RFID-based Store management systems have attracted a great deal of attention recently, with good reason. RFID provides an accurate, automatic, convenient scan that does not rely on “direct line of sight” to read encoded data. That makes it an ideal solution for tracking goods in motion. RFID systems have been quickly embraced in a wide variety of supply chain applications, and have proven to deliver dramatic improvements in time and labor required to track inventory movement.
But what about its applications in the retail environment? For retailers considering RFID, the business case typically begins by considering these key selling floor challenges:
Keeping the floor stocked with the desired selection of merchandise or “model stock.” On average, retail stores are out-of-stock on about 8% of their model stock, which translates directly to lose selling opportunities.
Counting on-hand inventory accurately and economically, and preserving the accuracy of “perpetual inventory” data. Few situations frustrate a customer as much as “The computer says we have it, but ...
Processing incoming merchandise efficiently and accurately, and locating it quickly for restocking. Items that reach the sales floor too late must be sold at a discount.
Curbing shrinkage. Internal theft is estimated to have cost North American retailers $19.5B in 2006, even more than the $13.3B attributable to shoplifting.
It quickly becomes clear that an RFID tracking system can directly address all these problems, generating improvements in inventory accuracy, operational efficiency and stock visibility that greatly simplify the work of store associates and management, freeing them to spend more time serving customers and generating sales