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Brazilian Retail Chain Reduces Overtime Costs

Lojas Ki Barato's use of RFID has improved inventory control, decreased expenses and increased employee efficiency.
By Edson Perin
Jun 05, 2018

Lojas Ki Barato, located in Ivaiporã, Brazil, reports that it has gained agility, flexibility, accuracy and quick decision-making capability thanks to its implementation of an RFID-based solution from iTag. According Hans Ricken, the technology manager of Grupo Center, which operates the retail chain, RFID allowed for a reduction in the interval between one inventory count and the next, in addition to providing greater inventory control, optimizing processes and reducing overtime costs. This, he says, freed up employees to devote more time to profitable activities.

Ricken says the RFID deployment's success has opened the company's eyes regarding what the next steps with the technology should be, including installing an RFID-based anti-theft system at store exits, thereby further guaranteeing the integrity of local stock levels. Thus, says Alcides Obermann, Grupo Center's director, it will be possible to maintain the brand's differentials from its competitors, which he says are quality and a fair price. After the implementation at Ivaiporã (which sells 5,000 items per month), the solution will be extended to the other stores in the chain.

Alcides Obermann
The project's biggest challenge has been to label all areas of the store within a week, which involved the placement of 32,000 new labels on goods. Team training was one of the most intense RFID deployment activities, Ricken says, "because it totally changed the labeling and sales routine, requiring great care with these new tags."

To date, Ricken notes, the greatest gain has been the time savings from such processes as inventory counting, which has become much more efficient and speedy, decreasing the number of employees required. "Regarding the expectations, they were met," he states, "but we are waiting for more from the next projects."

The solution deployed at Lojas Ki Barato includes three middleware suites: iPrint, Monitor and Alert 2.0, all developed by iTag. IPrint is connected to a company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, to perform label serialization. Monitor connects to the ERP to capture readings performed by Identix Rpad readers. And Alert 2.0, an application that runs on Android devices, can be paired with Zebra Technologies' RFD8500 device via a Bluetooth connection, in order to manage and inventory the store.

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