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Small Stores in Norway See Payback From RFID

The retailers are using a low-cost solution from Front Systems, consisting of passive UHF RFID labels, as well inventory-management software, readers and printer-encoders.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 30, 2014

More than 40 stores throughout Norway are using a new radio frequency identification system provided by Norwegian systems integrator Front Systems to manage inventory data automatically, at an affordable price. Front Systems is supplying the RFID solution to fashion boutiques and other small retailers, to help them reduce the amount of manual labor previously required to conduct inventory counts and ensure that goods are available when customers want them. Three early adopters that deployed the solution last year are Tara - Espen Dronsett, Follestad and Høyer. As of this month, several more companies have begun installations, with a total of 41 stores currently using the RFID technology. Since developing the RFID solution in 2012, Front Systems has been doubling its revenue annually, according to Steffen Løpsmark, the company's business developer.

Front Systems was launched in 2009 as a point-of-sale (POS) software provider for small to midsize businesses, Løpsmark says, but as early as 2010, the company began focusing on EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID technology, after observing an RFID solution in use at a customer's retail locations. He joined the firm in 2012 and began spearheading the rollout of RFID solutions.

One of Front Systems' customers has installed a Sampo S1 reader at its sales counters to identify merchandise being purchased.
The problem for small or midsize retailers is finding an affordable way to track inventory. Manual inventory counts can take hours, often requiring that a store be closed for a day in order to complete a full count. And despite the labor put into that effort, Front Systems' customers have reported that manual inventory counts can often be inaccurate.

Høyer's Inge Nygaard
The priority for Front Systems was thus to develop a solution that could be installed quickly and at a very low cost. "Our point is that you don't have to be a member of a large retail chain to benefit from RFID," Løpsmark states.

Front Systems tested a variety of reader and tag products. It then developed RFID-based inventory-management software that a retailer can integrate with its point-of-sale system, whether the POS software comes from Front Systems or another vendor.

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