Barcodes/RFID tag scanners have never been easier to use. The days of dealing with decoder boxes and various cables running everywhere are long gone. Simply connect the scanner and PC via the cord, and you’re ready to go!
While their functioning has become simpler, scanners now come in a wider range of options and variations. This blog will provide you with a comprehensive overview of RFID tags, barcode scanners, and RFID readers that work with METRC.
What is METRC?
METRC is a software solution that collects data on the journey plants take from seed to sale from growers, processors, dispensaries, and testing facilities. The regulators responsible for regulating secure and safe transactions for cannabis items have complete access to the cloud.
The system’s tagging, or identification numbers assigned to plants, may then be traced back to actual stock on shelves. HIPAA is also integrated because a portion of sales is medically prescribed or linked. Meaning, any HIPAA-compliant requirements are automatically submitted by METRC.
Metrc And RFID
RFID tags are used in the METRC system. RFID stands for radio frequency identification, and it refers to the tag’s scannable code that can be read using an RFID reader. Although the code is similar to barcodes and might possibly be called a barcode, it does contain a unique technology that not all barcodes have.
What Is RFID?
Before diving deep into the working of RFID, let’s see what are the different components that it comprises. The key part that RFID consists of are:
- RFID tag
- RFID reader
An RFID tag has a transmitter and a receiver built-in. There are two pieces to the RFID component:
Integrated circuit: It’s a system for storing and processing data.
Antenna: It’s utilized to send and receive data.
Non-volatile memory storage for sensor data and transmission is also included in RFID tags, with either programmable or fixed circuitry.
Tags can be categorized as:
Passive: Due to the lack of a battery, this tag is dormant. It turns on the tag with the reader’s signal energy and then sends a signal back to the reader with the real-time data.
Active: Active RFID tags contain a battery that sends out signals on a regular basis. Due to the inclusion of a battery, these tags have a range of up to 100 meters. Because of it, active tags are important in location monitoring applications.
Battery-assistive passive: Although these tags have a battery, they do not transmit signals on a regular basis like active RFID tags.
When the tag gets a signal, the battery is utilized to turn it on, allowing all of the energy from the reader’s signal to be reflected.
An RFID reader is made up of an interrogator, which is a two-way radio transmitter-receiver, also known as a transceiver.
The primary function of the transceiver is to send an encoded signal to the tag, which activates it.
As a result, the tag transponder begins converting radio signals into usable electricity while also responding to the reader.
How Do Barcodes/RFID Tags Work?
Users may automatically identify and track inventories and assets by tagging them with RFID tags. RFID advances auto-ID technology by allowing tags to be read without requiring line of sight, with reading ranges ranging from a few centimeters to over 20 meters depending on the kind of RFID.
RFID has gone a long way since its first use in World War II when it was used to determine whether planes were friendly or hostile. Not only is technology improving year after year, but the cost of adopting and operating an RFID system is also decreasing, making RFID a more cost-effective and efficient solution.
An RFID tag or smart label, an RFID reader, and an antenna are the three basic components of an RFID system. RFID tags are made up of an integrated circuit and an antenna that transfer data to an RFID reader (also called an interrogator).
The radio waves are then converted to a more useable kind of data by the reader. The data acquired from the tags are subsequently sent to a host computer system via a communications interface, where it can be saved in a database and evaluated later.
RFID is employed in a variety of industries, including cannabis, construction, engineering, chemical manufacture, retail, logistics, and many more.
The numerous advantages of RFID technology make it easy to develop a strong business case for its implementation in a variety of sectors and applications.
Why Is Barcode/RFID Labeling Important In The Cannabis Industry?
You’re constantly under a figurative data-driven microscope in the cannabis sector. You are continuously requested to document your labor, from tracking your products from seed to sale to reporting on your daily inventory and sales.
There is no space for error in a strictly regulated sector, but there is plenty of opportunities to make one.
Barcode labels help you stay compliant by allowing you to collect data in an automated manner. You can save the batch number, strain, strength, and other identifying information for each tagged plant in each barcode.
Your dispensary’s important information is also stored in barcodes. This information includes who was in charge of the plant, where it was placed in the greenhouse, and the unique number assigned to that greenhouse. This level of scrutiny is important not only for compliance but also for gaining useful information into how you manage your product.
Data can be transferred to your seed-to-sale tracking program via barcodes. This provides you with vital insight into your operations, which helps you make decisions about how to improve your company. If your seed-to-sale software is compatible, it can connect the data from your greenhouse to your state’s web-based compliance platform, such as METRC.
How Do Barcodes Help Cannabis Businesses?
RFID technology’s advantages make it a popular choice for supply chain managers trying to boost efficiency and satisfy increased demand. Cure8 has a wide range of RFID/barcode technology solutions to fulfill the needs of cannabis businesses.
The retail industry has already begun to be transformed by RFID technology. It improves product visibility in retail inventory, resulting in enhanced inventory control and consumer satisfaction.
This is especially important in larger cannabis stores where clients may search for their desired products online and the store has current stock available for purchase.
Second, by recording a unique identification number, RFID improves product identification.
Finally, because RFID allows a shopper to scan the whole contents of a cart without picking up a single item, it reduces checkout times. It also assists with dynamic pricing, theft prevention, and personnel tracking.
Benefits Of RFID
While barcodes were created to speed up the sales and transaction process, they also have a number of other advantages.
Enhances Operational Efficiency
One of the most appealing features of RFID is that it requires less supervision, allowing employees to focus on more productive duties. Furthermore, reading tags does not impose a direct line of sight. It allows numerous tags to be read at the same time. You can also program the RFID reader to read tag data automatically when you need it.
Eliminates Human Error
Human mistake is always a possibility when performing manual labor. To read data with RFID, no human intervention is required. All of this can be done automatically by the reader. The advantages of RFID much outnumber the costs. RFID not only saves time and money but also improves accuracy by removing the errors that arise with human data entry and product restocking.
Mitigate Risk, Theft, And Loss
Supply chain facilities may get quick and easy access to inventory information and location with RFID asset tracking, so they can keep track of when products are kept, dispersed, or restocked, and confirm delivery — no matter where they are in the supply chain.
With such high visibility, there is minimal opportunity for error or deception. By tracking the flow of each asset in your business, you can verify that all goods and pallets are tracked and accounted for, reducing costly risks such as misdistribution and loss, counterfeiting and theft, and recalls. It’s critical to prevent these blunders wherever possible, because not only will they cost time and money to repair, but they could also lead to litigation, large fines, or the loss of a customer.
Employees in the supply chain should never be concerned that a critical tool or piece of equipment has gone missing, or that things have been delivered erroneously or insufficiently. Your facility will be considerably more structured and productive – and thus more profitable – with full visibility and real-time information about your inventory and assets.
Visibility Inflow Of Items
RFID technology improves operational visibility and automates the inventory management process. By increasing insight into the movement of things, businesses can save money and boost productivity. RFID tags are applied to items as they transit through the supply chain. These tags contain a unique identification number and all of the data is saved on the integrated circuit. It is not necessary to manually trace the item as it moves through the supply chain.
For example, among retailers, RFID’s benefit is its ability to increase visibility while reducing manual interference, resulting in a more error-free procedure. The marked products could be tracked by retailers as they moved through the distribution tiers (from grower to store shelves). The primary advantage of RFID is visibility!
Automatically Recording And Managing Information
RFID tags are also useful for cannabis businesses that require multiple people to do the same work. When a large number of people are involved in doing a single task, the overall process may become inefficient. It’s possible that the manual process of capturing information for each person’s task or every time a certain asset/document is touched will go unnoticed. This limitation is overcome with RFID, which allows organizations to save data on tags and scan them every time before performing a task.
For example- Cannabis is a very powerful plant and hence needs to be tracked appropriately so that no plant is left unaccounted for. RFID tags are used to tag every plant and how it is handled and who is handling it with every step in the process to greatly simplify the process. This could reduce the chance of any error, thus increasing productivity.
Inventory Audit / Management
The RFID inventory tracking application addresses inventory management issues that enterprises encounter. Manual inventory tracking is not only time demanding, but it also has a larger risk of error. RFID technology aids in the solution of this problem by allowing organizations to track and manage data automatically. Cannabis businesses typically track inventory to optimize stock levels and make sure that no plant is left unaccounted; this aids in maximizing item availability according to upcoming requirements, minimizing unneeded inventory, theft, and lowering carrying costs.
RFID-based inventory tracking addresses these issues by allowing firms to manage inventory at the seed, plant, pallet, or conveyor level, as well as maintain inventory counts at all stages of the supply chain.
How Can Cure8 Help
The technical core of your cannabis dispensary or retail store is the dispensary point of sale system. They assist you in making and tracking sales as well as inventory management. There is a lot of amazing dispensaries point-of-sale software out there, but they all have one thing in common: they require high-quality hardware to work on or interface with. These are the items you’ll need to maintain your cannabis point-of-sale system running smoothly.
We can assist you in selecting the appropriate scanners for your marijuana business. Our scanners are durable and of excellent quality. You can pick from a range of Zebra and Socket Mobile options. When it comes to barcode scanners, they are the industry standard. These are our top models in terms of performance, dependability, durability, and cost-efficiency, based on our expertise in helping dispensaries set up their POS systems. To know more about our range of RFID/barcode scanners, contact our experts today!