Solving Retail Challenges via RFID

At RetailX, consultants and experts from such organizations as GS1 US and Auburn University discussed how the use of radio frequency identification favors business.
Published: June 26, 2019

Using radio frequency identification technology as a business tool offers several challenges, as RFID Sherpas consultant Kristen Munroe said during the first day of RFID Journal LIVE! Retail @ RetailX, held this week in Chicago, Illinois. “The challenges of an RFID project are in the execution,” she told attendees, “which has more to do with people and processes than with technology.”

According to Mark Roberti, RFID Journal’s founder and editor, many retail problems occur when business executives are busier—that is, during seasonal sales peaks. According to Roberti, RFID plays an important role, especially at these times, because it reduces the time to process, while accelerating the acquisition of product information, such as an item’s real-time location.

Left to right: Kristen Munroe, Mark Roberti, Justin Patton, Patrick Javick and Michelle Covey

Munroe, formerly of Ralph Lauren, said RFID streamlines processes and makes life easier for professionals involved in business processes, by adding more features that solve business problems. “The automation offered by RFID,” she explained, “brings benefits to those who work in processes, and that’s what matters.”

The themes of standardization and blockchain also gained space with the participation of speakers from GS1 US and Auburn University, who presented studies including a comparison of the benefits of RFID and barcodes. A common, standardized language for reading and interpreting data collected from radio frequency identification tags favors inventory control, said Auburn University’s Justin Patton. “The solution to problems caused by large amounts of data has been well served by blockchain-based systems,” he stated.

Patton and GS1 US representatives Michelle Covey and Patrick Javick spoke about the Chain Integration Project (CHIP). The study shows that some brands and retailers are using blockchain and RFID to solve common challenges, including reducing complaints or returns, as well as enhancing product authentication.