Effective Preparation and Pilot Leads to Successful RFID Rollout!
RFID implementation offers high inventory accuracy, improved customer experience and service as well as loss prevention. The ITL Group’s Whitepaper “9 Steps to a Successful Pilot in Retail” identifies nine key components of an RFID pilot deployment in the RFID roadmap, which in turn lead to a successful RFID rollout that was able to take advantage of all technological benefits.
Preparing for the Pilot: Setting Objectives and Selecting Stores
ITL recommends a clear focus on improved inventory accuracy and planning right from the get-go. Important parameters such as objectives, key contacts, stakeholders, budget, the RFID team and store preparation measures are defined.
Pilot and control stores should be identical, or as similar as possible in terms of annual turnover, volumes per annum, amount of stock on hand, items on sale and demographic. This simplifies the process of comparing data such as stock counting, inventory accuracy rates and sales.
Selecting Label Quality, Quantity and Tagging Strategy
Ensuring that there are sufficient RFID labels on hand as well as selecting the right tag for the application field is key for a successful pilot. Tag performance is optimized for specific items and surfaces such as plastic or paper.
RFID tags can be applied in the store, in the distribution center or at the source of manufacturing. ITL recommends in-store tagging of all existing stock in pilot stores as a first step. With continued RFID rollout, brands may transition to tagging in the DC as a second step, followed by source tagging, which is more practical in a full-scale RFID rollout with additional benefits such as improved inventory management, visibility and shipping accuracy throughout the entire supply chain.
Tags can be encoded using two methods: IT-based and chip-based encoding. IT-based encoding is recommended, as it follows the industry GS1 standard.
Selecting Hardware, Software and Partners
ITL suggests using one or two RFID handheld scanners per store for the pilot. Printers may be required for the DC and/or each pilot store depending on the chosen tagging method.Retailers have to choose the partners that can reliably provide them with the necessary tags, hardware and software for a future-proof and scalable RFID rollout.
Recording and Comparing Results
Physical and RFID counts can be compared between control stores and pilot stores. Over time, stocktaking using RFID should be more accurate and less time-intensive compared to the control stores. This enables weekly counts using RFID, providing consistently high levels of inventory accuracy of over 95%.The success of RFID implementation can be measured using several indicators such as inventory accuracy, number of sales, stock counting time and costs.
ITL offers solutions with full coverage of RFID tags and inlays, scanner hardware and software from project planning up to and including the final RFID rollout with specialists in project management, printing and software development to create a seamless integration process. Contact ITL to find out more about ITL’s RFID services including RFID tagging, quality testing, delivery, rollout and consulting.
Read the full whitepaper here.