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Brazilian Retailer Lez a Lez Improves Inventory-Counting Process

The store, located in Asuncion, Paraguay, adopted RFID technology for merchandise receiving, inventory management and sales.
By Edson Perin

Thanks to the RFID system, the company reports, inventory counts have become faster and more accurate, reducing the amount of time required for the process from 12 hours for bar codes to only 50 minutes. What's more, the store can ensure that products are shipped out using a first-in-first-out (FIFO) method. "So we can run a reading with RFID during the day and check if there are different quantities than the ideal on the sales floor, and request the immediate replacement of the inventory," Martinez explains. "In this same reading, we can check if there are items in the gondolas that are already expired."

An RFID tag affixed to a garment.
Another benefit that RFID has provided is an improvement in the tracking of goods. "We control the transit of goods that circulate between areas through an RFID portal," Martinez says. "By moving products past the antennas, we can determine if merchandise goes out of stock and if it went to the store."

This deployment does not follow GS1's EPC Gen 2 RFID standard. However, all devices meet standardization specifications according to iTag, a provider of RFID technology.

The RFID readings are made using a Zebra Technologies RFD8500 reader to check merchandise coming to the store, as well as during inventory counts. A Zebra FX7500 reader with four AN480 antennas control goods that are moved from the stock area to the store floor, and a Zebra FX7500 reader with an AN610 antenna is utilized for billing the products within each carton.

The company has also deployed 10,000 disposable iTag adhesive labels, measuring 7 centimeters by 2 centimeters (2.8 inches by 0.8 inch), with an embedded tamper-resistant EM4124 chip from EM Microelectronic. According to Sérgio Gambim, iTag's CEO, the project's biggest challenge was to respect the layout of the Lez a Lez labels, which have metalized letters. "We analyzed the tag," he says, "and after validations and tests, we were able to apply the EM4124 RFID sticker with 100 percent reading."

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