The importance of Proof of Concepts for Auto ID projects

Jan 24, 2022

First things first, what is Auto ID?

Auto ID is a method of automatically identifying objects, collecting data about them, potentially interacting with them, and connecting them directly to computer systems. This is all completed (largely) without human involvement and through a wide range of technologies and methods including RFID, QR codes, barcodes, biometrics (iris & facial recognition systems, etc.) magnetic stripe, voice recognition and smart cards.

Benefits of Auto ID

Auto ID systems have shown the potential to greatly improve efficiency, reduce cost and increase overall data accuracy, all while making supply chains more efficient. By using a combination of RFID tags and readers, barcode labels and long-range mobile scanners, companies can increase both the speed and ease of data collections and improve the tracking of assets.

This range of technology is particularly effective for situations that call for fast and accurate tracking. Take warehouse inventory for example. Keeping stock of the thousands of products in a large warehouse can be a nightmare if you rely on manual management of it. By introducing Auto ID, you will be able to manage the stock quicker and more accurately while not having to actually log anything yourself. Your Auto ID system will relay the information, allowing you to easily identify and monitor stock, locate items and more.

Crucially, Auto ID processes massively increase the availability of data. All this data can be used to implement improvements throughout the business, from the supply chain to the end delivery, giving you the chance to streamline your business.

The benefits that Auto ID systems can offer are enormous but before implementing, you must be sure that the technology is the right system for your needs, and that you are tackling the issues that are truly affecting your business otherwise you might be solving a problem you didn’t have in the first place.

This is where a Proof of Concept comes in.

What is a Proof of Concept?

The whole purpose of a Proof of Concept (or POC as they are often referred to) is to prove that whatever solution you’re considering will benefit your business. The POC is generally a small, controlled pilot, which will demonstrate that your project, design concept, business proposal, technology choices and overall approach is actually feasible.

An example of this would be if you were looking to install an Auto ID system throughout your warehouse. The Proof-of-Concept project would likely be restricted to a small section of the warehouse or a limited line of products. You can then use this area or sample as a test subject, making sure the system is doing what you want it to do and delivering the value you need.

Once you have proven that the technology works correctly and is solving the issue you wanted it to solve, it can then be quickly scaled-up to the entire warehouse.

But why would you do this? If an Auto ID project is going to massively benefit you, why delay rolling it out to the entire warehouse? Well…

Why is a Proof of Concept needed?

The chances are that Auto ID has the capabilities to streamline your business, but how can you be sure? Investing in a full deployment could be extremely expensive (in time and cost) and without a Proof of Concept, you could find that your new technology is solving the wrong problem and your original issues still exist.

A Proof of Concept will not only provide that extra peace of mind that your solution is going to work, but it will also prove that by rolling the solution out entirely, it will make a positive difference to your business. If that wasn’t enough, a Proof of Concept will:

Validate your idea

The primary goal when executing a Proof-of-Concept is to confirm whether the system will be successful or not. It will prove that by implementing Auto ID, you will in fact be achieving what you’re aiming to achieve. It will mean that all the money, manpower and time you will be investing into the project will be worth it.

Validate the technology

As we briefly discussed earlier, Auto ID encompasses many forms of technology – all of which have their pros and cons. The Proof of Concept will help to validate that the right combination of hardware, software and process has been selected.

Resolve any issues before committing

A Proof-of-Concept will give you a clear picture of any problems that could come up during the implementation of your Auto ID project. It could show you that the system you’re putting in place might not be quite right for what you need, giving you the chance to adjust your project before implementation.

Save money in the long run

By spotting any mistakes during the Proof-of-Concept stage, you will be able to quickly alter your project to correctly tackle the issue you’re trying to solve. Not to mention the costs will be minimal compared to redesigning your entire Auto ID system if you had rolled out the full project without doing a Proof-of-Concept.

Be a fantastic learning opportunity

As you, your team, and your technology partner develop the Proof-of-Concept, everyone involved will gain an in-depth understanding of your systems and how they work. When it comes to delpoying the system throughout your business, you will be able to quickly hit the ground running with a group of knowledgeable people that know exactly what they’re doing.

In Summary

Proof-of-Concepts are a crucial step in any project and that is just as true when it comes to Auto ID. These systems are a big investment for your business, not just financially but with time and manpower as well. While it’s clear to see the impact Auto ID systems have had on industries across the world, you need to be sure that it is the solution you need. As well as that, you will need to be sure that it is being implemented in the best way to help your business. A Proof-of-Concept will give you this peace of mind and more.

Looking to implement Auto ID in your business? Get in touch with Coriel and we will work with you every step of the way.