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Journal Article

The use of RFID and Web 2.0 Technologies to Improve Inventory Management in South African Enterprises  pp228-241

Sizakele Mathaba, Nomusa Dlodlo, Andrew Smith³, Mathew Adigun

© Sep 2011 Volume 14 Issue 2, ICIME 2011, Editor: Ken Grant, pp167 - 281

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Cost‑effective inventory management includes balancing the cost of inventory with its profit. Most business owners fail to recognize the value of the cost of carrying inventory, which include not only the direct cost of storage, insurance and taxes but also the cost of 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 taking advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology i.e. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Web 2.0 tools in the management of inventory. RFID promotes the communication of things/object through sensors. On the other hand Web 2.0 tools promote the communication of people through their phones or desktop computers. The collaboration of these two technologies could improve inventory management. A comprehensive literature survey is conducted on inventory management functionalities. RFID and Web 2.0 technologies are then mapped to the identified inventory management functionalities. As a result the research proposes inventory management architecture. The paper looks at 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 as an enabler for locating misplaced stock, anti‑counterfeiting of stock, and notifications on stock level on the shelve, amongst other applications. The system focuses on enterprises in developing regions in Africa, and South Africa in particular.


Keywords: Internet of things, IoT, Radio Frequency Identification, RFID, Web 2.0 tools, inventory management, South African Enterprises, Twitter


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