Implementation Plan to Incorporate RFID Technology
Amazon is a leading retailer that “sells a wide range of products over the Internet” (Salam, 2016, p. 2). This online retailer has an interesting background. The corporation was founded by a young entrepreneur named Jeff Bezos in the year 1994. The company started as a bookstore selling its products online. After several years, it diversified its products by adding music, electronics, apparel, and DVDs. The firm is known for its unique culture that mostly focuses on the diverse needs of the customer. The workers are empowered and motivated using various incentives such as insurance covers, disability plans, medical support, and retirement benefits (Salam, 2016). Amazon’s mission is to become the most customer-centric organization whereby people can purchase their favorite products.
The firm currently markets a wide range of services and products to its customers. Retail goods include software, baby products, groceries, kitchen items, apparel, hardware equipment, and healthcare products. In 2012, Amazon expanded its offerings to include gaming (Salam, 2016). Amazon Art is a platform that makes it possible for people to market their artworks. The company’s positive performance has led to the introduction of new services such as video content, online books, and wireless solutions. The firm segments and targets its markets using exemplary services and products. However, customers must be in a position to shop online. Sixty percent of the corporation’s sales are recorded in North America. Its international market is composed of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan (Salam, 2016).
Amazon has been embracing new technologies that have the potential to foster business performance. The use of RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology in the firm’s supply chain has led to maximized inventory visibility (Salam, 2016). Products and shipments can be tracked successfully using this technology. However, RFID is a technology that is in its infancy. Amazon is therefore one of the leading corporations that can implement and benefit from the use of this revolutionary technology.
Outline of the Proposed Plan
Amazon can embrace the power of RFID technology to become more competitive in the global online marketing sector. The deployment of this technology can result in enhanced visibility throughout the supply chain process and efficiency whenever tracking various products (Haddud, Dugger, & Lee, 2015). Gupta and Margam (2016) believe strongly that technology is capable of reducing operational costs and minimizing losses. Since information is collected automatically, the firm can acquire new insights to foster business performance. The outline below proposes a framework that can be used to support the execution and use of RFID at the firm.
The first step that can be adapted to support the process is projected scoping. The leaders at Amazon should begin by outlining the benefits, disadvantages, and issues arising from the use of RFID technology. This knowledge will ensure the objectives of the project are clearly defined. The second stage should be to analyze the current nature of operations and the utilization of RFID at the firm. This process should begin analyzing the existing system (Ting, Tsang, & Tse, 2013). The third stage is designing the right system. This means that the right software and hardware will be selected.
The fourth step is testing the prototype (Coustasse, Cunningham, Deslich, Willson, & Meadows, 2015). Processes such as system debugging and adaptation should be executed during this stage. The fifth stage should be in the implementation process. This process is done to deploy the intended RFID technology. Training or empowerment is critical to support this stage. The last (sixth) stage is known as continuous improvement. This stage is necessary because it will ensure there is constant monitoring of the system’s efficiency. Feedbacks should be collected periodically from different employees and users. The acquired information will ensure the new technology becomes an integral part of Amazon’s business model.
Detailed Outline of the RFID Implementation Plan
Amazon Incorporation has remained a leader in online-based marketing. The firm has succeeded in several areas such as the delivery of consumer goods promptly, supply chain, and management. The use of RFID has mainly been associated with the corporation’s supply chain. However, the benefits of technology explain why it has the potential to transform Amazon’s business process. This means that the company can utilize the technology to track products, improve service delivery, and make better marketing decisions based on consumer behaviors (Ting et al., 2013). The discussion below gives a comprehensive plan that can guide Amazon to implement the use of RFID technology successfully.
This is the first stage for implementing RFID technology in any given firm. During this phase, a competent team characterized by technological experts should be formed. The team will begin by outlining the unique benefits and limitations associated with the proposed RFID system. This understanding will make it easier for the team to come up with specific objectives. Unrealistic outcomes will be identified during this stage. Appropriate strategies to deal with the weaknesses associated with RFID will be developed by the team in charge of the entire implementation process (Owunwanne, 2016). The selected RFID system for each operation should be able to deliver desirable outcomes. Both long-term and short-term must be identified during this stage.
Analyzing the Current System
Amazon has been using RFID technology as part of its supply chain management strategy (Coustasse et al., 2015). The desire to expand the use of technology should be supported by evidence-based information. The leaders will analyze the unique issues associated with the organization’s current system. This goal will be achieved by collecting quality information and analyzing it adequately. For instance, issues such as efficiency, improvements, and deficiencies within the existing system should be captured during this stage. This knowledge will ensure the leaders focus on the right objectives and approaches to implement the intended RFID technology.
The second stage will inform the leaders at Amazon about the major processes that can be embraced to deal with the existing gaps. During the stage, the team plans to implement the technology should identify the right design for the technology. This knowledge will be informed by the corporation’s requirements and business needs. The technology should be able to deal with the problems affecting the company. Areas for improvement should also be considered during this stage (Owunwanne, 2016). The most appropriate design will therefore dictate the hardware, software, and data that should be captured by the RFID technology. The technology’s ability to interpret data or information should be critical towards guiding the process. The selected software and hardware must be tested during this stage. This approach will ensure the system is capable of handling data and presenting accurate information.
The third stage is critical because it delivers a system that can produce the intended results. However, the team cannot go-ahead to use it without testing it (Lai & Cheng, 2014). Depending on the role of the targeted RFID system, the testing process will be used to capture signals from the selected devices. Issues such as duplications, tag collisions, and confusions should be monitored during the phase (Cheng & Prabhu, 2013). The technical staff will be needed to identify areas that should be improved. The simulation process will be characterized by debugging and adaptation of the system. The adaptation procedure is necessary because it will ensure the implemented RFID system is capable of delivering desirable goals or outcomes.
After the RFID technology has been tested successfully, the team will go further to install the necessary software and hardware systems (Lai & Cheng, 2014). During this stage, training and change can be critical to delivering tangible results. The existing RFID system in the firm’s supply chain can be improved during this stage. The tested system should then be configured in such a way that it supports the intended operations in the firm. The workers at Amazon should be trained and empowered accordingly. This move will reduce conflicts, omissions, errors, and inefficiencies.
This is the last stage of the RFID technology implementation process. The implemented system should be monitored and analyzed continuously to identify various gaps that can affect its effectiveness. Feedbacks from different stakeholders can help improve the functionality of the system. The success of the implanted RFID system should be tracked during this phase (Cheng & Prabhu, 2013). Areas that can be improved will be identified during this stage. These steps can therefore make it possible for Amazon to implement RFID technology and remain relevant in the online retailing sector.
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