Reengineering, Simulation and Data Analysis of an RFID System

By Bottani, Eleonora | Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, April 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Reengineering, Simulation and Data Analysis of an RFID System

Bottani, Eleonora, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research


We present a discrete event simulation model reproducing the adoption of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for the optimal management of common logistics processes of a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) warehouse. In this study, simulation is exploited as a powerful tool to replicate both the reengineered RFID logistics processes and the flows of Electronic Product Code (EPC) data generated by such processes. Moreover, a complex tool has been developed to analyze data resulting from the simulation runs, thus addressing the issue of how the flows of EPC data generated by RFID technology can be exploited to provide value-added information for optimally managing the logistics processes. Specifically, an EPCIS compliant Data Warehouse has been designed to act as EPCIS Repository and store EPC data resulting from simulation. Starting from EPC data, properly designed tools, referred to as Business Intelligence Modules, provide value-added information for processes optimization. Due to the newness of RFID adoption in the logistics context and to the lack of real case examples that can be examined, we believe that both the model and the data management system developed can be very useful to understand the practical implications of the technology and related information flow, as well as to show how to leverage EPC data for process management. Results of the study can provide a proof-of-concept to substantiate the adoption of RFID technology in the FMCG industry.

Key words: simulation, RFID, EPC, warehouse, business process reengineering, data analysis

1 Introduction

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is experiencing an increasing diffusion for the optimization of many logistics systems [3], [36]. A main reason for RFID adoption is the capability of tags to provide more information about products than traditional barcodes [23]. Manufacturing site, production lot, expiry date, components type are among product data that can be stored into the tag chip. Such data are recorded in form of an Electronic Product Code (EPC), whose standards have been developed by the Auto-ID Center, a partnership founded in 1999 by five leading research universities and nearly 100 retailers, products manufacturers and software companies [32]. Moreover, tags do not need line-of-sight scanning to be read, since they act as passive tracking devices, broadcasting a radio frequency when they pass within yards of a reader [24]. RFID tags also solve some of the inefficiencies commonly associated with traditional barcodes, such as, for instance, manually handling cases to read the codes [7], thus reducing time consumption and avoiding data capturing errors. In some cases, readability of barcodes can also be problematic, due to dirt and bending, reducing accuracy and involving lower reading rate [31], [33]. Finally, RFID enables both identification and tracking functionalities, which may dramatically change an organization's capability to obtain real-time information about the location and properties of tagged objects [2]. Once data stored in the tag are captured, they become available on the EPCglobal Network, a tool for exploiting RFID technology in the supply chain "by using inexpensive RFID tags and readers to pass Electronic Product Code numbers, and then leveraging the Internet to access large amounts of associated information that can be shared among authorized users" [12]. Although the implementation of RFID for products tagging and EPCglobal Network for information management is still in its early stage, several companies in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) supply chain are testing their application both for pallet and case level tagging [12].

This paper aims at addressing the issue of how to exploit data stored into RFID tag chips to provide value-added information for the optimal management of logistics processes of a FMCG warehouse. To achieve such aim, we first examine relevant warehouse processes and define their reengineering for RFID implementation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Reengineering, Simulation and Data Analysis of an RFID System


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?