As the retail industry has learned over the past three plus years, maintaining a strong supply chain is risky. Retailers need to ensure shoppers can always get the products they want, where they want them, or they risk losing loyalty.

customer operations

Perry Ellis is addressing this challenge by partnering with Mojix to introduce RFID technology that will help retailers manage their supply chains from the store level all the way through to broader inventory planning.

About 95 percent of Perry Ellis products are RFID tagged before they leave the manufacturing facility. The advanced RFID functionality has been implemented in 40 stores, and the retailer is rolling it out to the global chain. Due to the small size of the pilot stores, the technology worked quickly.

Between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet, inventory needs to be carefully sorted between the front and back rooms, and each store needs to have a clear view of inventory to ensure customers aren’t disappointed by out-of-stocks.

In addition, the use of RFID will help Perry Ellis better and more granular understanding of which products are sold in which stores. Knowing that a certain SKU is a top seller in a certain location is one thing, but knowing the exact sizes and colors that drive those sales can take sales to the next level.

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What is RFID Technology in Customer Operations?

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is a wireless communication technology used to track and identify objects using radio waves. It involves the use of small RFID tags, which contain a microchip and an antenna, that can be attached to or embedded in various objects.

rfid technology

The RFID reader emits radio waves that activate the RFID tag, causing it to transmit its unique identification number to the reader. This number is then processed by the reader, which can use it to identify the object to which the tag is attached.

RFID technology is widely used in various industries, including logistics, retail, healthcare, and transportation, for applications such as inventory management, asset tracking, and access control.

The Advantage of RFID Technology in Customer Operations

Baghel said that if you look purely at the sheer physical inventory, we don’t have a huge difference — less than 2%, but if you look at the size, there’s a big difference. That means we’re missing opportunities in stores because we don’t have the right size and replenishment is driven by the business’ objective sense of the system. If our store messes up the sizing for any reason, we will not be able to fix it properly and it will not be sold properly.

rfid work

As planned, once all hardware and software is deployed in all 40 stores, we will sync our corporate inventory with whatever the RFID shows, so that the planning team has accurate inventory data to make better decisions.

Having items with RFID tags also increases shipping efficiency at all times and provides customers with a great consumer experience at all times. A traditional example would be tethering RFID to employees’ cell phones to allow them to efficiently find the right size, color or other option to reduce customer wait times.

However, RFID can also be used to eliminate frictional incidents that can occur throughout the consumer experience, such as lines at the checkout.

Baghel said that using traditional methods, only one bar code can be scanned at a time, but after deploying RFID, if someone buys 10 items, I can just wave the RFID reader in front of them and all items can be scanned at the same time. Increased productivity.

Summary and Outlook

While RFID technology has historically been criticized for being expensive, Baghel believes that as adoption grows, it will become affordable — and by necessity. The proper use of RFID, both in-store and across the supply chain, will set the standard for customer expectations for years to come.

The cost of RFID has been falling in recent years, making it more reasonable for retailers to use it, Baghel said. Big retailers like Walmart and Target are using RFID, and they’re also requiring suppliers to use RFID tags, too.

As the quantity increases, the cost of using these RFID tags will gradually decrease. This also means that for any other retailer, it is very important to know the exact inventory and its location. I believe that with RFID investments, the potential is limitless.

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