Specifically in the retail sector, why is the technology so essential and vital?
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RFID is essential because it is the only technology available that can provide end-to-end supply chain visibility cost-effectively. Today's supply chains are inefficient. Third-party manufacturers ship the wrong goods at times, and brand owners don't find out until shipments are received. By then it is too late, and sales are lost.
There are inefficiencies at cross-docking facilities, at warehouses and in stores. RFID technology allows you to count thousands of items within minutes and, therefore, closely track those goods in transit from the moment they are produced until they arrive at a store to be sold. In some cases, products can be tracked all the way until they are discarded.
The pandemic has shown how inefficient our supply chains really are. Disruptions have been difficult to deal with because there is no visibility into where items are at any given moment. In normal times, companies deal with such inefficiencies by having safety stocks. But safety stocks cost money and don't prevent out-of-stocks at the store. If companies want to deliver goods on time, all the time, they need RFID.
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