Achieving Real-Time Visibility using RFID

By  Alarice Padilla — 11/17/2008

November 17, 2008 -- Consumer goods manufacturers that distribute products through direct-to-store delivery (DSD) and manage promotions at the point-of-purchase face significant challenges. These processes lack the technology infrastructure required to provide frequent, accurate inventory counts, resulting in out of stocks, excess inventory and slow inventory turns.

An RFID-based solution designed for mobile or remote operations can alleviate these business challenges by providing real-time visibility of field-based inventory and personnel. The accurate and timely information that result from such a system allows sales to improve revenue growth by decreasing stock-outs and allows operations to increase inventory turns by improving forecasting accuracy.

On Nov. 11, 2008, Kimberly Knickle, program director, Emerging Agenda, Manufacturing Insights, an IDC Company, joined Martin Payne, EVP Sales & Marketing, and Ryan Duffy, director of Product Management from SkyeTek, to explore the benefits of RFID-based solutions during a live web seminar. Highlights from the event include:

> RFID has certainly evolved over the years, and fortunately, has moved beyond the original Wal-Mart mandate. In 2005, the hype dissipated and a more reasonable pace for adoption was set, despite continued stalled adoption into 2006.For RFID in 2008, business value comes first, technology second. And for 2009, analysts predict that RFID projects will continue to receive funding if they address business challenges and bring cost/efficiency benefits or increase revenue.

> For those looking to invest in RFID, analysts offered some essential guidance. Identify problems where barcodes aren't enough. Expect to integrate multiple technologies. Consider business process improvements as the real measure of success. Be clear about target benefits. Prevent scope creep and put the burden of ROI on the vendor. Make sure the vendor is your partner, and be sure to tell the vendor, "This is what I want."

> Additional highlights included real case studies of successful projects with retailers and manufacturers to demonstrate how RFID can be beneficial. One example involved a Smart Kiosk that managed cell phone inventory to prevent stock-outs and reduce theft, and the other case study highlighted an apparel manufacturer who implemented RFID to reduce shrinkage, improve inventory turns, and improve customer satisfaction. SkyeTek's MetaFi solution was also discussed, including details on RFID-enabled smart-displays, smart-containers and mobile handhelds, and hosted software applications for mobile and remote RFID operations.

Did you miss the live event? Click here to listen on demand.

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