Under Armour And River Island Are Deploying RFID Technology For Perfect Inventory Management
A recent survey of 200 retail and supply chain leaders found that 99% of retailers expect customer demand to require same-day delivery by 2025. With this in mind, RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology - designed to deliver real-time visibility of inventories - is proving an indispensable tool for business leaders.
This blog will explore how (and why) Under Armour and River Island are utilising RFID technology for inventory management.
The Benefits Of RFID Techology
Enterprises like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Zara have already spoken out about the value of RFID technology for supply chain operations. On top of traditional barcoding systems, RFID technology is enabling business leaders to automate processes, elevate workforce productivity, and significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of business information.
Loss Prevention Magazine stated that supply chain leaders can utilise RFID technology to...
Improve inventory visibility and accuracy (between 65-75%, and 93-99%).
Optimise stock holdings
Reduce shrinkage losses
Reduce staff costs
Below, are two case studies where well renowned retail brands have used RFID technology to improve inventory management processes.
Under Armour: RFID For Loss Prevention
Under Armour is a leading manufacturer of sports equipment, footwear, and performance apparel. They are deploying RFID technology to prevent losses, improve customer service, and achieve greater system accuracy.
Under Armour stores were already utilising a good electronic article surveillance (EAS) system to prevent shoplifting, prior to deploying RFID systems; however, they wanted to explore new technology to transform the level of service, system accuracy, and pricing that they were experiencing, with the aim of achieving truly exceptional results.
Under Armour's Director of Global Retail Asset Protection and Investigations said:
“We consider innovation part of our brand’s DNA, which is also true for our asset protection department, and this feeds our desire to constantly innovate in a way that creates greater efficiencies from our team.”
Under Armour explored a ceiling-mounted RFID reader - to replace the pedestals normally installed at store exits. They were impressed by how easily an RFID-capable EAS system could be deployed. The fact that this system had scope to be scaled into an end-to-end merchandise tracking solution was especially appealing.
"I could kick myself for not discovering this solution sooner,” - Director of Global Retail Asset Protection and Investigations, Under Armour
River Island: RFID For Real-Time Inventory Visibility
River Island is one of the most well-known High-Street Retail brands with over 250 stores across the UK, Ireland and internationally. They are using RFID technology to automate processes, improve inventory accuracies, and achieve real-time visibility of stock.
River Island were spending a whole working day, every year, executing stock-counts. It was hindering workforce productivity and compromising customer experiences. RFID technology presented an opportunity to achieve real-time visibility of stock, while automating annual stock-counts.
River Island's Head of Global Loss Prevention & Safety said:
"Accurate stock data is vital for us to successfully offer omnichannel services to our customers."
Over the course of seven months, River Island deployed a large-scale hardware and software, RFID-ready solution. With this in place, they were positioned to benefit from greater on-shelf availability - to improve stock accuracy to over 98% and increase sales. River Island were subsequently able to utilise real-time inventory visibility to monitor inventory on a store-by-store basis, while automating replenishments and enabling omnichannel purchases for customers.
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