SML RFID Opens Retail Ideation Space in China

By RFID Journal

The facility, located in Shanghai, will showcase item-level RFID technologies and applications to government leaders, business partners and retail end users.

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SML Group, a provider of item-level RFID solutions, has announced the launch of its second Retail Ideation Space (RIS) in Shanghai, China. At an opening ceremony for the new facility, SML’s global executives will join together at the Shanghai RIS to showcase item-level RFID technologies and applications to Jinshan Government leaders, business partners and retail end users. SML will also launch its RFID TotalCare solution brand to the Chinese market.

In the current fast-changing retail market landscape, SML reports, the key to success for retailers is to simplify and improve inventory accuracy within supply chains and stores using item-level RFID. Retailers and brand owners are adopting the technology at an accelerating rate, with many additional retailers coming on board in 2020.

Retailers are achieving significant returns on their investment based on inventory accuracy and enhancing the customer experience within stores. According to SML, the Shanghai RIS is intended to help retailers and brand owners remain competitive and collaborate in a complex market, by showing them how to accelerate digital transformation and business value creation based on SML’s item-level RFID technology.

“We are very pleased that the Retail Ideation Space was established in Shanghai,” said Ignatius Lau, SML’s vice-chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement. “The establishment of RIS not only represents SML Group’s confidence in the China retail market but also fully demonstrates SML’s comprehensive portfolio of technologies, one-stop-shop solutions and service capabilities, which assists retailers in achieving new levels of efficiency, creating measurable business value.”

The Shanghai RIS is the second global site after the opening of the Plano RIS in Texas in June 2019 (see SML Opens Retail Ideation Space for Item-Level RFID). At the Chinese site, SML’s RFID team will collaborate with the company’s technology partners, including Microsoft, Bluebird, iData, Impinj, NXP, Zebra Technologies and others, to demonstrate SML’s item-level RFID solutions to retailers.

SML Shanghai RIS is divided into five components, each based on a different application scenario: a storefront, a back room, a distribution center, a convenience store and a labeling area (known as the Packaging & Trims Ideation Studio), where the creative services team can collaborate with retailers and brand owners to design tailored EPC UHF RFID or non-RFID labels and packaging. According to SML, companies can model the actual and complete life cycle of a product, from label and packaging design to the flow of retail supply chain. The Shanghai RIS will also host workshops with retailers and brand owners to showcase the latest retail technologies, offering retailers an immersive space to experience, explore, learn, test and customize their RFID solutions.

“Our team is working closely with those innovative retailers and brand owners globally to configure and deploy SML’s item-level RFID solutions and deliver a significant ROI for them,” added Dean Frew, SML’s CTO and senior VP of RFID solutions, in the prepared statement. “We are also continuing to explore and innovate the latest retail technology, demonstrating the technical achievement and business value of applications of SML within our RIS facilities.”

According to SML, RFID TotalCare enables retailers and brand owners to simplify RFID deployments and improve their ROI. SML’s offering is an all-in-one systemic package, from its Inspire item-level RFID tag and global tagging solutions to its Clarity enterprise-class RFID software. This enables SML to serve retailers by simplifying compliance, the company reports.

“By partnering with thousands of global retailers, we realized that flexibility and cooperating closely with end users is the key to the success of RFID deployment,” said Mandy Leung, SML’s general manager for Shanghai, in the prepared statement. “Shanghai RIS allows retailers to collaborate together with our RFID solution experts to experience the potential value of SML’s one-stop-shop solutions RFID TotalCare, while better understanding the cutting-edge RFID technologies and applications.”

In addition to the two RIS sites in Shanghai and Plano, a third SML RIS is slated to be launched in Corby, England, in late 2019.