Since 1970 many methods have been introduced to control incoming and outgoing stock from manufacturers to retailers. Barcode technology at the moment is a widely used method for inventory control. Bar Code technology had pushed “the emperor to put some clothes” that made the retailers count and keep an exact count of their stocks. “Putting some clothes”, the barcode technology has made easy for the store owners to manage multi store inventory with the use of inventory software mainly by using POS (point of sales software).
The extensive use of internet and its cheapest availability have made B2C businesses very competitive. The margins are low and competition is high. Cost cutting is main focus of every business for this reason, the companies adopt new effective technologies to make their processes faster. I will particularly talk about the retail sector in the world. However, the retail sector in Pakistan has some serious challenges like:
- Time consuming Inventory replenishment – even never get 100% inventory count
- Low product visibility – Loss of sale and loss of customer-
- Out of stock – due to scattered data
- Product theft – lead to the loss of item and loss of customer due to unavailability
- Product location – customer try items and leave on different racks – difficult to locate
And many more other issues.
But, there is a substitute technology available now for every retailers, manufacturers and distributors. The substitute is RFID technology which is radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID technology enables retailers to rapidly count items in stores and warehouses, improve inventory accuracy and as a result increase sales and reduce stock carrying costs.
RFID technology has many advantages over barcode technology (see the difference between barcode and RFID) . RFID has three main components:
- RFID tags – the information carrying label / tag (Transponder)
- RFID reader – Trans receiver (read the tag information)
- The software (Personal Computer) to generate meaningful reports
These tags have EAS (electronic surveillance system) to detect theft when unauthorized items move out of the premises. The EAS RFID Tags attached to items and accessories, provide real-time visibility of stock levels in your stores and entire supply chain.
Fast and accurate inventory counting of an entire shop or warehouse floor can be done within minutes. This can be achieved by few individuals by scanning shelves and boxes from a distance. The shop floor staff can do this during working hours without disturbing other operations.
This technology allows the cashier to generate bill by placing a large number of items at once as RFID tag has ability to get scan in milliseconds, so customers do not need to wait long in queues for billing.
Automated Inventory Counts Benefits
- Increase sales due to quick replenish – it reduce time up to 80 % from traditional method of inventory count
- Minimize customer walkouts – brand loyalty or service loyalty increased due to right product availability.
- Reduce out of stocks
- Automated and frequent Inventory Counts
- Make sure the racks and the shelves contain the right product
- Restrict unauthorized movement of item form store
- In case of theft the retailers get real time information which is trying to leave the premises without billing
In short, the use of RFID can directly help the business to increase their profit margins. It also help the decision makers to take quick decision about new opening of new outlets because RFID technology help to reduce the workforce and less tills (POS) due to quick and accurate function.
We, SKU Technology, say, “it’s time for the Emperor to change his clothes now”…….