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High-End Sicilian Jeweler Tags Inventory, Recoups Investment

Thanks to RFID, Matranga can conduct frequent inventory checks within a fraction of the time required to perform manual counts, and has also streamlined its bridal registry.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 11, 2013

RFID technology has reduced inventory-management labor time at Italian fine jewelry retailer Matranga by 96 percent, at the company's stores in Palermo and Trapani, Sicily, as well as in its vault—a secured warehouse in Palermo used to store additional inventory. The system tracks every tagged item at Matranga's stores and in the vault, not only making the inventory-checking process faster and improving inventory-count accuracy, but also automating the process of creating bridal registries and then managing them as purchases are made.

A Matranga worker uses a Nordic ID handheld RFID reader to inventory items stored within the retailer's vault.
Matranga sells high-value watches and jewelry, as well as silver and china. Its customers include the well-to-do, such as members of royal families throughout Europe. Altogether, its two stores carry an average inventory of 5,000 Rolex watches and 3,000 rings, necklaces, bracelets and other pieces of jewelry. The stores also sell fine silver, cutlery and china, and have approximately 4,000 items on hand at any given time across both locations. The two shops rack up a combined €5 million ($6.8 million) in annual sales, and since each item is of such high value, accumulating excess inventory is out of the question.

In order to ensure that no items are missing, and that no products become out of stock, store employees have conducted quarterly inventory checks throughout the display cabinets and within the vault—a task that typically required 24 man-hours to complete. These inventory checks not only were time-consuming, but also had the potential for errors if workers missed any items. What's more, the manual inventory auditing process left Matranga vulnerable to security risks, since an employee spent considerable time in the vault area and could remove items without authorization.

Matranga's Giuseppe Serafini
To better track the locations of the 12,000 items it normally carries in stock, and to prevent out-of-stocks, the company has now applied an RFID label to each item. The solution, designed and installed by Dynamic ID in July 2011, also helps the stores ensure that all products are available without having to maintain excess stock. The hardware was supplied and configured by RFID Global by Softwork, formerly known simply as Softwork.

The solution employs Dynamic ID's Jewel-ID software. According to Paola Visentin, RFID Global by Softwork's marketing and global communication manager, Jewel-ID records the inventory data, links that information to each RFID label's ID number and manages all read events, updating the status of products accordingly.

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