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South African Safari Retailer Boosts Stock Accuracy With RFID

The solution, provided by Milestone Integrated Systems and using Keonn technology, enables the company's stores to track inventory via RFID paper labels and hard tags as goods move around the sales floor, as well as when they are purchased and removed from the premises.
By Claire Swedberg

Whether goods are on display on the sales floor or stored in the back room, staff members can capture their location via regular RFID tag reads, simply by walking through the area with a handheld reader. In the event of exceptions, the device can also be used to encode single tags. When sales personnel conduct inventory counts, an app on the unit compares the collected data against predetermined ideal stock levels and displays any discrepancies. The app can also highlight items that have been requested for transfers to other stores.

Because the system required the tagging of all products, the store opted to further leverage the technology for the purpose of payments and loss prevention. Therefore, it has adopted RFID-based pay points, as well as alarms that alert store security if a tagged but un-purchased item is being removed from the store.

The AdvanPay system is used at the point of sale. The tag of each item being purchased is interrogated, and the software updates the products as sold (hard tags are removed). When a shopper walks through the exit, the AdvanSafe reader captures all tag ID numbers and compares the data against purchases. Another device, the AdvanGuard reader, serves as the alarm for the loss-prevention system and sends notifications to the sCloud app on the mobile device of the store's security guard.

In addition to tracking which goods are onsite, as well as which have been purchased or stolen, the system enables managers to access inventory data for all stores, as well as images of those items. Since the solution was taken live, the retailer has reported that it has been able to capture a daily stock count from its own associates, providing an accurate count in much less time than it took to complete the previous bar-code scan-based count, which was carried out by a third party.

Regarding the payment solution, Lourens says, the checkout process has become faster and more secure. As for the loss-prevention system, he adds, "Alarm situations at exits are handled more professionally, as the security person is notified of the exact product which is making the alarm, and thus causing minimal disruption for the customer."

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