In 2010, the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas was robbed for over $1 million in chips. Because the casino chips had individual RFID tags, the casino was able to invalidate them immediately, bringing the entire cash value down to $0. Whoa, that’s a HUGE loss prevented solely by RFID tag technology.
What’s an RFID tag?
Radio-Frequency Identification Tags (RFID) are very small wireless chips that have an antenna built-in to receive radio frequencies to and from readers. The transmitter broadcasts a signal continuously allowing it to be read immediately. Passive RFID tags do not require batteries to work. The radio transmitter triggers the sensor and provides the tag with enough energy to send data. These tags usually have a life expectancy of 20+ years. RFID technology can be traced back to World War II. Over the past decade, RFID tags have gotten continuously smaller from coin sized tags to the size comparable to a grain of rice. This allows them to be easily placed in items as thin as a sheet of paper. RFID tags can track anything from important documents, products and even animals. Some people may be concerned about how these devices work or what they do. Can they track me if I buy an item that has an RFID tag in it? Not to worry, the information on an RFID tag can only be read by a compatible reader within a range of 8 feet.
Imagine being able to go the grocery store, filling up your shopping cart and not having to wait for a cashier to scan your items one at a time. With RFID tags, everything in your cart will be detected instantly. No more waiting in line! However, RFID tags can not replace bar codes completely. Bar codes can be distributed through e-mail or mobile phones for printing or display while RFID tags can not. When would a bar code come in handy? Perfect example: Movie tickets or airline boarding passes.
So that’s pretty cool, but what do RFID tags have to do with the Linen Blog or Commercial Laundry Services?
Great Question! In Commercial Linen and Laundry Services, Passive RFID tags can be embedded into linen, garments, towels, floor mats and other items so they can be easily identified. The advantage of these tags over manual systems or bar codes is that these tags can be read hundreds at a time. You can send your uniforms and other high quality items to be laundered and receive the exact items back. The biggest advantage to implementing an RFID program is the reduction in full time employees required to count soiled linen. If you aren’t counting your linen (shame on you – you know better), these tags will help you reduce loss by identifying those “problematic” high loss offenders.
RFID tags can also help companies keep track when they need to replace or increase their inventory. All told, these tags help linen and uniform services improve their service level while reducing costs. What’s not to love about RFID tags?
RFID Tags can benefit different types of businesses not just Linen Service Companies.
Many businesses with on-premise laundries can benefit from using RFID tags too including hotels, clinics and gyms. These companies can place RFID tags in their towels and robes to prevent customer theft or guests accidentally taking them off property. Let’s face it, Axel Foley isn’t the only one who loves lush comfy robes.
(HIT PLAY FOR CLASSIC EDDIE MURPHY AND A LAUGH)
You Keep it as a Souvenir – “I Already Have 3 of ’em in My Bag.”
Having these RFID Tags can save companies big time costs over time. Instead of having to constantly purchase new products, they will be able to use their existing inventory until they have run their course and need to be replaced due to wear and tear.
What about the Healthcare Industry? Well RFID tags not only help keep track of the scrub and lab coat inventory, but can also be used for soil hampers and custom mats. Impressive I know.
Are you using RFID Tags? If not, we hope we’ve offered some ideas on how they could be deployed effectively for your business. If you want to get in touch with local linen or uniform companies who implement some of the most technologically advanced laundry processes and inventory management, start by selecting your industry on Linen Service.