Retail RFID initiatives are flourishing

By Leslie Hand, IDC Retail Insights Community |  Mobile & Wireless, retail, RFID

  • Up to 30% improvements in inventory accuracy
  • Up to 50% of the OOS (out of stock)eliminated
  • 96% reduction in amount of time to cycle count, enabling more frequent and more valuable insight into real physical inventory

The bottom line is, doing physical counts and making sure shelf availability is managed appropriately is no longer primarily an exercise to make our accountants happy, but an exercise that enables better customer service. The value of improved shelf availability on the top line, on increased sales, is the best kept retail secret. The truth is there are so many factors that go into increasing sales for a retailer, that it is nearly impossible to pin a true value on sales lift due to an isolated initiative. Perhaps, Myron Burke, Director, Store Innovation and Electronic Product Code, Walmart explained success at the shelf best, "If the customer finds what they want and it goes into the cart, that's success. 

The DoD gets my vote for the most impressive and steadfast RFID program, even ahead of Walmart, as they consistently report significant benefits from their end to end RFID enabled supply chain management strategy. Paul Peters, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply Chain Integration, reported that 74% of goods are tagged at receipt and that perfect order fulfillment is as good as can be expected and material availability is at a remarkable 85%. Despite these successes, Peters pointed out that counterfeit goods are still "a looming cloud" for all to be concerned about.

The Technology Keeps Getting Better

The technology is undoubtedly fit to meet the needs of many industries including retail, manufacturing, packaging companies and 3PL's. These days, it seems that every potential challenge is quickly met with a solution. For example, one of the challenges that department or general merchandise retailers in particular face, as they expand RFID programs, is getting supplier tagging initiatives started quickly. In a breakout on Thursday, Larry Arnstein, Senior Director Business Development, Impinj, gave a really good presentation on how to formulate a scalable RFID source tagging strategy, accounting for the many source tagging scenarios employed today. Not surprisingly, Impinj announced technology a week before the conference that helps solve the source tagging issue. The new Impinj Monza 5 chip and STP source tagging technology can enable encoding of up to 1750 tags/minute for both inline and bulk encoding situations.


Originally published on IDC Retail Insights Community |  Click here to read the original story.
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