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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

When SportLife's DC receives goods from suppliers, workers attach an Alien Technology ALN-9720 RFID tag to each item or pair of shoes, and then use a workstation featuring an Alien ALR-9900 fixed reader and two ALR-9686 antennas to encode the tag. With this setup, Rodriguez reports, a single reader can be used to encode as many as 4,000 tags within a single hour.

At the exit to SportLife's distribution center, as well as at each store's entrance, APES installed a Jamison RFID portal with an Alien ALR-9900 reader and ALR-9686 antennas built into it. When products leave the warehouse, and again as they are received at a store, they pass through the portal, which captures the ID numbers of all goods being shipped and then received at that location. This updates the Silverback software, which stores and interprets the data, and feeds that information to the Kanzi dashboard in the cloud-based server.

A SportLife employee uses an Alien ALR-9011 handheld reader to take inventory of a store's merchandise.
When conducting an inventory count of products at a store or warehouse, employees utilize the ALR-9011 handheld. They first select a prompt in the Capuchin app to upload all inventory data, then walk through the store or warehouse aisles, reading tag IDs. A single person can complete such RFID counts within 35 minutes, Rodriguez says, based on a store containing 8,000 items. Previously, he notes, the store required its entire staff to work for a day and a half to carry out the count.

SportLife can view details regarding the inventory at all of its stores and its warehouse using the Kanzi Web application, which displays alerts and other information. For example, it can indicate if products need to be reordered or are missing.

Capuchin not only encodes the tags and stores their ID numbers in the Silverback software, but also can enable users to kill or block a tag that has been read using a handheld, by following prompts on that device. SportLife does this with a handheld at the point of sale. In about two months, APES plans to offer a countertop reader to automatically collect the tag IDs of all goods being purchased for inventory updates, and to be used for electronic article surveillance (EAS) purposes at the store exit.

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