Resource Planning

Resource planning centers on manufacturing or distribution operations, and involves financial departments, sales departments, purchasing departments, inventory managers, and directly, the manufacturing and distributing elements themselves.

Resource planning involves determining material, labor and machine requirements in a manufacturing environment, as well as the capacity planning and scheduling operations at a facility. In addition, it may address the labor, equipment, and warehouse space requirements needed to handle products once fully processed.

Other systems may augment the basic resource planning operations, including customer relationship management systems, advanced planning/scheduling systems, warehouse management systems, and transportation management systems.

RFID can aid in resource planning by providing a more timely "picture" of products in the company, at whatever stage they happen to be in. For example, a company can more accurately track incoming raw materials, and determine usage, spoilage and disposition of current inventories based on RFID data. Companies can track individual products during the production process, as is currently being done in some automobile manufacturing plants. Companies can also track finished products as they roll off the assembly line, and are then transported to warehouses or shipping points for distribution.

RFID information, instantaneously available, can be used to "trigger" vital operations to ensure smooth continuity in production. For example, low levels of basic raw materials can be instantly transmitted to purchasing officials, who then take measures to procure additional supplies. Excess inventory in a storage area may trigger sales managers to alert their staff to opportunities to sell more of a particular product. RFID information on out-of-date materials can be immediately used by on-line managers to switch out old or spoiled materials for new.

Information about a product's history, use, or disposition can be transmitted and used by business executives to more efficiently manage the entire operations' output.