As part of our ongoing Retail in Asia Thought Leadership programme, we teamed up with Checkpoint Systems to host a select round table discussion with retail professionals from a cross-section of the industry on 23 July 2015 at the Gateway Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
Hosted by Retail in Asia’s managing editor, Tony Smyth, the one and a half hour discussion covered topics concerning the implementation of RFID solutions, its use in omnichannel, security, promoting visibility and reducing shrinkage.
Checkpoint’s Christophe Castagne, V.P. Merchandise Visibility, Asia and Ken Ng, V. P. Customer Management, Greater China were present to answer a series of questions posed by Retail in Asia as well as the industry delegates. The discussion was extremely informative and continued during the following lunch and went beyond security issues to look at new uses for RFID in controlling not just apparel but also its use in managing perishable goods such as grocery and meat products.
"The round table format was a very pleasant way to meet and spend time with industry professionals from various backgrounds and responsibilities, sharing the same interest in loss prevention and RFID solutions for the retail industry," said Christophe Castagne. "It was extremely beneficial to discuss different aspects of our business, understand everyone’s specific views, requirements and ideas in a casual and friendly atmosphere."
Eliza Lau, V.P. Hong Kong Market for CitySuper commented that it was interesting to get updated information on RFID applications, especially for more traditional retailers such as CitySuper, who can use these applications to manage fresh produce and expiry date checking.
"It was a good opportunity to exchange ideas with Checkpoint senior management and other retail experts in a small group setting," said Eliza Lau. "Compared to ‘conventional’ seminars, there was much more opportunity for interaction."
Jasper Chung, Regional Strategic Development Manager for Fossil added that it was interesting to note that 70% of the US$128bn annual retail industry losses were due to internal thefts and that the application of RFID from source to customer went a long way to reducing losses.
"A round table format definitely helps the participants explore the product and applications beyond what might have been presented," said Philip Woolf, Operations Consultant to Mr Sims and a retail industry advisor. "I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion with Christophe and Ken from Checkpoint and the interaction with the other industry professionals and was impressed by the range of applications and possibilities for clients, and the scientific approach they adopted."
Peter Hurst, a Partner with Arcadis who project manage the fit out of many high-end brands throughout the region and consult on a number of operational solutions, said that the application of RFID in tracking components in the construction phase of shop fit-out was win-win situation for all, allowing project managers to see where each component in the fit out design is from factory to shop floor. An added bonus was to ensure that the right inventory was delivered to the correct store and that moving display components from one store to another avoided losing valuable fittings through efficient tracking.
"I was pleased to learn, having attended the round table discussion, that there are many more applications for RFID beyond what is generally perceived by the retail industry," Hurst adds. "The round table format greatly added to my understanding and the feedback from the attendees and Checkpoint was extremely beneficial. I will definitely encourage our clients to look into the Checkpoint solution."
Despite a tropical rainstorm warning in Hong Kong, the conversation was friendly and informative said Tony Smyth, managing editor of Retail in Asia.
"I find the interaction between the industry participants to be extremely lively as they compare how they implement certain solutions and aspects of the technology we are discussing," Smyth added that the opportunity for our sponsors to participate in a discussion and respond to particular needs and questions from the participants removes the sales pitch and personalises the company, its executives and applications in a more direct and fulfilling way for all involved.
"I would like to thank Checkpoint for embracing the round table forum so wholeheartedly and being such generous co-hosts," said Smyth. "Our thought Leadership programme explores ‘Retail Intelligence = Intelligent Retail’ and Checkpoint really embodied this. Many of the participants will be looking to further their relationship with Checkpoint as a result of this round table event."
The last words should go to our sponsors, Checkpoint: "We will certainly be looking into the possibility of organising similar events on a more regular basis," said Christophe Castagne.
(Source: Retail in Asia)