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SML Group Buys Software Company Xterprise

The acquisition will enable SML, one of the largest RFID label manufacturers, to enhance its full solution offerings by including Xterprise's Clarity software.
By Claire Swedberg

The addition of the Clarity platform to its ViziT solutions, Calderbank says, will enable faster deployments that could include a wide variety of functions that go beyond traditional supply chain management to theft protection and other applications. "This acquisition will make it easy to bundle a full solution," he states.

After searching for the appropriate company to acquire, SML ultimately selected Xterprise because, according to Calderbank, SML "wanted a company with a strong background that had been involved in the business for a number of years." Xterprise, which played a major role in helping American Apparel deploy RFID at its stores worldwide (see American Apparel Adopting RFID at Every Store), met that description, he adds.

Dean Frew, Xterprise's CEO and founder

SML Group and Xterprise are already developing new solutions for the retail market (though Frew and Calderbank both decline to provide details), and are currently in discussions with several customers regarding the ViziT solution with Clarity software. Some Xterprise personnel are currently working with SML Group in Hong Kong to develop the solutions, while Xterprise's Texas office will continue to operate as well.

With offerings that include Xterprise software, Calderbank says, SML Group can now work more directly with customers in order to help them gain more from their labels—for example, by reducing the level of safety stock previously required to ensure against out-of-stocks. By having better data related to on-hand inventory, as well as remote access to that information via the cloud-based server, the company can now greatly reduce that safety-stock level, he says.

"We're extremely excited," Frew states, adding that with the acquisition, he expects SML, together with Xterprise, "to develop creative, bold solutions and more commercial options. We're going to continue to innovate at the product level." The companies' innovation, he adds, will extend to "how we engage with customers." Frew declines to provide specific details, but notes that the acquisition of his firm "enables us to continue our vision as to how software can transform retail business."

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