How do assets/inventory enter the Senitron RFID tracking platform software?
One of the first steps to going RFID is to start using and printing RFID product labels, instead of normal non-RFID labels. Using the simple and intuitive Senitron RFID platform, users can encode/print RFID labels of the fly. The RFID labels (aka RFID tags) will each have an item number, as well as a Senitron, generated unique serial number embedded into them.
RFID tagged/labeled assets automatically enter the Senitron tracking platform software as soon as they are seen by one or more of the ceiling mounted RFID antennas or hand-held RFID readers.
Method 1 – Printing RFID Labels from the Senitron Cloud Dashboard Users can quickly print / encode RFID tags, by entering an item number on the Senitron dashboard, and clicking the print button. The printed / encoded labels can be applied to any non-metallic asset and will automatically be tracked, without any further human interaction. Self-adhesive labels or hangtags are generally used which generally range from 0.07 to 0.10 cents each.
Method 2 – Printing RFID Labels from your existing “3rd party software” which your organization is already currently using, such as QuickBooks etc. Most 3rd party programs, have the built-in utilities to print normal non-RFID product labels. Senitron’s customer service will load up your printing workstation computer with Senitron’s proprietary printing software which will convert your existing “3rd party software” non-RFID print job to be an RFID print job going to a Zebra RFID printer. This is a significant advantage because it allows users to continue printing product labels as they normally do, from within their 3rd party software, rather than inconveniencing the user to use a totally separate software to print product labels. As an example, the user can print RFID product labels for a received shipment based on a PO in the 3rd party software.
In this example, the user is printing a label from Lightspeed POS by selecting the Senitron RFID Printer
Method 3 Encoding RFID Tags – Metallic/Liquid/Carbon-Fiber assets will require special RFID tags, since normal RFID tag will not work on them. Users can quickly encode these tags, by placing the tag on an RFID reader pad, entering the item number on the Senitron dashboard, and clicking the encode button. The encoded rfid tag can be applied to the asset to initiate tracking.
Since special RFID tags are costlier ($1.25+ per tag) clients can opt to use creative methods to use the normal RFID tag. Here are some examples.
Self-adhesive label on a flag-zip tie
Flag tag label, separates itself from the metallic body
How do assets / inventory get removed from the Senitron RFID tracking system?
Naturally assets will eventually need to be removed from the RFID tracking system, since assets / inventory will get sold, shipped, and or decommissioned. Optionally, this can be important, since select exit points will be monitored to record, alert, and report unauthorized assets leaving the premises.
Method 1 – Assets can be removed / decommissioned from the Senitron Cloud Dashboard, by personnel with the proper credentials. The user can scan or select the asset, and click the change status button on the dashboard for that item, and select to “Decommission” the tag.
Method 2 – Assets can be removed / sold via Senitron Windows Desktop App, called POS Assistant. This app usually sits on top of other apps, and can be used to quickly items to decommission them.
Method 3 – Assets can be removed / decommissioned via API from a 3rd Party software, such as a POS software, WHM software, or ERP software. This would entail doing integration work between the two systems. Note, Senitron integration is already available for Lightspeed POS, Retail Pro, and Counterpoint POS.
What is the purpose of the ceiling RFID readers?
They will confirm where everything is on a digital floorplan map
It will log and store history of movement of assets from zone to zone
Senitron RFID Software – As RFID product labels are applied the Senitron RFID software and hands-free hardware see’s and tracks the inventory in real-time. And you can start to benefit from its features such as Visual Search, Real-Time Inventory Tracking, Theft Detection, Automated Receiving Auditing, Replenishment Alerts, Misplaced Alerts and much more.…
RFID Transfer Slips
Another fantastic feature Senitron RFID enables is creating super-fast transfer slips. The difference in time savings and efficiency between making an RFID transfer slip and traditional manual counting or barcode scanning to create a transfer slip is monumental. Using a Senitron RFID reader, one can move massive amounts of items which are meant to be transferred to a specific location, in front of an RFID reader, to quickly make a transfer slip containing all the items. All it takes is to mount or place a Senitron RFID reader in a zone meant for creating transfer slips. Click “Start RFID” and start moving items in front of the reader. You select the location the items are getting transferred to, and click submit.
Automated Shipment Receiving Auditing
As if RFID transfer slips aren’t cool enough, Senitron’s technology makes everything even cooler when the delivery truck brings the merchandise to the location which was meant to receive the shipment. As soon as even one item from the shipment is received the shipment voucher is marked as received in Senitron, and as every item is seen by the RFID readers, they are automatically marked to received. If in four hours of delivery all the items in the shipment are not visible and not received store management will get an email alert to address or report the issue. If in 24 hours all items are not received or addressed, headquarters will receive an email alert that the store is not following protocol.
One of the most commonly used features by all store personnel and management is the visual search feature in the Senitron dashboard. Personnel can quickly find any product in a location by typing in the item number or description in the Senitron dashboard search box, to quickly locate where an item is located on the digital floor plan. Users can see the total quantity of items in the location and the exact location of every item.
The visual search is available in two flavors. Overhead view as displayed above, and Shelf view and displayed below.
Theft Detection & Alerts
Senitron’s solution also assists with theft detection. An RFID reader is installed on the exterior of exit points. If an item is not sold within Lightspeed, and it exists the building it will set-off an alert. All alerts all recorded and available for audit on the Missing Assets page.
List of Software Dashboard Features
Inventory See and access your inventory in real-time. Know what you have, the quantity on-hand for a specific asset, and where it is located.
Visual Search Interface Personnel can quickly find and locate items in a location by accessing the user-friendly “Digital Floor Plan” search module. Items are located, and circles are overlaid to reflect the location of the items.
Visual Display of Misplaced Items To help personnel locate and return misplaced or separated items from their groups, the system displays the location of the misplaced items within the location floor plan, as well as their group locations.
Item Movement Tracking You can see where an item is now, where it has been in the past, as well as when it entered/exited the premises.
Reports Exporting reports is as easy as 123. Custom reports can be accommodating with minimal one-time fees.
Multi-User System Create an unlimited number of user to access the dashboard, with various permission levels.
Web Based Solution The dashboard can be accessed via any web capable device. Tablets, PC’s Macs, iPhones, and Android devices.
Real-Time Alerts Receive real-time alerts if unauthorized items leave the premises.
Print / Encode RFID Tags You can print / Encode RFID on the fly using the same dashboard. You do not need a sperate software to encode or create RFID tags.
Customizable / Expandable Create and monitor various zones, asset types, and alert types. Expand the system to cover more areas as more RFID hardware is added. Monitor more than one location.
Integration The system supports integration to other systems using API calls, csv exchanges, and any other requested method.
Hands-Free RFID Hardware (fixed RFID readers)
This installation plan entails installing ceiling RFID readers to blanket the selected areas. The following graphic below depicts an overhead view of various installation styles. Some of the ceiling RFID readers, will be deployed above door ways to capture and record unauthorized assets leaving the premises. All the RFID readers will work in unison and upload their reads to “Senitron’s Athena cloud-based RFID inventory asset tracking platform”
Example of an installation in a location with T-Bar ceiling with the antenna connected in a circular pattern
Example of an installation in a location without T-bar ceiling with the antenna deployed every 8-10 feet
Example installation in a location with multi-level shelving, where the antennas are installed in each shelf level.
Mobile Hand-Held RFID Reader
The Senitron solution is 100% compatible with hand-held RFID as well. Users can scan and upload the inventory directly to the dashboard as often as desired.
Please note, using hand-held RFID is not exclusive, meaning clients may do hybrid solutions, where portions of a location are addressed using hand-held RFID, while other areas are covered with hands-free RFID. In all scenarios it is recommended that hands-free RFID hardware is deployed at the exit points to capture and alert theft (unauthorized removal of an asset from the premise)
Hand-held RFID is recommended and suggested in the following scenarios:
Assets with small RFID tags (smaller than 2.5×1.5 inches).
Assets in areas with without hands-free RFID hardware.
Assets in areas with weak hands-free RFID signal due to metal shelving etc.
Clients whom simply want to spend less going to RFID technology.
Hand-Held RFID vs. Hands-Free RFID
With Hand-Held RFID, the information reflected on the dashboard will only be as current as the last time personnel did a hand-scan and uploaded to the dashboard; verses hands-free RFID which is real-time all the time.
With Hand-Held RFID, the zone name must manually be selected by the user doing the scanning, hence human error is possible if the wrong zone is selected. For example, the user may incorrectly select “back stock” and scan the “sales floor” instead, in which case the dashboard will reflect the incorrect location for that asset.
The visual search map feature in the Senitron software can work with both Hand-Held RFID, and Hands-Free RFID. In comparison, Hands-Free RFID is significantly more accurate at displaying the location of items on the map, and much easier to configure in the software.