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When & Why to Use RAIN RFID in Asset Management, According to Gartner

What is RAIN RFID, who is using it, and why? A new Gartner® report explains the advantages of RAIN RFID over other asset management solutions.

A screwdriver isn’t much good when you only have nails. Many organizations find RAIN RFID to be a helpful tool for asset management when they utilize its strengths, but the impact it will have on each organization will depend on the use cases they choose.

How can you know if RAIN RFID is right for you? You’ll find answers in a new Gartner report, “When and Why Enterprises Should Implement RFID to Track Critical Assets.” Download your complimentary copy of the report, and check out some highlights below.

What is RAIN RFID?

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a form of wireless communication that uses radio waves to find, identify, and track objects. RFID is a generic term that encompasses multiple technologies that use different frequencies and standards. As Gartner puts it, “the term ‘RFID’ has long been an umbrella adjective used to describe chips and antennas embedded into tags using frequencies from 125 kHz to ultra wideband (UWB).” 

RAIN RFID is one type of RFID, and the fastest growing segment of the RFID market. RAIN RFID has connected billions of everyday items to the internet, providing businesses and consumers the ability to identify, locate, and authenticate all types of items in real-time. By providing real-time data about items such as apparel, medical supplies, auto parts, food, and more, this passive, battery-free wireless technology system has become a building block of the Internet of Things.

When should you use RAIN RFID?

There are many applications of RAIN RFID across many industries. In its report, Gartner lists a wide range of use cases: “Closed-loop supply chain applications where pallets, trays, bins are reused; loose-goods management and item level tracking, such as fashion and apparel retail; IT asset tracking for servers and laptops; aerospace part marking. May also be used for open-loop supply chain applications between vendors where data format has been agreed on (e.g., baggage tracking).”

Why use RAIN RFID to manage assets?

Gartner summarizes some of the benefits of RAIN RFID in a few bullet points:

  • “Read range approximately 30 feet (10 meters) depending on polarity of antenna”
  • “Good penetration in moist environments” 
  • “Good performance in metal environments with appropriate tag encapsulation” 
  • “Fast data rate”

Businesses ranging from manufacturing to airlines to hospitals use RAIN RFID to track assets as they move in or out of cabinets, service rooms, or warehouses, and throughout cleaning and maintenance processes, for a multitude of benefits. RAIN RFID automates tracking, which reduces the potential for human error and saves employees time on mundane tasks. It also allows employees to see asset locations in real-time, giving them both greater visibility into the status of equipment and the data on how to best use resources in the future.

What are the advantages of RAIN RFID in asset management? 

One of RAIN RFID’s advantages in asset management is a range of memory options that allows users to store an item’s history, use, and additional information right on its tag. As Gartner’s report states, “Since the information is stored on the RFID chip, it can be collected and verified independently from network communication. This allows the asset information on the RFID chip to be used to make business decisions, locally, at the time of the read, if necessary. Examples are doing asset management or checking an expiration date at a remote facility where there is no network connection because the necessary data to make the business decision is located on the RFID tag.”

What Gartner recommends

  • When considering an asset management solution like RAIN RFID, understand your intended outcome from the beginning. Gartner states: “It continues to be important to understand the specific intended outcome so that the right technology can be selected. The need for different technical solutions may change the scope of the project, limit the business issue being addressed or kill the entire project, but it is important to understand that using a single technology may also compromise the ability of the technology to provide a solution.”
  • Have a bird’s-eye view of your whole organization to understand potential impacts. Gartner states: “Many RFID projects are defined by an individual department, causing the requirements and total benefits for the entire enterprise to be hidden or masked.”
  • Know which RAIN RFID products are best designed for your use case. Gartner states: “Select RFID technologies for each usage scenario by identifying the success criteria for reading tags and be prepared to use multiple technologies.”
  • Choose a solution that, like RAIN RFID, allows for flexibility, future growth, and technological advances. Gartner states: “Architect a solution based on a platform that uses multiple technologies to allow for the flexibility of adding additional data collection capabilities or changing to a better technology.”

A mature technology

RAIN RFID is the right solution for many businesses to inject real-time visibility and data insight into their organization. And it’s only continuing to evolve, with new uses being discovered. 

“The expanded use of RFID within enterprises demonstrates the high level of maturity of the technology and the lower risk associated with implementations,” the Gartner report states. “Historically used for vertical market data collection applications, many IT and line of business (LOB) organizations are now gathering location and analytics about personnel and critical assets through some variant of RFID.”

RAIN RFID empowers businesses to improve asset management, and through each connected asset, make the Internet of Things a little bigger and smarter.

Gartner, When and Why Enterprises Should Implement RFID to Track Critical Assets, By Tim Zimmerman, Nick Jones 23 July 2021.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s Research & Advisory organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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Monday, November 8, 2021