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RFID Brings Customer Shipments into Focus for Eyewear Company

Extra Optical is piloting a system from Norway Post agency Bring to view when shipments to customers enter and exit the carrier's distribution centers, so that deliveries can be tracked automatically.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 07, 2016

Norwegian online eyewear company Extra Optical is piloting an RFID-based shipping solution provided by Bring to automatically track every pair of glasses it ships to customers, and to trigger a notification to each customer when his or her shipment is about to be delivered to that person's home or office. Bring, a division of Norway Post (Posten Norge), provides mail and logistics services to business customers throughout Norway and the Nordic area.

The system that Extra Optical is using consists of RFID labels on envelopes, readers installed at Posten distribution centers, and software provided by Consignor that links each parcel label's unique ID number with the corresponding shipment and shares that data with Extra Optical. The software also forwards a message to the shipper indicating when the glasses will be delivered.

Øystein Sandø, Extra Optical's CEO, holding a package with an RFID label
Extra Optical is a discount eyewear provider that sells eyeglasses manufactured in Asia. Each pair is received at Posten's Trondheim distribution facility, and is then shipped to customers throughout Scandinavia. Tracking the shipped glasses on their way to customers has proved challenging for the company, says Øystein Sandø, Extra Optical's CEO.

The firm sells as many as 2,500 to 3,000 pairs of glasses during a busy month, with each pair typically shipped in a small package. In some cases, the glasses fail to arrive at a customer's address, and the company then has little visibility into where the glasses may have become delayed or lost, or if they were even shipped as expected.

Extra Optical typically used untracked shipping methods in order to keep its expenses down, Sandø says. If the company were to sign up for an option that tracks packages by scanning the bar code printed on each parcel's shipping label, he explains, it would pay the same rate as those shipping two kilos of goods, even though a pair of eyeglasses weighs only a few grams. The firm brought its problem to Bring, which was researching a method of using technology to automate the tracking of shipments.

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