How RFID is Essential for Omnichannel Deployment

Here's why retailers and manufacturers look to RFID to improve their supply chain efficiency

Retailers Striving for Omnichannel Efficiency

If you haven’t already realized, retail has been going through some changes. Huge trends are reshaping the retail world. Customers expectations are evolving rapidly. Online shopping is booming. Some brick and mortar stores are closing up, while other are expanding or changing the way they do business.  To keep up with these expectations, more and more retailers are embracing an omnichannel retail approach.

These changes have been largely been inspired by new shopping trends and consumer demands. Customers are rapidly changing where the shop, why they shop, and what they shop for. Expectations are changing, too. Online inventory that once took 5 – 10 days to arrive can now be expected to arrive in 2-days. And, be free!

Naturally, this puts a big strain any retailer’s supply chain. Many WMS applications and ERP solutions have grown to help brands, retailers, and manufacturers. However, the key to any flexible supply chain is visibility. Retailers and manufacturers need to be able to track inventory from the warehouse to the shop floor, and everywhere in between. Specifically, this means. Tracking inbound shipments so inventory is immediately identified as it comes into your supply chain. Tracking outbound shipments in order to reduce picking/packing error. Monitoring inventory levels, both in the retail environment and in the warehouse, so managers know exactly what to re-order and when. And, monitor where items are in your supply chain in order to track bottlenecks. Improved visibility is vital within a omnichannel focused supply chain. And, no technology can offer visibility quite like RFID.

Omnichannel deployment  - how RFID works in retail.

RFID is the Key to Omnichannel Deployment

Having a constant eye on inventory is the key to omnichannel deployment. Without that, inventory accuracy goes down, inbound/outbound shipping speed goes down, packing errors rise, and, eventually, sales can dwindle. A well installed RFID system in your warehouse or distribution center offers a remarkable improvement in overall supply chain speed and flexibility.

If deploying RFID at the item-level, managers can even track and monitor their inventory in real-time. From a tablet, or phone, watch as outbound cartons are validated, and receive alerts when inventory thresholds hit pre-determined levels. Employees can run inventory counts accurately in a matter of minutes, when, before, it took hours, or even days. This frees up your employees to do other things, and maximize their efficiency.

Deploying RFID is ultimately a win-win for you and your customers. For your operation, RFID alleviates a number of issues and unnecessary expenses such as costly charge backs, shipping errors, cumbersome inventory tracking methods, and lost/missing goods. Meanwhile, customers benefit from faster fulfillment times and less errors. And, retail partners can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that no matter how a customer make a purchase, their supply chain ensures the order will be fulfilled quickly, and efficiently. That’s omnichannel retail working right.