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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

The technology is also used for gift registries. For example, when a bridal couple visits the store to set up a registry, their names and other information are input to create a record in the Jewel-ID software. They then select specific items they would like to receive, which workers place on the counter, above the built-in fixed reader, so that each item's unique ID is captured and stored in that couple's registry. If a wedding guest buys an item from that registry, its RFID label is interrogated and the software updates the registry status to indicate that the item has been purchased, thereby ensuring that no one tries to purchase the same gift. At the same time, the software updates the inventory data to indicate that an item has been sold and must be replaced.

Since the system's installation, Giuseppe Serafini, Matranga's CEO, says his company has recouped its investment in the RFID system within less than one year, based on reduced labor costs and the assurance that no out-of-stocks occur at either store.

RFID Global by Softwork developed customized passive EPC UHF RFID labels, made with Alien Higgs-3 chips, that are attached to each item.
The amount of time dedicated to performing inventory checks at both stores and within the vault has been reduced from 24 hours (involving three workers for an entire eight-hour day) to one hour for a single employee. This also means personnel spend less time in the vault with the jewelry, thereby improving security as well. The firm now completes an inventory check of all items every week, instead of once every three months.

The tagging of jewelry presented a challenge, since ferrous cutlery and silver interfere with UHF RFID transmission performance. Therefore, RFID Global by Softwork opted to apply labels with a decorative string that further separates the tag from a metal object. In the case of cutlery, the label is placed in the box rather than on a piece of cutlery itself.

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