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Myer Achieves Near-100 Percent Inventory Accuracy With RFID

Since deploying a solution from Checkpoint Systems, the Australian retail chain has reduced inventory count times, decreased shrinkage, and boosted sales at its stores and online.
By Claire Swedberg

When goods are received at the participating stores, sales team members attach tags to select brands and commission those tags via a handheld RFID reader and a bar-code scanner, thereby linking each RFID tag to a particular product's stock-keeping unit (SKU). As the tagged goods are then stored in the back room or store front, staff members read the tags during inventory counts. Users can view any exceptions, as well as the status of goods and trends, on dashboards within the software.

When a product is sold, a fixed Checkpoint reader interrogates its tag at the point of sale. The item's status is then updated as sold, enabling the company to maintain an up-to-date inventory list and replenish stock levels as soon as this is needed.

Checkpoint Systems Australia's Nicole Smith
"Given that Myer is a department store with exclusive brands, national brands and concession partners, we needed to deliver a solution that could be deployed both in-store," Smith says, and "through the supply chain and at source." It's important to embed the process quickly, he adds, and to make it a habit so it becomes part of the daily routine.

Myer's stores receive merchandise from four distribution centers located across Australia, Stones says, while a small number of deliveries are received directly from suppliers. Therefore, he adds, tagging goods at the store was the best first step for the company. Since the system was taken live, Stones reports, "The RFID technology delivered significant business benefits, including improved sales, shrinkage reduction, stock-taking labor cost efficiencies, improved fulfilment pick success rates and improved inventory accuracy in stores."

Sales team employees responded positively to using RFID technology, according to Stones. The speed and ease of completing cycle counts with RFID readers freed up time for workers to spend "serving our customers instead of completing administrative tasks," he states. They also expressed having greater confidence in knowing what merchandise was available at the store at any given time.

Ensuring merchandise is available to customers is critical to any retailer's ongoing success, Stones notes. During the RFID proof-of-concept, he adds, the company found that increased inventory accuracy meant fewer customer order cancellations and an improved in-store shopping experience. More of Myer's 62 stores throughout Australia plan to deploy the technology this year, Stones reports, with additional categories being tagged at those locations.

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