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Texas Jewelry Retailer Scores With RFID

Dallas Gold & Silver Exchange (DGSE) is using EPC Gen 2 tags to improve the management of its inventory of jewelry, diamonds, watches, rare coins and other products.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
"Then the store gets the list and enters the IDs—manually now, which doesn't take long, as it's usually only two or three ID numbers, but eventually we'll automate this step—and puts the reader in search mode," Hubbard says. "Then, they use the handheld to find the missing items. This automatically loads these items to the inventory list."

If this step reconciles the actual inventory with what the master list indicates as being in the store, the process is done. However, if one or two items are still missing at this point, then Goff must further investigate the discrepancy.

Darryl Hubbard, EIS' president
This process is repeated each morning, at every store. Does this result in a more accurate inventory database? "You bet it does," says William Oyster, DGSE's president. The main reason for the improvement, he notes, is that when inventory records needed to be reconciled under the bar-code system, employees had to laboriously comb through records. Using the RFID reader in search mode, he says, usually rectifies the mismatched records quickly.

The RFID system has also led to some unintended benefits, Oyster says, noting, "We're a public company, so we get audited annually." As part of that process, Goff used to be asked to collect a long list of products. To accomplish that task, she would have to look carefully through the cases in order to find each product. Now, she can simply take the handheld reader, set it on search mode and root out the requested items from the cases.

What's more, Oyster adds, when inventory was conducted less frequently, it was more difficult to locate a misplaced item, since it could have been missing for many days or weeks before its loss was noticed. With the daily inventories, he says—made feasible thanks to the RFID readers—"you can find out what happened [to a misplaced item] before the trail gets too cold."

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