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RFID Label Converter Releases Full Solution

ITL Group is selling an end-to-end solution that includes its own UHF RFID labels for retail products, as well as reader hardware and its cloud-based software, enabling stores to launch pilots rapidly.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 11, 2020

Global retail label manufacturer ITL Group has released a bundled UHF RFID solution to enable fast proofs-of-concept and deployments for retailers that may find traditional RFID systems too expensive or complex to deploy. The system is designed to simplify RFID deployments at a low cost of entry, so that smaller retailers can begin experimenting with the technology. Once the system is set up, the company claims it can be installed within a matter of days.

ITL Group, based in the United Kingdom, is leveraging its own label manufacturing and service bureau, as well as its new ReflectRFID cloud-based software and hardware partnerships, to offer the full solution, known as 360RFID. The end goal, the label company reports, is to make it easier for retailers to adopt RFID. ITL has a history with supplying RFID labels for such retailers as U.K.-based River Island, as well as The Foschini Group (TFG), according to Simon Phelps, ITL's European sales and marketing director. The 30-year-old company converts inlays for formats such as self-adhesive, paper board and fabric, then supplies them to customers from its locations around the world.

Four years ago, ITL acquired Montreal-based RFID solutions company Overheer. and it has begun offering its ReflectRFID software, which came with the acquisition, for use with ITL's UHF EPC RFID labels, enabling retailers and brands to capture and manage read data for the purpose of inventory management. ITL also partners with RFID reader providers to help build a full solution for its customers. Such products include handheld or fixed readers, as well as RFID reading robots and software. For instance, ITL works with Zebra Technologies and other companies for handheld devices, and with Keonn Technologies for fixed readers and robots.

Released this month, the 360RFID bundles the offerings into a single solution intended to lower the cost of entry and be easy to pilot or deploy. In fact, Phelps says, several retailers are currently testing the technology, including a Canadian store chain that recently completed a four-day pilot for seven stores. "One of ITL's key strengths," he states, "is that we can offer best-in-class versions of all these components and bundle them together to create a single integrated solution."

In that way, Phelps explains, a retailer has a single point of contact from one RFID provider. "This is of particular benefit at the POC [proof-of-concept] stage," he notes, "when the emphasis needs to be on establishing if RFID has a place in your business." The system is designed to remove barriers, such as the need for integration from multiple providers.

Typically, a retailer could begin with a pilot at a few select stores, or in certain departments within a store. ITL will tag the products to be tracked and provide handhelds or install fixed readers. In the case of robotics, an RFID reader built into a robot can be programmed to travel a store's aisles, capturing tag reads after business hours.

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