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Case Study No.0008

Integrating RFID into a barcode
only distribution center


A large DVD/CD distributor needed to integrate RFID into its current barcode only distribution process to meet a mandate.

Major Issues

How to integrate RFID to meet the mandate and still receive some value from the process.
Label formats needed to be rewritten to add the RFID content.
There were many choices in the RFID arena. Which direction should the customer go?

AIDEA’s solution

When we entered the door, the customer’s staff had a few ideas to meet this mandate with minimal cost, but no ROI. One of these ideas was a slap-and-ship deployment. This particular slap-and-ship deployment was to occur at the dock and required a verification of the tag after application. The solution would have utilized pre-encoded RFID tags and a handheld device with a small piece of software. None of this information was to be used in their system for tracking purposes. This solution added processes to their system and provided no ROI. In with AIDEA’s technical and sales staff. Using our close relationship with Zebra Technologies, we had the perfect solution. By placing an RFID printer at the shipping station and utilizing the existing shipping label process, print and encode an RFID shipping label. The efficiencies of this solution included:

  • Utilizing existing processes and people to print and apply the tag.
  • Using Zebra’s printer to encode the RFID tag, there was no need for an additional verification step to meet the mandate.
  • The information in the tag can now be client specific instead of a pre-encoded serialized tag and will be tracked without any staff intervention.
  • An easy upgrade path to integrating the RFID tag into the shipping label when the need arises to ship more product with RFID.

Product list:

  • Zebra’s R110XIII RFID printer
  • Alien’s Squiggle RFID tags 96 bit


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