What Should I Know About File Management?


Keywords: RFID Handheld Reader, RFID file, RFID Labels, EPC, RFID file tracking, RFID tags, Fixed reader systems, desktop readers, software  

Summary: what should i know about file management?



Managing thousands of files with RFID can be a simple process, but it can quickly become complex depending on what your company needs/wants out of their file tracking system.

Most companies start with tracking files in a single room or cabinet, which is the least costly type of tracking system (small area tracking). To start you need an RFID handheld reader, RFID labels, and some type of RFID file management database. Each file will be given an RFID label encoded with a unique EPC number from the manufacturer, or if you would like a custom number, you can encode the label yourself with the appropriate ID. Each tag must be encoded with 24 hexadecimal characters, so if you want the tag to have an encoded number of 1, the corresponding EPC number would be 000000000000000000000001 (23 zeros precede the number 1). The unique EPC number can be typed into the database and associated with the file. In the image below, you’ll find an example of a simple way to associate EPC numbers with its corresponding file using an Excel spreadsheet.

Next, open the tag finder program on your handheld reader; this program functions similarly to a Geiger counter and can help you locate the tag. Input the unique EPC number you wish to find and hold down the trigger until the beeping is audible. As you move toward the file, the beeping will increase in volume.


Companies both small and large that handle large amounts of paperwork understand the amount of time and money invested in locating and managing important assets. No matter the size, losing important files can be a huge problem. RFID file management systems are a great option to help companies track their files more effectively and efficiently than the archaic filing systems used today.


The costs to set up an RFID file tracking system range from $2100 (a simple system including 1,000 RFID label tags) to $10,000+ (a complex RFID management solution). The setup costs can be high, but the reoccurring costs can be as little as $0.17 – $2.00 per tag unless you chose to expand your system. Below is a list of common costs associated with RFID file tracking hardware and software.

RFID Tags- between $0.17 and $2.00 each

Handheld Readers- between $1700 and $4500+

Fixed Reader Systems- typically $3000+

Desktop Readers- typically $445+

Software- from $0 (Excel file) to several thousand dollars for an ‘off the shelf’ solution


When companies begin evaluating RFID file management systems, the most frequent and important questions to answer is “why allocate more money to something we do now fine for ‘free’?”

Using RFID for file management is one of the best ways to ensure your files can be located easily among a sea of other files. Not only can it reduce employee time and stress, it can potentially save your company money.

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