German retail giant Metro is six months away from completing an RFID rollout spanning 200 locations, making it the biggest RFID rollout in Europe.
The company is deploying tagging technology from Reva systems, which builds radio frequency identification (RFID) network infrastructure, in a rollout which promises to save the company an estimated £5.7m annually.
Gerd Wolfram, managing director of MGI Metro Group Information Technology, said, “We are moving RFID out of the innovation labs and into working retail stores.”
For the initial phase of the rollout, Metro Group is primarily using RFID to enhance its distribution and store receiving processes by using accurately located tag data for more efficient operations, better customer service and improved inventory management.
A spokesman for Metro said, “The main benefit of RFID is to enhance our logistic process.” Metro will be using Reva’s Tag Acquisition Processor (Tap) to improve the efficiency of its supply chain. Metro is using pallet and case level tagging for tracking goods in its warehouses. This process is used to tell Metro what goods are in its warehouses and when they were received.
The Reva Tap product will be used to manage the distributed network of RFID installations, to produce accurate data from each site, and to provide rapid feedback. It will be used to control RFID readers in Metro’s facilities, process raw tag data, and determine tag locations in difficult environments. The Tap product has been designed to eliminate duplicate tag readings, which is useful in areas such as loading docks in order to provide operators with feedback validating goods shipped and received.
Metro’s RFID Innovation Center, which has been running since in 2004, provides an information and development platform showing how RFID technology can be integrated into retail IT. The innovation centre includes a test area and over 40 systems including RFID used in order picking, warehouse management, at home and in the supermarket.
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