise time.

History of the GPS

1969Defense Navigation Satellite System (DNSS) formed 1973NAVSTAR Global Positioning System developed 1978first 4 satellites launched

History of the GPS

199324th satellite launched; initial operational capability 1995full operational capability May 2000Military accuracy available to all users


Knowing the exact location of each piece of inventory helps to control the supply chain and saves money by not losing those assets that are in transit GPS can help eliminate "black holes" where information is uncertain and by so doing can help with goals such as paring back excessive buffer stock. Safety and Security

Major constituents of the GPS

Space Composed satellites in Orbit and also includes the boosters required to launch them into orbit. Control Composed of a Master Control Station, an Alternate Master Control Station, and a host of dedicated and shared Ground Antennas and Monitor Stations. User Composed of millions of people.

How GPS Tracking Works

The users just have to insert the GSM card into the GPS tracker, and the object or individual you want to monitor would already have a GPS tracer or receiver. When user activates his account, at that time he can locate that individual or object by using computer or phone which can access internet.GPS tracker uses radio signals to locate the position, so same would be done here. Then a software use to tell us about the location in real times with landmarks, street name and every single details about the location of the object or individual.

Common Applications Areas

GPS has become a mainstay of transportation systems worldwide, providing navigation for aviation, ground, and maritime operations. Military. Smart Bombs, Cruise Missiles, and other million dollar explosives use GPS Search and rescue. Disaster relief. Surveying. Marine, aeronautical and terrestrial navigation. Remote controlled vehicle and robot guidance. Satellite positioning and tracking.

Common Applications
Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Police uses it for vehicle tracking Farmers use GPS to survey their fields so that they can distribute fertilisers more efficiently Airline pilots use GPS Zoologists attach miniscule GPS receivers to animals like dolphins & polar bears to study their behaviours in their natural habitats

Vehicle tracking

A GIS is an integrated computer mapping and database management system that provides functions for the storage, retrieval, management, analysis and display of geographic data.
GIS allows you to store, visualize, and manipulate data provided to it through GPS and other data collection tools.


GIS analysis allows the decision maker to visualize a complete company profile to include manufacturer, office and warehouse locations, and employee, client, customers, distributor and supplier locations. Relationships can be drawn between these locations, allowing for the companys supply chain to be identified and monitored


Route analysis is the operation which aims at minimizing the cost of travel involved in transporting goods from one location to another whether in terms of trips required or time or distance or a combination of these. A Spatial Decision Support System Model (SDSS) is a GIS tool for route analysis and route generation developed using Visual Basic as the front-end tool (User Interface) and MapInfo as the back-end tool. All the spatial and attribute data is stored in MapInfo, which acts as the back-end tool.

SDSS Model for Route Generation


The graphing and network display capabilities of GIS are particularly well suited to supply chain management. Manufacturing and distribution centers can be represented on a map as charts showing product supply or manufacturing capability. The route can indicate volume (by using line thickness) and whether products at different places on the route will be delivered on time (by using different colored route segments). When supply chain performance is mapped in this way, problems are immediately apparent and alternatives, such as rerouting production from another facility, are much easier to explore.


Proper routing can help the managers achieve their competitive priority and increase the overall supply chain profitability. GIS analysis is more than the use of mapping software or the ability to plot points on a map. It is the ability to draw relationships spatially and to identify value in each relationship. GIS provides a uniform environment to integrate the data for numerous transportation purposes


Transportation Warehousing Material handling Packaging Inventory management Logistics information systems Routing order fulfillment logistics network design supply/demand planning sourcing and procurement production planning and scheduling customer service

GIS Application Areas

Marketing analysis Census and demographic data analysis Real estate Geology Forestry Network analysis Site selection Routing Supply chain management

GIS has been employed to answer several logistics-related business questions such as:
Determining the optimal number of warehouses Determining the location of each warehouse Determining the size of each warehouse Allocating space for products in each warehouse Determining which products need to be transported, and in what quantities Determining the best routes for a vehicle in a transportation network What is the best route for delivery trucks? How should deliveries be scheduled? What mobile resources available are available? What is the best policy to optimize territory? Where is the best site for delivery hubs? How can the fleet be optimized to meet service goals and minimize costs?

Who uses GIS?

International organizations UN, The World Bank, UNEP, FAO, WHO, etc. Private industry Transport, Real Estate, Insurance, etc. Government Ministries of Environment, Housing, Agriculture, etc. Local Authorities, Cities, Municipalities, etc. Provincial Agencies for Planning, Parks, Transportation, etc. Non-profit organizations/NGOs World Resources Institute, ICMA, etc. Academic and Research Institutions Smithsonian Institution, CIESIN, etc.

Logistics Network Design


GIS software used for various purposes

Mobile GIS is the use of geographic data in the field on mobile devices. It's an evolution of how the enterprise database is used and managed within an organization. Mobile GIS integrates three essential components; Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), rugged handheld computers, and GIS software.

Information if utilized in a proper way can help managers take better decisions. It provides security & safety RFID&GPS and GIS help managers by providing necessary information regarding better routes to be adopted, the time required and the accurate distance, tracking of vehicles, scheduling deliveries . It helps to integrates the activities in supply chain in a cost effective manner.


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