RFID delivers impressive efficiency

By: Teamwork Retail

Retailers eager to improve their data tracking capabilities should consider the advantages of radio-frequency identification technology. An NIBusinessInfo report detailed the wide range of capabilities RFID offers to businesses. The source explained these solutions enable organizations to identify products and track them throughout the supply chain, including point-of-sale channels.

RFID tags are not relegated to just individual items, either. The report noted companies can apply RFID to containers, packages, pallets and delivery trucks. The technology emits radio signals that allow readers to view information transmitted by these tools.

Use cases
In addition to tracking products in larger quantities, RFID serves other purposes. Tags can be applied to inventory stock to make sure items are not over or under-stocked. These solutions are effective at identifying goods that may have a limited shelf life as well.

“RFID is more capable than older retail staples such as barcodes.”

Security is one of RFID’s most valuable assets. Retailers not only must combat threats at their physical stores due to malicious activity from customers or their own employees, they have to focus on keeping their warehouses safe from harm as well. The report said firms can mount RFID readers at key interest points, including exits, to avoid any incidents. If there is something wrong when vehicles leave the premises, the system will set off alarms to alert employees.

RFID delivers functionality that traditional barcodes cannot. The source noted tags can be read from several meters away. Businesses can update product information with these tools to track movement between factories and other locations.

Retailers that want to maximize their use of RFID should consider replacing older POS systems with more agile solutions. Cloud based POS, for example, makes all critical data accessible to the entire organization, allowing employees in physical stores, in the stock room and at the warehouse to view item information through Internet-connected devices.

This capability is ideal for workers who roam warehouses or stock rooms checking inventory levels and requesting more products be shipped where demand is highest.

Retailers are aware of the benefits offered by RFID. Retailers are aware of the benefits offered by RFID.

Retailers see value in RFID
Industry research has shown retailers are embracing RFID to address key operational demands. The most recent GS1 US Standards Usage Survey said 57 percent of retailers are adopting RFID. In a year from now, more than 19 percent of companies anticipate having these systems in place, while an additional 10.5 percent hope to implement the tools within two years.

An Auburn University report indicated RFID leads to various results, including out-of-stock incidents, higher sales and profit margins and the ability to offer expedited returns. The institution also discovered these solutions deliver item accuracy of up to 95 percent.

“These findings confirm that the retail industry is nearing an RFID adoption and usage tipping point,” commented Bill Hardgrave, dean of the Harbert College of Business and founder of the RFID Lab at Auburn University. “RFID is no longer just something proven in concept – it is providing tangible results for manufacturers and retailers, and provides the inventory accuracy that omni-channel retailing demands.”

Retailers that want improved accuracy across the entire organization should start thinking about incorporating RFID tags and updating their POS systems simultaneously.

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