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Indian Jeweler Gains Efficiency, Customer Service
Using a system involving high-frequency passive RFID tags and readers, a single employee can record a store's entire 10,000-item inventory in an hour.
Apr 14, 2009—Indian jewelry retailer Bhima & Brothers Jewellers (B&BJ) is tracking its high-value inventory and providing customers with immediate information regarding its jewelry, with an RFID system deployed at one of its five stores. The system has reduced the amount of time the store requires to take inventory from 36 man-hours down to one, and has decreased the time necessary to complete a sales transaction from between six and eight minutes, to less than one minute.
Not only does RFID provide the company with faster and more accurate inventory tracking, says Sundaresan Swaminathan, head of consumer industry and retail at IT firm MphasiS, it also helps the retailer improve customer service.
In addition, the store management also sought a way to allow salespeople more quality time with customers. Prior to installing the RFID system, when a customer was interested in a piece of jewelry, a salesperson took the item to the store's back room in order to look up details about the jewelry, such as its weight, stone clarity and other information that would assist the consumer in determining whether to purchase it. This process was time-consuming.
B&BJ's Mysore store installed the system in February 2009. The RFID hardware includes 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) passive tags from Assa Abloy Identification Technologies (AAITG) that comply with the ISO 15693 standard and offer a read range of 6 centimeters (2.4 inches). The store's deployment also includes two Feig Electronic handheld RFID readers and two Omnikey PDAs with built-in RFID interrogators, as well as a Brooks Automation desktop reader installed at each of the store's two point-of-sale terminals, according to Chandrashekar Sanikop, MphasiS India's RFID solution architect. All four handheld devices employ a Bluetooth connection to transmit data to a back-end server.
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