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Grupo Boticário Plans RFID Deployment

RFID testing, supported by consultant EY, helped the company to reduce the number of out-of-stock products by 97 percent, among other benefits.
By Edson Perin
Apr 07, 2019

When Grupo Boticário completed its tests of radio frequency identification under the leadership of consultant EY's Brazilian subsidiary, the company determined that the technology was a potential candidate for a traceability solution. The company says it has eliminated 70 percent of its workforce's activities compared to traditional methods.

This positive experience has impacted all areas of the company in which RFID has been experimented, promoting a new vision for Boticário's digital transformation. EY, the main partner on the project, was responsible for carrying out the work, specifications and definition of the technical solution. On the engineering and software end, Boticário counted on Seal, which assisted with the solution's hardware, software, testing and technical definition.

Boticario's Gustavo Tadeu Baldini Lichtenecker
According to Boticário, the tests exceeded expectations. Therefore, the company plans to commence implementation this year in one of its business units. In general terms, the pilot has had excellent results, the firm reports—not only financially, but also technically and operationally. For example, out-of-stock items in some locations have been reduced by up to 97 percent.

The project was carried out to validate the technical and financial efficiency of the RFID deployment in the company-wide portfolio. For this reason, no processes were changed. In fact, twin processes were created, such as checkout being done with both the RFID solution and the store's existing system, without any kind of integration. The tests followed GS1's EPC UHF RFID standard to facilitate supply chain integration as identities are needed for suppliers and customers. Standardization helps in integrating the entire supply chain, according to Boticário.

In total, four store processes were redesigned using RFID:
Checkout: With the RFID process, vendors were able to read multiple products only once. Using the original process, they needed to be read one at a time via bar codes.
Inventory: For the current model, the store has a team of third parties to count all items, and mistakes often happen. Several days are needed for an operation, while with RFID, fewer people could achieve more accurate results within a few hours.
Receipt: The traditional process consists of an item-by-item search, compared with an invoice, point disagreements and recording operations in the store system. With RFID, items only need to be read, even with the box closed, and all other steps are automatically performed.
Refueling: This process has not changed at all, but it has been possible, using only RFID information, to improve stock balancing and reduce the volume of stored goods.

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