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SDV and IER Offer an End-to-End RFID Solution for Retailers

Based on a solution developed for a large European retailer, iD by SDV is designed to track apparel from factory to store, with the goal of increasing sales and efficiencies.
By Claire Swedberg

This final step in the process—the counting of inventory at the store—is where SDV's initial customer has been using the RFID technology. As tagged goods are received, workers utilize an IER handheld reader to capture the tag's ID number, which is linked to the stock-keeping unit (SKU) data, and create an update in the SDV Information System software residing on the company's server, indicating which items are present at the store. As goods are sold, the store's management software shares that information with the SDV software, so that it can identify which goods are gone from the premises and will thus need to be reordered. Inventory checks are typically conducted every three weeks.

SDV Information System software can also generate an automatic shipping order for the distribution center in the event that the quantity of goods of a specific SKU drops below a selected threshold.

The solution is designed not only to boost sales by reducing the incidence of out-of-stocks, but also to be used for anti-theft applications, if an RFID reader were deployed at the store exit and linked to POS data to identify when an unpurchased item is leaving the store. Further upstream, as goods are transported from the factory to the DC and on to the store, the data culled from SDV Information System software could enable users to measure the carbon footprint related to transportation, and thereby reduce carbon dioxide emissions by making the supply chain more efficient.

Since the global retailer began using SDV's RFID solution about two years ago, it has reported a 10 to 12 percent increase in sales due to accurate store inventory replenishment. Its next step will be to begin tracking goods between the distribution center and the store, thereby creating a more accurate record of which goods have been shipped, and thus when they will arrive. In this way, the store can also compare what the DC claims to have shipped against actual shipping data, via RFID reads.

At present, Hatira reports, the retailer is employing two IER 680 handheld readers at each of up to 1,000 stores, though it plans to also install IER RFID fixed reader portals at the distribution center for this second phase of the installation.

Throughout the two years during which the technology has been tested and deployed, Hatira says, "We've derived a lot of knowledge from this." As a result, SDV and IER developed the packaged offering known as iD by SDV, and began marketing it during summer 2013. "We are working with new customers," he states. Those potential customers consist of retailers that could purchase the solution directly from SDV, as well as from integrators that are already providing RFID middleware installation and would become SDV's partners in managing those customers' supply chains.

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