RFID vs Barcodes: What's Better for Inventory Management

RFID vs Barcodes: What’s Better for Inventory Management

Published on : April 29, 2023

When it comes to inventory management, barcodes and RFID (radio-frequency identification) are two popular options. Both technologies are designed to help businesses track and manage inventory more efficiently, but they have distinct differences in terms of cost, accuracy, and flexibility.

In this blog post, we will compare RFID vs barcodes for your inventory management to help you decide which technology is better.

What are Barcodes?

What are Barcodes?

Barcodes are a type of optical code that consists of a series of vertical bars and spaces of different widths. They are scanned by a barcode reader, which converts the code into a series of numbers or letters that can be used to identify a product or item. Barcodes are inexpensive to produce, easy to read, and widely used in a variety of industries.

At ELID, our warehouse inventory system helps equip the country’s logistic industry with the necessary tools needed for barcode scanning. The C60 Mobile Computer is equipped with rich functionality features for barcode scanning, making it useful for logistics retail, warehousing, and asset tracking. It should be paired with the EL-OMD-IQ800P. A barcode printer that is made from premium material and has thermal barcode compatibility.

What is RFID?

What is RFID?

RFID, on the other hand, uses radio waves to identify and track objects. RFID tags consist of a microchip and an antenna that communicate with an RFID reader. RFID tags can be read from a distance, without the need for line of sight, and can store more information than barcodes. RFID is more expensive than barcodes, but it offers greater flexibility and accuracy.

At ELID, we can provide our clients with the R2 Bluetooth RFID Reader. This handheld reader has superior RFID performance with a read distance of 15 m outdoors while storing up to 50,000 tags. This is ideal for both inventory management and asset management systems.


When it comes to the cost of implementing RFID and barcode technology for inventory management, there are some significant differences to consider. Barcodes are generally more affordable to produce, and they can be printed on a variety of materials, such as paper, plastic, or metal. Barcode scanners are also readily available and can be found in most retail stores, making them an accessible option for small businesses.

However, RFID tags are more expensive due to their more complex technology. They contain a microchip and an antenna that communicate with an RFID reader, which can drive up the cost of production. RFID readers can also be quite costly, especially for high-performance models that offer a greater range of detection and data capture. This means that for small businesses with limited budgets, the cost of implementing an RFID system may not be feasible.

It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each technology based on a business’s specific needs. While RFID may be more expensive to implement, it can offer greater accuracy and efficiency in inventory management, which may be worth the investment for larger businesses. On the other hand, smaller businesses may find that the lower cost of barcode technology makes it a more practical and cost-effective option.

Ultimately, the cost of implementing either technology can vary depending on a number of factors, including the quality of the equipment, the number of tags or labels required, and the specific needs of the business. Before deciding on which technology to use for inventory management, businesses should carefully consider their budget and requirements to determine which option is the best fit for their needs.



When it comes to accuracy, RFID has a clear advantage over barcodes. Because RFID tags can be read from a distance, without the need for line of sight, making them more accurate and efficient than barcodes. The latter still requires the scanner to be in close proximity to the code. RFID is also less prone to human error, as there is no need to manually input data into a system.


RFID technology has several advantages over barcodes for inventory management. For one, RFID tags are more flexible than barcodes as they can be embedded in various materials like plastic, metal, and even fabrics. This makes them ideal for tracking items in harsh environments where traditional barcodes might not survive. RFID tags can also store more information than barcodes, which is helpful for tracking complex products or items with multiple SKUs.

Another advantage of RFID technology is that RFID readers can read tags from a distance without requiring a line of sight. This makes them useful for tracking items in large or crowded areas like warehouses or retail stores. However, RFID tags can be more expensive to produce and require specialized equipment to read. As such, businesses should carefully evaluate their needs and consider the cost and feasibility of implementing RFID technology before making a decision.

Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Barcodes are easy to use and require minimal training. Anyone can scan a barcode with a handheld scanner or a smartphone app, making them ideal for small businesses with limited resources.

RFID, on the other hand, requires more specialized equipment and may require additional training. RFID tags also need to be properly placed and configured to ensure accurate readings, which can be time-consuming.

Integration with Existing Systems

When considering which technology to use, it’s important to consider how well it integrates with your existing inventory management system. Barcodes are widely used and can be integrated with most inventory management systems, including popular software like Quickbooks and Shopify. RFID, on the other hand, may require more customization and integration work to work with your existing systems.

Key Takeaway

Both RFID and barcodes have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to inventory management. To determine which system is best for you, assess where and how these will be used.

ELID can provide you with both barcode and RFID scanners. Aside from this, we’re also the leading hotel lock system in the Philippines, contact us here today so that we can find the best solutions and products for your business.