RFID project exceeds expectations for Toshiba

Looking to dissolve a bottleneck at its Brussels-based Notebook PC Configuration plant that serves it growing European, Middle Eastern and African markets, Toshiba TEC turned to RFID for processing laptops out of assembly into finished goods inventory.
By Staff July 30, 2007

Looking to dissolve a bottleneck at its Brussels-based Notebook PC Configuration plant that serves it growing European, Middle Eastern and African markets, Toshiba TEC turned to RFID for processing laptops out of assembly into finished goods inventory.

The goal was to increase the daily average of units processed from 9,574 to 15,000 by switching from hand-scanned bar codes to automatic RFID reads.

Toshiba TEC’s adoption of RFID for processing laptops out of inventory has brought about a 40-percent saving in associated costs.

“The bottleneck occurred at the end of the month, with 40 percent of the total throughput in the last week, and 13 percent on the last working day,” says Mike Keane, identification and printing manager at the Regnesburg, Brussels facility. “If we could boost it to 15,000 without adding any head count, we could save about 300,000 euro a year.”

After six months, Toshiba exceeded its goal by reaching a daily average of 17,324. “That’s an 81-percent increase,” says Keane, “and the head count went from eight people down to two”—netting a 40-percent savings in associated costs. “We exceeded all targets. Now when retailers start to ask for item-level tagging, we’re ready for them,” Keane says.