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W-RESPONSE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 5954
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Greece

Warehouses go wireless

Advances in wireless technology are coming together with cutting-edge software to create novel systems that could potentially revolutionise and upgrade how a business's warehouse operates.
Warehouses go wireless
Efficiently operating warehouses are integral for many types of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With the increasing availability of advanced software and wireless solutions these warehouses can run much more effectively, saving a company valuable resources such as time and money.

The EU-funded project 'Workflow and RFID enabled system for automated and paperless Warehouse operations' (W-Response) looked at how to develop a flexible automated warehouse management system for SMEs.

The project combined workflow and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that works for all industry sectors, creating an automated system that handles both conventional barcode and the latest RFID technology. It analysed companies' needs such as operations, product labelling and implementation to create a modern warehousing system that adapts to different types of businesses easily.

In addition, the proposed flexible software would be able to grow with the business's requirements by using meta-modelling techniques, simulating flows of activities and documents, and monitoring performance. With this in mind, the project articulated a best practice guide for European SMEs that want to establish and streamline warehouse operations and processes.

While RFID technology has already been used in certain warehousing applications, it could be exploited to power many more processes once technical and cost-related obstacles are overcome. The multinational project team studied the needs of businesses closely and considered the latest technology in order to develop a successful prototype. If the system is commercialised, the benefits to SMEs (and by extension to the European economy on the whole) could be considerable.

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