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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

Prior to the RFID system's deployment, products were labeled according to billing, but without control of serialization; the labels were printed only with bar codes. With RFID, tags are generated per request after billing. "By sending the labels for printing," Ricken explains, "the EPC [Electronic Product Code] is linked to the merchandise stock, thus generating an ID for each item; no more labels can be printed than the quantity in stock."

As product identification becomes unique, Ricken says, this reduces the chances of one item being labeled instead of another. It also eliminates the possibility of duplication, he adds, since each EPC corresponds to only a single item in stock. As such, Ricken maintains, there is no way to handle sales without the labels.

Hans Ricken
In the Brazil region, Ricken says, there is the custom of making so-called "conditional" sales, when a certain number of items are taken to a home or some other desired location, so that the customer can choose the parts he or she would like to keep. The customer then returns any parts he or she does not want.

"Using only the bar-code labels was necessary," Ricken states, "to pass product by product in the reader, in order to realize this type of sale—a slow process and with a lot of risk for errors." But with RFID, he says, just a single click is necessary to read items in large volumes—for example, half a dozen items at a time—via a table reader, without the possibility of item duplication or parts remaining hidden inside boxes.

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