Defining Place in Your Supply Chain

Articles galore have been written about RFID and EPC and how they can be used to define , identify and track products through your supply chain. Now we’re changing gears a bit to discuss something equally important and that’s how to define all the different places within your supply chain. As I’ve said many times, The Need for SCM Standards is great and the one to rely on for defining place is Global Location Numbering.

Just as you use your business manager or GS1 Number to assign numbers to products, you can also do the same to uniquely identify places within your business. The most basic application is to identify all of your company physical locations with one GLN for each as a starting point.

However, it is possible to become even more granular and identify specific locations within each site such as specific dock doors, warehouse locations and more.

Even more interesting, you can begin to automate use of your GLNs by encoding them in RFID chips placed at the location to interact with readers, equipment and fork lift trucks to identify when they pass by or are at a given GLN location. Or even more interesting is the opportunity to assign GLNs to physical dock doors and then have the GLN number code as the identifier for the RFID portal reader on that specific door.

In this way, whenever product moves though that door as assigned, an automated receipt can be performed that can act as a POD or Proof of Delivery unique to that physical location and time of delivery anywhere in the world.

These are only a few ideas to get you started on the myriad ways in which GLNs can be utilized to help you get a handle on defining the physical places within your supply chain in the systems that are driving your Supply Chain Network.


Jeff Ashcroft

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