Retailer improves inventory management with RFID

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The Metro Group, the world’s fourth largest retailer and the first to deploy RFID technology across the whole supply chain, has chosen Checkpoint Systems to form part of an RFID solutions team that will help suppliers implement the technology in their daily operations.

Within the scope of the solutions team, Checkpoint has been chosen as the recommended partner for systems integration services, along with IBM. In addition Checkpoint is also recommended as a supplier of RFID labels and antenna.

Metro announced earlier this year its intention to begin a roll-out of the technology, from November 2004, initially working with 20 suppliers to the group. This will gradually be extended to 100 suppliers, eight central warehouses and 269 different locations of Metro Cash & Carry, Real and Kaufhof in Germany.

The use of RFID in the retailer’s supply chain operations will ensure better traceability and food safety in addition to improved inventory management leading to better stocked shelves and thus improving the customer in-store experience.

Checkpoint has worked closely with Metro in the retailer’s RFID Innovation Centre which opened recently in Neuss, Germany. Checkpoint provided many of the applications that will help suppliers, sales divisions and Metro’s suppliers familiarise themselves with RFID. Metro’s partners can gather their own experience by testing the technology under virtual conditions, focusing on practical applications at all points in the supply chain.

The company’s supply chain technology includes a warehouse solution, a smart dock that accurately reads UHF labels on cases, verifying quantities are correct and allowing a real time knowledge of inventory levels.

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