Closed Loop RFID Systems

Some of you may have read about the Bloomingdale results, article here, it has been recorded that there is significant improvement in visibility of items within a store. The interesting outcome for me was that it also accounted for improvements in processes, in this case cycle counting. Cycle counting as you know is also a very common process in Warehouse processes – often complemented with physical counting.

Always On: In fact cycle counting as we know it may with more sophisticated sampling software and RFID be a pervasive always on source of counting information. Or it could be on demand triggered by not only a physical stimulus but a software signal.

SW as an Initiator: For example in order to reduce load on servers etc, when we run Wave planning or Allocation batches, we can with the right middleware trigger a count or read event to the reader or cluster. This would improve some cross channel operations tremendously. For example during very heavy loading periods where shelf (where there is deep stacking) and back room inventory is used to feed web orders and pickup from stores.

Real-Time REALLY!!: There is often a debate of how often to synchronize the store inventory with the promising and booking system. If we have a reader cluster that can scan a requisite space of items, the sync is moot. When a customer is ready to checkout, run the scan on demand & this time it is REAL TIME – real physical reads to real promising of inventory.

…… more to come in next week’s post

Also some thoughts on physical counting – which IMHO is much more interesting for software, and ultimately result in a bigger saving if RFID is used.

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Enterprise Pervasive Computing Platforms and Supply Chain Management applications.

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