RFID can be a scary acronym for retailers and supply chain operations. For years, it has carried these top three stigmas:
- The Range of an RFID signal is too short
- Liquids and metals interfere with RFID signals
- RFID technology is costly
Taking a look at each of these objections individually will help readers reach an understanding of why RFID solutions has become a must-have in the retail industry, as well as other industries in which inventory accuracy maximization and inventory loss minimization are essential. Consider the stigma that the range of RFID signals is too short. This may be true in some industries, but it certainly is not true when it comes to inventory management and tracking within retail and supply chain operations. Using RFID to manage and track inventory is crucial when one considers any attempt to make a mark in the omnichannel space. In fact, Bill Connell, senior vice president of logistics and operations for Macy’s, stated during a panel discussion at the RFID in Retail and Apparel 2016, that “omnichannel was critical to success in the current retail market. Connell went on to state, “RFID is essential to omnichannel execution. Therefore, RFID is essential to retailing.” Regardless of RFID range, it is clear the current technology suits retail and supply chain industries well.
The second stigma that may be causing some companies from diving in to RFID technology has to do with liquids and metals. Albeit true that these two things can cause interference, we have found once again that solutions are in place to minimize interference by liquids and metals, rendering this a non-critical concern. Placement of RFID readers, such as Nedap’s !D Top, which is an overhead reader that replaces traditional pedestals, helps to overcome interference, making it the industry’s leading choice for RFID/EAS solutions. And not only is this technology well-suited in general merchandise and apparel retail segments, but it is also viable in the food sector.
And finally, the oldest and most popular falsehood about RFID: cost. For decades, RFID technology has carried this stigma, and until recently, it may have been true. But like all technology, the cost of RFID has drastically declined. Retailers may also be surprised to learn that Nedap’s RFID/EAS solutions are futureproof, meaning they can be used strictly as EAS systems today, and as RFID systems in the future without having to replace any hardware. This helps to further leverage the cost of RFID technology.
Now that the top three obstacles to RFID technology have been addressed, it is time to discuss the benefits. The retail and supply chain landscape has changed significantly over the last couple of years, and changes are still coming. The number of people who order items online and pick them up at store locations continues to increase. What happens when customers order online, only to find the item is not at the store location at the time of their scheduled pick-up? The answer to that is easy: brand damage. Building trust within the customer base takes time, but it takes even longer to earn trust back once it has been lost. This is at the heart of experts’ claims that RFID technology is paramount for successfully competing in the omnichannel space. Knowing merchandise levels in real time is essential in order to deliver customer satisfaction throughout the shopping experience. And when one considers that a store employee, when using RFID, can take a full and accurate store inventory within minutes, it becomes clear why RFID technology is a must-have.
About Nedap Retail
Nedap brings 40 years of global experience, market expertise and close cooperation with leading retailers. Everything we do is driven by our mission to make it simple for retailers to always have the right products available. To achieve this, we offer industry-leading solutions for our customers’ diverse needs in loss prevention and stock management. For more information, visit www.nedap-retail.com.