Tuesday, April 16, 2013

RFID & RETAILERS: Are You Ready?

Major retailers are rushing to install RFID!

Why?  In a nutshell, to:

          1. enable the modern shopping experience that the smart
                    phone toting consumer expects
          2. lower costs
          3. raise inventory accuracy up to 99%
          4. generate dramatically higher profit (100% to 300% per store)

Plus, Amazon has them shaking in their boots!  This is why they are becoming really proactive in upgrading their systems to enable a competitive in-person shopping experience that Amazon can't duplicate. Those retailers that succeed will rise to the top and the rest will gradually fade away into irrelevance.

RFID technology and EPC [Electronic Product Code] is the key to making this possible.  So if your retailer specifies RFID it means that you will be able to share in their success. But it also means that you need to upgrade your operation to not only meet their requirements, but also so that you can get the benefits of RFID in your own operation as well.

The key thing is that the EPC [on which RFID is based] requires not only UPC code, but also a SERIAL NUMBER for EVERY ITEM. How are you going to handle literally BILLIONS of serial numbers (AND be sure there are no duplicates)?

When I began investigating this in connection with my EDI BootCamp class I discovered that gathering the information necessary to understand the technology and be able to put together an intelligent plan was a rather major project (and not for the faint of heart!).  So I gathered together all the documents that you need and created an online class to quickly get you up to speed on all of the necessary background so you can create a working plan for your organization.  

The online EPC-RFID BootCamp class is designed to show you how you can meet this new retailer mandate.  It includes complete coverage of GTINs, EPCs and RFID Gen 2 tag standards and requirements. Based on official specification documents, everything is explained in non technical easily understandable terms.  This one hour interactive class (you are free to ask any questions – that’s what the class is for) will provide you all the information you need to plan your successful implementation. 
You will learn:

          Why retailers WANT RFID
          How it works
          Why it is now finally taking off
          How does it relate to UPC barcodes
          Understanding GTINs and EPCs
          Planning your strategies for serial numbering
          How you as a supplier can benefit

This class is designed for operations that are already using UPCs and doing EDI with major retailers.  Persons familiar with EDI and barcodes are welcome.  

For further info or questions contact EDIBootCamp+RFID@gmail.com