In some industries, making the case that radio frequency identification can deliver a return on investment takes careful calculation. In the jewelry industry, the financial benefits are quite clear. Gem dealers and jewelry-store retailers must manually track thousands of small, high-value items daily, a time-consuming and error-prone process. RFID providers have developed complete solutions—with tags, readers and software designed for monitoring gems and jewelry—that automate the process, reducing the amount of time required to take inventory, eliminating shrinkage and freeing up salespeople to help customers.
Moreover, these jewelry inventory-management solutions are delivering a fast ROI. In 2012, for example, Borsheims, a Berkshire Hathaway-owned jewelry retailer in Omaha, Neb., deployed the ZeroShrink RFID solution from TJS. The system has already paid for itself, says CFO Erin Limas (see RFID Eliminates Shrinkage at Borsheims' Jewelry Store). In 2011, the Steinmetz Diamond Group, based in Geneva, began using a SpaceCode solution to track, manage and secure tiny, highly valuable gemstones. The system began paying benefits almost as soon as it was taken live, says CFO Pavlo Protopapa (see A Diamond Ping).
Some providers offer RFID-enabled pads or trays that salespeople can use to present an item to a customer. Some of these readers come with screens that can display information about the item.
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