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California Sporting Goods Retailer Gains Visibility With RFID

Mammoth Outdoor Sports uses the technology to merge its Internet and retail store inventories, and to gain a daily report regarding which products are at its warehouse and stores, or at exhibitions.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 21, 2012Tracking inventory at Mammoth Outdoor Sports, located in California's Sierra Nevada, is no small task, as the company sells merchandise via a variety of venues. The firm operates a central 30,000-square-foot warehouse that serves its three retail stores, as well as exhibitions where it sells its products, and a busy Internet-based business. To manage its inventory—such as apparel, footwear, snowboards, ski equipment, camping gear and bikes—at all of these locations, and to do so using a single, centralized system, the retailer has employed an RFID-based solution provided by Truecount.

At its warehouse, located in the city of Bishop, Mammoth Outdoor Sports has traditionally separated its inventory into two categories: merchandise sold at the brick-and-mortar stores or at exhibitions, and goods sold online. This practice helps to ensure against out-of-stocks, the company reports, but requires the storage and management of excess inventory. "We wanted to more accurately know our inventory on a daily basis [in the warehouse, as well as at retail stores], and we wanted more flexibility," says Phil Hertzog, Mammoth Outdoor Sports' co-owner and managing director. That flexibility would come from managing all of its merchandise in one unified way, so that both the Internet and store sales teams used the same product inventory.

Mammoth Outdoor Sports' Phil Hertzog
Hertzog also wanted the system to reduce shrinkage. Since merchandise moves to and from multiple locations (especially if it is taken to an exhibition requiring that goods be transported to and from another state), product often ends up missing, and it is difficult to trace where it was lost. Hertzog hoped for a solution that could determine much more quickly where the inventory is located, and when it vanishes, thereby identifying and addressing when shrinkage occurs and who may be responsible.

The company began testing the technology one year ago. It installed the Truecount solution in March 2012 at all three of its stores (one called Mammoth Outdoor Sports, and other two Valuesports), as well as at its warehouse.

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