Wal-Mart Executives with Some Straight Talk on RFID in Store, Upstream in Supply Chains

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effie 2017/10/12

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags play a revolutionary role in the management of modern goods, it is the physical carrier of product electronic code (EPC), attached to the trackable items, and globally circulation. People can use the relevant machine to identify, read and write.

Take Walmart as an example, their interest in RFID initially was in ensuring that they could have more accurate count integrity of their inventory throughout network. We can imagine that in a big box retail store with 85,000 items in each store, count integrity can be quite challenging, particularly when  turning inventory quickly. That’s especially true in categories where they have product that gets misplaced, broken, or stolen.

In store, on sales floor, it has been very useful to use the Geiger counter functionality on the RFID readers to find apparel, for instance, to speed up the pick, pack, and then shipping that product directly to consumers. To achieve omnichannel fulfillment rates and to drive a best in class customer experience, RFID was required to support the very high inventory accuracy that was at the foundation of that service. Overall though, using handheld scanners and falling lower tag costs have definitely helped to make the RFID ROI analysis system more stronger

In fact,even with RFID, there are inventory count issues. Obviously any time we’re counting inventory, while RFID does help improve that accuracy, we are still getting into issues of, how do I know what we just counted was right?

However, the inventory accuracy benefits of RFID don’t only apply to store operations,the upstream accuracy that we get from just reducing the inaccuracies in systems and the flow of data back to our allocation and replenishment can also drive big benefits.

Walmart tells us,doing a full-scale move toward RFID tagging with our vendor base is going to take a while. Directionally, it’s the ability for us to see inventory further upstream and have a sense of where it is would be beneficial over time.

The RFID business case is “a little bit of art and science.” However, the widely reported-on count integrity benefits of RFID are legitimate.

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