Deprecated: Function create_function() is deprecated in /home/u508583273/domains/ on line 258
Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/u508583273/domains/ on line 329
RetailWATCH: Retailers and Inventory: The Importance Of Accuracy – Retail in Asia

Retail in Asia

In Trends

RetailWATCH: Retailers and Inventory: The Importance Of Accuracy

In an increasingly vast and technology-inclined industry, retailers have found a significant need to implement solutions that not only improve their return on investment, but also maximize efficiency to meet overall business goals.

Omni-channel shopping has taken over the industry, and consumers are accessing retail inventories from multiple touch points in the purchasing process. Retail leaders invest billions to automate all processes within the corporate, merchandising, supply chain, and store areas, while spending even more on specialized solutions that aim to ensure a cohesive strategy to retain loyal customers. Despite all the investments and processes, inventory accuracy remains an industry wide problem, putting the success of these solutions at risk.
According to the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, the current inventory accuracy rate for apparel stores in the U.S. is only 65%. Retailers can improve the accuracy of its inventory by tagging items right at the source and leverage several technologies to gain additional visibility.
Shift Tagging to the Source to Increase Sales
Tagging recirculation, a cost- and time-effective way to tag store merchandise with electronic anti-theft sensors before distribution, seamlessly provides merchandise-ready solutions at the point of manufacturing. This way, retailers ensure tag compliance and application, which, in turn, improves anti-theft solutions like EAS. Once the tags are used, the retailer then ships them to a centrally located automated recirculation center, where the tags are counted and certified for reuse.
The benefits source tagging brings to the retailer were highlighted in last month’s issue; this month, we see how top Australian retailer Apparel Group made the transition to source tagging – a process that involved management, retailers, partners and manufacturers. Learn how Apparel Group overcame the challenges involved and see how the Group fostered the source tagging culture into its business and achieved a return on its investment.
Dual Technology Tagging: 2 Birds, 1 Stone
Another cost-efficient solution that has been implemented successfully by several retailers is a dual technology tag. Dual technology tags are acousto-magnetic (AM) EAS and RFID enabled, which delivers both the security of an AM anti-theft solution and the inventory visibility of electronic product code (EPC)-based RFID. EAS use ranks high among solutions retailers for combatting losses from theft, and RFID is a beneficial and highly used inventory intelligence solution. Since visibility is a key step to ensuring inventory accuracy and retailers are focused on efficient solutions, the dual technology tag provides the best of both worlds.
By implementing the AM/RFID dual technology tag in combination with source tagging, retailers have been able to significantly improve their in-stock position to successfully drive increased sales and improve gross margins. The source tagging program is becoming central to many retailers’ omni-channel strategies, where shoppers order merchandise online or via a mobile device and pick it up in-store. Improved inventory accuracy enables successful implementation of this omni-channel selling, so shoppers may interact with retailers any way and any time they wish.
Delve deep into the inventory
Having an accurate read on which products are available to sell is critical to attaining customer satisfaction, especially when customers are ordering products from multiple touch points. By working with their solutions provider, retailers can ensure they not only have the right solutions, but are using these solutions in a way that maximizes their investment. By designing an efficient and tailored security and retail solution package, solutions providers can help retailers focus on what’s most important: making their customers happy and increasing profitability.
Gaining visibility into the inventory with the aim of reaping business rewards is a challenging task made more complex by varying definitions of what the term ‘shrink’ encompasses. Shrink analysis often lumps losses from shoplifting, internal theft and organized retail theft together, ignoring receiving miscounts and vendor errors. While such analysis is useful for staffing and long-term mitigation, retailers relying on these methods of analysis alone are often left with a gaping hole when faced with the challenge of reacting quickly to evolutions in the retail theft scene.
This issue introduces the concept of Shrink Visibility, which aims to provide a clear, detailed picture of loss events via a combination of data from EAS, video surveillance and RFID inventory visibility technology.
This powerful partnership of technologies will help retailers track and manage retail shrink from all sources in real-time and also pinpoint sources of shrink in the supply chain. With Shrink Visibility, overall loss prevention effectiveness can be improved, as retailers gain access not only to what has been sold, but also what, when and how a piece of merchandise was stolen. The added intelligence gained from Shrink Visibility will lead to timely actions to improve operations and ultimately a more profitable retail environment.

Click here to return to the newsletter.