Lojas Ki Barato, a Brazilian retail chain, said that since the deployment of iTag's RFID solution, the company has improved agility, flexibility, inventory accuracy, and increased decision-making efficiency. Hans Ricken, the retailer’s Grupo Center technical manager, said that RFID technology optimizes inventory control, optimizes processes, reduces labor costs, and increases inventory counts. In this way, employees can spend more time on high-value work.
Ricken said that the success of RFID deployment has allowed the company to think about the next step in technology applications, such as installing an RFID anti-theft system at the exit of the store. Alcides Obermann, director of the Grupo Center, said that this can give customers a different experience. At the Grupo Center (which sells 5,000 products a month), the company will expand the program to other stores.
The biggest challenge faced by the project was to label all the stores within a week and the total number of tags reached 32,000. Ricken said that in order to ensure the successful deployment of the project, the company conducted a centralized training for employees.
Ricken pointed out that so far, the company has saved a lot of time in inventory and other work, and also reduced the number of employees required.
The solution deployed by Lojas Ki Barato uses three middleware suites: iPrint, Monitor, and Alert 2.0, all developed by iTag. IPrint connects the store's ERP system for tag serialization. The Monitor is connected to the ERP to capture the data read by the Identix Rpad reader. Alert 2.0 runs on Android devices and works with Zebra Technologies' RFD8500 devices via Bluetooth to manage and inventory stores.
Prior to the deployment of the RFID system, the products were tagged according to the incoming bills, while serialization control was not performed and the tags were printed using barcodes. Using RFID, tags will be generated after warehousing. Ricken explained: "By printing the label, the EPC will be associated with the SKU information."
Because each item has a unique number, the probability of mislabeling is reduced, and the possibility of repetition is also eliminated.
In Brazil, there is a special sales model where customers go home with a certain amount of goods and then select the desired items at home. The customer can then return unwanted items.
Ricken pointed out: "When using barcodes, the clerk needs to scan the goods in order to achieve this sales model. But this process is very slow and there may be many human errors. When using RFID technology, the clerk can read multiple pieces at a time commodity."
In the past, Lojas Ki Barato performed a physical inventory every 10 months or every year. Each inventory required 20 employees to spend 10 hours to complete. During the inventory process, all items are scanned by scanning the barcode. When the books do not match, employees need to find it manually.
Ricken said that each store has a large number of items, about 30,000. He said: "Using RFID technology, we have reduced the number of employees in our operations. The time required for inventory counting has also been reduced to four employees for five hours."
Ricken said: "The system can load the product database into the reader, and then use the RFID reader's positioning function to find items that do not match accounts. This eliminates manual searches and improves inventory accuracy."
iTag CEO SérgioGambim said: "The success of RFID projects depends on the entrepreneur's in-depth understanding of their market and business needs."