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Singapore Fashion Company Adopts RFID to Be on the Cutting Edge

Decks is RFID-tagging all of its merchandise at the source, and is using the technology to expedite inventory counts and sales transactions, with the goal of boosting sales and attracting and retaining employees.
By Claire Swedberg

Decks installed a Zebra FX7500 fixed reader at each store's exit, replacing the electronic article surveillance (EAS) system that Decks had been using and eliminating the need for separate EAS tags. The reader at the checkout kiosk changes the Electronic Product Code (EPC) on a purchased item's tag. In that way, when the tag is read at the exit, the system will know that the product has been paid for, and the reader will thus not trigger an alert. If the tag ID has not been changed, however, an alert will sound.

Since the solution was taken live in June 2015, Chee says, the company has been experiencing several benefits. The amount of labor required for employees to count inventory has dropped to just a few hours at each store and at the distribution center. "We've drastically reduced the time of stock-counting," Chee says. Since the system went live, the company has lowered stock-counting times at its DC from 600 labor hours down to only five, with an accuracy of 99.8 percent.

SATO's Charles Tan
Inventory counts at the store, which previously were conducted rarely, can now be completed every week or biweekly, Chee says, because they can be accomplished so quickly. This enables a much higher level of inventory accuracy at each store, he adds, thereby preventing out-of-stocks.

In the long term, Chee adds, the system will help the store attract and retain its employees, since the technology is so much easier to work with than the manual inventory-management method. "Rather than spending time on stock-taking," he states, "they are working with their customers." He adds that "Decks is one of the most technologically advanced companies in Singapore, and we want our staff to stay with our company."

In the future, Chee says, the system will be installed at all of its new stores. The firm is also in the process of integrating the SATO RFID-based software with the store's point-of-sale software. "This will help to increase the productivity of the company and lessen reliance on manpower," Chee says. "It will help the company to easily attract and retain the current workforce."

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