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Checkpoint Systems Offers RFID Security for Retail Stores
The company's RFID Overhead EAS Solution includes a reader that mounts on a ceiling above an exit, as well as software to send alerts and link read data to a store's back-end inventory records.
Checkpoint's visibility software offers several options in response to each time that a reader interrogates a tag. It could send an update to the inventory data to the store's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, in order to indicate which item was removed, or it could trigger an alert, causing an alarm box provided by Checkpoint to flash a light and sound an audible alarm at the door. In addition, the software could send a text message to staff members. Finally, if a display screen were installed at the exit as well, the OATSystems software could transmit an item's ID, linked to its stock-keeping unit (SKU) and descriptive details, to the store's ERP system, which could then display the item or items being removed on the screen as the individual walked out the door. In that way, the person exiting the store, as well as store personnel, would know exactly what was being removed at the same time that the alarms were being triggered.
"Not necessarily one road map fits everybody," Levin says. "We want to provide flexibility for our customers." The system can also be designed to respond differently, according to whether or not an item is high-value. For example, it could be set to only sound an alarm and update the inventory system if a $10 item were removed, but issue alerts to management with regard to the removal of many high-value items.
As it developed the RFID-based EAS solution, Checkpoint Systems worked with German retail chain Metro Group, which is not an apparel retailer—but though initially designed for apparel retailers, Levin notes, the system could also be used by other types of stores. "We can provide the solution for other form factors as well," he states, "although our target is apparel, luxury brands and mall-based stores."
Levin declines to provide details regarding the Metro Group pilot. Checkpoint has worked with several apparel retailers in North America and Europe to test the system, he says, though none have agreed to be named. "We have tested intensely since Q4 of last year," he reports.
Those using hard tags can remove the tags at the point of sale, and then send them to Checkpoint's Total Quality Management sites (there are two facilities—one in Shanghai, China, the other in Spain), where the hard tags will be serviced and then returned to apparel manufacturers for reuse. In this way, the hard tags can be used to track products from the manufacturer through the supply chain.
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