Interfacing RFID and Web 2.0 Technologies to Improve Inventory Management in South African Enterprises
University of Zululand
Cost-effective inventory management includes balancing the cost of inventory with its profit. Most business owners fail to recognise the value of the cost of carrying inventory, which includes not only the direct costs of storage, insurance and taxes, but also the cost of having money tied up in inventory. Running inventory using paper-based systems, Excel files and traditional enterprise software is a costly and resource-intensive approach that may not even address the appropriate issues for most businesses. It is with this in mind that this research proposes an architecture which appropriates the advantages of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Web 2.0 social media tools (specifically Twitter) to enhance management of inventory. RFID promotes the communication between things/objects through sensors. However, Web 2.0 tools such as twitter, promote communication amongst people through their cell phones or computers. The collaboration of these two technologies could improve inventory management. A comprehensive literature survey was conducted on inventory management functionalities. RFID and Web 2.0 technologies were then mapped to the identified inventory management functionalities. As a result, the architecture of a system that fully integrates the technical advantages of RFID and Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter for loss prevention, and an enabler for locating misplaced stock and for sending notifications of stock level on the shelves, amongst other applications, was proposed and developed. The architecture focused on enterprises in developing regions of Africa and South Africa in particular. RFID technology adoption is becoming a viable option in the South African retail sector. The inventory management prototype was developed and evaluated. The inventory management system demonstrated how to detect misplaced products and low stock levels, and how to send notifications via Twitter to update inventory managers using the RFID and Twitter technologies.
A dissertation submitted by Sizakele Untonette Mathaba  In fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Computer Science) In the Faculty of Science and Agriculture Department of Computer Science University of Zululand Supervisor: Prof. M.O. Adigun Co-Supervisor: Dr. N. Dlodlo 2014
RFID, Web 2.0, Inventory Management - South Africa