How to use RFID technology with Microsoft Dynamics NAV / Business Central?
There are two main advantages of the technology. First, the item doesn’t have to be in the reader’s line of sight, like it should be with a barcode reading system. The second one is that you can bulk read many tags simultaneously, making it easy to handle a large amount of items easily.
Usage of RFID
There are many different fields of RFID usage. However, most of the time, the same scheme is set up: There are some RFID tags located on some items, and there is an RFID reader which can read the signal from the tags within a certain distance. The size of the readable zone varies from 1-2 meters to more than 100 meters, depending on the type of the RFID tags and readers you are using. That makes RFID broadly applicable for many industries.
It is not only a solution for warehouses,
Sure, it is a great solution to track items during warehouse activities, like picks, putaways, or adhoc movements. Still, there are different uses outside the warehouse: Hospitality, proof of delivery, production, supply chain, inventory management are already using RFID technology with great success. You can even track your sheeps’ movement with a drone to find those separated from your herd.
Is RFID suitable for SMBs?
The short answer is: Of course!
In fact, when implementing an RFID solution, you should start it step-by-step. Since the price of the necessary equipment is going down, you can kick off your project for a reasonably low price. It won’t be a hyper-automated system, but you can still save a lot of time and money with the improvements.
For example, an ERP integrated shipment tracking system can reduce the recall rate by checking the goods sent out from the warehouse. It also speeds up these processes, causing a decrease in the human workload. To create an integrated system like that, you’ll need to have RFID tags, an RFID reader, an ERP system (possibly MS Dynamics NAV or Business Central), and a software that connects the ERP to your RFID reader.
How to connect your Dynamics NAV to an RFID reading system?
All your RFID reader does is connecting with the nearest tags and reading the data they contain. You need some kind of application to run on those readers to create information of the rare data. That gives meaning to the numbers from the tags. This software translates the data to item numbers and other information. Also, it transfers the information to a database, which, in our case, will be your beloved Dynamics NAV / Business Central ERP system.
After the information is added to the ERP’s database, it can use that to modify registered stock or create a sales order from it. And it works the other way as well. If there is a sales order, the application on the RFID reader can compare the prepared goods list with the sold items list and mark which items are missing from the pallet.
MobileNAV is our solution to connect your RFID reader to Dynamics NAV / Business Central. Click here to learn more about it!
Barcode vs. RFID
RFID is not the ultimate solution for every use case.
It has pros and cons as well. For example, there are fixed barcode scanning systems, which are efficient and precise enough that there is no need to replace them with RFID technology. However, in some cases, RFID can significantly increase efficiency by using its bulk scanning properties. So in the short and medium-term, these two technologies are more likely to be complementary than competing solutions.
As RFID technology is getting more affordable, the application range is getting wider as well. It has also made its way to small and medium-sized businesses, where Microsoft Dynamics NAV / Business Central is a common choice. To connect an RFID system to your NAV system, you will need an application running on your RFID reader, which can decode the information from the tags and communicate with the NAV system’s database. MobileNAV is our application, which is compatible with almost any RFID reader, and it can make that connection to your ERP.