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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

Previously, Lojas Ki Barato performed inventory counts every 10 months or once a year, due to the number of employees needed for the slow, manual process, which required scheduling in advance. "Stock inventory could take 12 hours or more with a team of up to 20 people working on the manual counting of items," Ricken says. "That is, items were read one by one by the bar-code reader. In the end, when a divergence report was printed, product searches were also done manually, and many items were not found."

Each store has a significant and varied number of items in stock—around 30,000, Ricken says. "With RFID, we promote inventory with a shorter time and greater agility," he states. "We have reduced the number of employees in our operations, and the need for very long scheduling. For inventory counting today, we use only four employees with two RFID readers." The task now takes only an average of 5 hours to complete.

Sérgio Gambim
"Another advantage," Ricken says, "is the possibility of loading the product database onto the readers, searching only for divergent items, and utilizing the locator function in the RFID collector. This eliminates manual searches, which greatly increases the success rate of the count, instead of generating holes in stock."

Readers are installed at the point of sale, while others are deployed around the store. The reading is performed by Identix Rpad devices connected to computers via a USB cable. "For sales, we use Rpads, plus five readers and a Zebra data collector for inventory counting," Ricken says. "We work with iTag's 4124 model tamper-proof labels, which are not reused."

"The success of an RFID project depends on how much insight an entrepreneur has into the needs of his market and his business," says Sérgio Gambim, iTag's CEO.

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