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Barcoding Vs RFID

Barcoding vs RFID

Packers versus Vikings. Dogs versus cats. Miller versus Budweiser. Right up there among these rivalries is Barcoding versus RFID. Wherever you come down on the side of Barcoding vs RFID, you will realize that today, RFID has found a place in the business technology toolbag. It may not be as vaunted or hyped as it once was. And it will certainly not supplant the barcode as a practical tool for inventory or asset tracking.

In this article in Modern Materials Handling magazine, Panatrack President Mike Burnham shares thoughts on why for the vast majority of businesses, barcoding that updates inventory and asset data in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application like Microsoft Dynamics® GP is preferable to RFID.


Burnham goes into more depth on the topic in a new Executive Brief from Panatrack.

In the brief, Burnham explains that the main selling point of RFID is that you can track a large number of items without scanning them individually. This, paradoxically, is also its main drawback.

“One advantage of RFID is that it allows a large number of items to be scanned at once,” Burnham writes in the brief. “That might or might not work consistently. Unlike barcodes, you can in theory read contents of a container without unpacking it. But that is very much dependent on the physics of the product, the packaging and the facility. But the fact is that when you are supporting a transactional business system like Dynamics GP, that broad spectrum scan may not be desirable. The good news about RFID is you can read multiple tags at once. The bad news about RFID is that you will read multiple tags at once. It is difficult to isolate individual items in an RFID situation. So while you hypothetically could recognize items as they come in a loading bay via RFID, you would have a hard time determining where they are sent in your facility after they are received– what rack or bin they are stored in.”

Learn more about RFID, and how it stacks up against barcoding. Download Mike's Executive Brief today!

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