Over the course of the past decade, industries of all types have started to recognize the benefits of radio frequency identification, or RFID. The retail industry is no exception: RFID provides a significant return on investment because it minimizes the effort needed to efficiently track and manage inventory. Competitiveness in retail is at an all-time high, and every technology must be taken advantage of in order for businesses to stay profitable.
Inventory management is vital to the success of a retail store, but RFID also works to eliminate shrinkage while improving the customer experience. Let’s take an in-depth look at how retailers benefit from item-level tagging with RFID media:
Accuracy and productivity
The ability to accurately track products throughout the entire supply chain is critical for businesses that want to minimize costs stemming from cycle and safety stock levels. RFID media can be used to tag each item in an entire inventory, making it possible for retailers to achieve complete visibility for their supply chains.
Increased visibility leads to more accurate understanding of the inventory and smarter business decisions can be made as a result. RFID technology is much faster and more reliable than time consuming line of sight cycle counts; businesses that take advantage of RFID stand to experience a great deal of savings on labor costs and are also able to manage labor efficiently.
Better security and less theft
The accuracy afforded by item-level tagging goes hand in hand with the prevention of theft and shrinkage. RFID is a great way to create accountability throughout the supply chain. RFID badges can be used to monitor employees and their actions within a warehouse. If items go missing, it is possible to determine which employee was in the area at the time of the theft.
RFID is able to prevent theft in most cases, but in cases where items are actually stolen, RFID tagging will let managers/owners know which items were stolen. While this might not seem important, it is impossible to replace an item if you don’t know what it is. Failing to identify stolen items creates inventory inaccuracies. Item-level tagging is paramount to the security of inventory.
Improved customer experience
A more accurate and efficient supply chain helps create an improved customer experience. Even if a problem occurs in the warehouse, supply chains are fluid and inefficiencies are always liable to trickle down to the end user or customer.
Full inventory visibility allows business owners to have a better understanding of what it selling, when it is selling, and where it is selling. If a store owner can see that a particular area or areas of his/her store is receiving more foot traffic, it is possible to adjust what products are in those areas. Customers may naturally gravitate to certain aisles or sections of a store, so it would behoove a retailer to move higher-profit items to those areas.
Item-level tagging with RFID media offers retailers a wide range of benefits. RFID tags can even automate inventory replenishment/ordering. If an RFID reader is placed under a shelf, it can be set to notify a store rep or simply create an inventory order from an ERP system.