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Checkpoint Systems Acquires RFID Software Company OATSystems

The deal is designed to make Checkpoint a one-stop shop for retailers that want to use radio frequency identification to prevent theft and reduce stock-outs.
By Beth Bacheldor
Jun 23, 2008Checkpoint Systems, a manufacturer and marketer of RF- and RFID-based solutions for merchandise identification, tracking and security, announced today that it is purchasing RFID middleware and applications provider OATSystems. According to the company, the acquisition is designed to create a one-stop shop for retailers looking to leverage RFID to better track and manage inventory.

"Acquisitions have been on our road map for a while," says Farrokh Abadi, senior VP of worldwide operations for Checkpoint Systems, which reported sales of more than $834 million in 2007. For some time, he says, the company has been focused on providing customers with products that can help them reduce shrinkage—that is, electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems that employ security tags applied to merchandise that can alert retailers when someone tries to carry unpaid-for items past electronic sensors at exit doors. But Checkpoint Systems has also worked to build out an RFID product portfolio designed to help customers boost sales by improving inventory, logistics and in-store promotions management.

Checkpoint Systems' Farrokh Abadi
"We always knew that our customers—and we—would evolve from 'lose less' to 'sell more,'" Abadi says. "With the advent of RFID technology, that technology is the tipping point that makes it the right time to start addressing, through our Checkpoint [technology] platform, inventory visibility solutions that are required to reduce stock-outs and increase sales."

In April 2007, the firm unveiled its Evolve product family of labels, which includes some containing both RFID tags and its RF-based EAS technology, to provide retail customers a means of leveraging RFID tools for in-store inventory visibility while continuing to employ the EAS tags as a theft deterrent (see Checkpoint Combines EAS Tags With RFID).

One piece missing from Checkpoint Systems' RFID portfolio, however, was a method for leveraging all of the RFID data that potentially can be collected in the Evolve platform. "We needed that glue, that middleware, that will allow us to convert terabytes of data into meaningful information," Abadi says. "And when we looked around, there was nobody that came close to OATSystems. It has the brand name, the number of—and type of—customers that we are interested in, and not only pilots but also serious deployments. It was just a great fit. For us, it was one of the missing pieces of the puzzle that we needed."

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