Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Best Buy Aims for Item-Level Tagging

Best Buy plans to move swiftly to item-level tagging.
By Ari Juels
May 14, 2005—dary of RFID adoption beyond the tagging of pallets and cases employed by Wal-Mart, Target, Tesco and other retail chains. The company’s vision is to tag individual items and thereby increase efficiency, expand product availability and provide real-time information to suppliers.

Best Buy also believes that item-level tagging will ultimately improve the shopping experience. Paul Freeman, RFID program director at Best Buy, sees a day when tagged products line store shelves, and RFID readers and antennas mounted on pillars throughout the stores track and trace nearly the entire in-store inventory. RFID could help salespeople locate products that were inadvertently moved by a customer. “We want to help our customers find the products
faster and check them out quicker,” Freeman says. “We want to be able to have the customer easily understand that these three or four products go together as a bundled solution. We envision a lot better customer service down the road.”

But first Best Buy has to get its pallet- and case-tagging operation up and running. (Some large items, such as TVs or computers, come in their own cases.) For now, the company is following EPCglobal guidelines for tagging pallets and cases, and its requirements for suppliers are similar to those issued by Wal-Mart and Target. Suppliers can use tags based on the Electronic Product Code standards.

Best Buy’s major suppliers—accounting for 80 percent of the merchandise sold in its 650 stores—are expected to begin tagging pallets and cases by Jan. 2, 2006. All pallets and cases are to be tagged by May 2007. The company expects to release a timeline for item-level tagging this summer. Later this year, Best Buy will begin a pilot phase in select stores and a specific distribution center to test and tune its pallet and case RFID implementation (the company isn’t identifying the locations of those facilities at this time).

Best Buy is taking pains to work with suppliers to help them see the potential return on investment from being able to track their products, trace sales and allocate manufacturing resources based on up-to-date data. There is, however, another potential gain for suppliers. “We really want to move with them and make this successful,” says Freeman. “If we all get converted off of the bar code as soon as possible, we reduce the cost of running dual systems.”
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 387 words and 1 page. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations