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RFID News Roundup

SML enters new markets for RFID beyond apparel, footwear ••• ImageFIRST introduces managed solutions for tracking scrubs, lab coats ••• FineLine Technologies acquires Ferm RFID Solutions B.V. ••• China Unicom Research Institute joins ZigBee Alliance ••• NFC Forum issues call for entries for Innovation Awards ••• Unified Office adds IoT infrastructure management to managed business communications service ••• Thales eSecurity, 451 Research report data breaches rising with transformative technology adoption.
By Rich Handley
Jan 25, 2018

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: SML Group; ImageFIRST Healthcare Laundry Specialists; FineLine Technologies, Ferm RFID Solutions B.V.; the ZigBee Alliance, the China Unicom Research Institute; the NFC Forum; Unified Office; Thales eSecurity, and 451 Research.

SML Enters New Markets for RFID Beyond Apparel, Footwear

SML Group, a provider of encoded RFID tags for retail, has announced its entry into six tangential markets that can benefit from item-level RFID solutions, sharing many of the same business case elements and omnichannel models that drive adoption in the apparel and footwear segments. SML has identified the following market segments to pursue item-level inventory management: mobile phones and accessories, cosmetics and fragrances, eyewear, wines and spirits, food, and retail pharmaceuticals.

These segments share the same major challenges and resultant pain points with assortment inventory accuracy as the apparel and footwear segments, the company reports. "Our market analysis shows that all of these segments have significant issues with inventory accuracy," said Dean Frew, SML's CTO and senior VP of RFID solutions, in a prepared statement, "and when you combine state-of-the-art RFID tag technology with best-in-class item-level inventory-management functionality, unprecedented results are easily available."

Smartphone sales and accessory sales are in the billions of dollars, SML explains, but inventory management has been difficult for stores with missing accessories and phone models at the retail level. SML reports that it has delivered a solution to a leading retailer in the United Kingdom, with hundreds of stores working in real time to help a mobile phone provider reduce out-of-stock items, increase sales and decrease shrinkage.

Fragrance is among the top sellers with high shrinkage rates. SML offers tagging and packaging solutions for this category, which has traditionally been challenging due to the presence of liquids, as well as metal content in foil or packaging. SML also offers tagging solutions for eyewear, to ensure display compliance and automatic replenishments for on-shelf availability. In addition, wine and spirits, food and pharmaceuticals also have significant pain points regarding brand authentication, verification and diversion avoidance.

According to SML, case studies demonstrate that the company's Clarity solution can improve inventory accuracy, with retailers experiencing greater than 98 percent accuracy. Clarity has been designed to enable full operational control and new inventory-management processes.

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