The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) and global positioning system (GPS) technologies is mitigating the risks within supply chains by minimizing financial losses due to downtime, reducing the chance for non-compliance with government regulations on product safety as well as corporate governance, and even protecting the physical safety of workers.
But the use of such technologies to provide an “unprecedented level of supply chain visibility” can also be a source of risk, some experts say, including consumer privacy invasion, corporate system security concerns, and industrial espionage. While such incidents are not common, companies that use such technologies can mitigate potential exposures by implementing technology-based countermeasures, business policies, consumer education and legal measures.
The use of RFID tags on goods, cargo and other assets, in conjunction with readers enabled with GPS, can provide real-time updates, enabling companies to better respond to any problems, says Luis Wu, vice president and general manager at MHI member CipherLab USA. CipherLab makes handheld RFID readers that can troubleshoot “to find if there are really missed items or broken tags.”
By Katie Kuehner-Hebert