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SportLife Tracks Athletic Shoes, Apparel

The Colombian retailer is using APES' hosted cloud-based RFID solution, which is designed to make installation easy and inexpensive.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 09, 2016

SportLife, a Colombian retailer of athletic shoes, apparel and equipment that operates 38 stores, is one of a handful of companies using the Jungle software-as-a-service (SaaS) RFID solution, provided by Bogota-based technology firm APES. The system enables the retailer to reduce labor costs and inventory out-of-stocks, by tracking the shoes that it sells at all of its stores, as well as in its distribution center. For this service, SportLife pays a monthly fee that includes the use of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID readers and tags, as well as access to inventory data captured and managed by APES' software on a cloud-based server.

Jungle is designed to be easy to install with limited infrastructure requirements, according to APES. The five-year-old company was launched by students and a teacher at the Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administración (CESA)—a business school offering undergraduate and graduate programs—to provide management software to retailers, says Daniel Rodriguez, APES' chief customer officer and a co-founder. About two years ago, the firm began building RFID technology into its Jungle system. The company's name is an acronym of the words Accessible Popular Easy Software.

APES' Daniel Rodriguez
SportLife sells 35,000 to 200,000 products every month. Its distribution center receives its athletic shoes and apparel from brand-name companies, and then forwards those goods to stores. Before the company began using RFID, DC workers carried out selection and shipping manually, and some of the inventory shipped was incorrect—products either ended up missing or were sent to the wrong store. Although SportLife declines to reveal error rates prior to the Jungle installation, APES says the inventory accuracy is now at 99.4 percent.

"We wanted to optimize operational processes," says Sebastian Beltran, SportLife's owner, "such as physical inventory taking, periodic checks thereof, control of movements of goods between stores in terms of quantity and transfer times, and maintenance of an appropriate stock for each of the outlets." The RFID system was taken live six months ago, he reports, adding that inventory checks and transfer (shipping) times are now greatly reduced as a result. For instance, Rodriguez says, it previously took one hour to check 3,000 items to be transferred to stores, but that task takes only seconds using RFID.

According to APES, Jungle is a business solution platform consisting of software on its cloud-based server, known as Silverback, and a Web-based dashboard, known as Kanzi (a male bonobo), that displays data for customers. The app for a handheld reader is dubbed Capuchin (a Central American monkey), while the middleware for fixed readers is called Orangutan.

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