The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, but the world is shifting gears. Global health experts and industry insiders are talking about this shift, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and Moderna CEO Stephanie Bancel.
The world is beginning to accept that COVID-19 is here to stay, and it is slowly moving from pandemic panic to endemic calm. Companies have started bringing employees back to the office. Businesses worldwide are also setting their sights on post-pandemic recovery and revival.
To this end, radio frequency identification technology, like the tracking system offered by Xpand Retail RFID Dubai, can help. Here are some ways RFID systems can support businesses in their post-pandemic recovery.
1. Improve retail inventory tracking for a smooth and seamless omnichannel retail experience.
According to the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformations and led to a surge in e-commerce. Out of the total retail sales in 2020, the share of online retail sales increased from 16% to 19%.
E-commerce is expected to continue and thrive post-pandemic. Thus, businesses must embrace it and strive to offer consumers a smooth and seamless omnichannel retail experience.
From the consumers’ point of view, omnichannel shopping involves using a combination of channels — typically a mobile app, a website, an online sales platform, and brick-and-mortar stores — to complete their customer journey.
You’ve done omnichannel shopping if you have experienced researching your options on an online sales platform like Amazon, learning more about your chosen product on Google, checking out the product’s price on their website, and then purchasing it in a physical store. You’ve also experienced omnichannel shopping if you bought a bag from the brand’s online store but returned the product to their physical store.
How RFID Supports Omnichannel Retail
RFID tracking technology can help boost consumers’ omnichannel retail experience. By keeping every item in their inventory RFID-tagged and appropriately tracked, a retailer will always have information in real-time about their stock levels and stock distribution.
When a product becomes unavailable based on real-time RFID-driven inventory records, automated processes can ensure the unavailable item is removed immediately from online listings, including the brand’s website and stores on online selling platforms. Thus, consumers will not waste their time shopping and waiting for an out-of-stock product.
When a customer asks via email or calls the customer service hotline to inquire which store stocks the product they wish to buy, the customer service personnel can pull up the brand’s real-time inventory distribution records and find the answer to the customer’s query.
RFID inventory systems can also track products and their progress from warehouse to sale. Thus, return transactions should be quickly and easily done. It should be easier to validate the transaction details and verify the product in question by matching sales and inventory records.
2. Improve inventory visibility to reduce pilferage, obsolescence, and stockout costs.
RFID tracking can improve inventory visibility, especially when integrated with enterprise resource planning software. At any given time, everybody in the company that needs real-time inventory information should be able to log in to a dashboard or interface to see how many products the company has in stock and where these items may be found.
In such a system, every product is tagged. All delivery vehicles, loading docks, entry and exit points, warehouses, backrooms, stores, and order fulfillment areas — anywhere these products will conceivably pass through on their journey to the consumers — will have the requisite RFID readers that automatically send data to a central database.
In such a system, the company can ensure no inventory is lost in transit, stuck in a box in a remote corner of the warehouse or a store backroom, or pilfered by a member of the staff or their accomplice.
Additionally, with every product accounted for, a retailer can also reduce stockout incidence and the cost associated with missing out on a sale because the product the customer wants is unavailable.
This reduction in stockout costs plus losses due to unaccounted inventory and theft should be good for any business post-pandemic. They could save a company millions of dollars, and every bit of savings counts to improve a company’s cost-efficiency and survivability during these times.
3. Provide real-time data to support supply chain automation.
RFID inventory management systems can provide real-time inventory information. When such real-time data is available to an enterprise resource planning system, a company can automate its supply chain. Supply chain automation will improve efficiency and help companies extract maximum value from their supply chain.
For example, if the system recognizes that a bestselling item (bestselling based on pre-set parameters) is running low, it can check company warehouses for the availability of raw materials (also RFID-tracked and inventoried). It can also check with RFID factory tracking systems for the work-in-process status of items.
The ERP system will schedule a production run if the materials are sufficient. If the WIP items are enough to raise inventory levels to adequate levels, the system might hold off on the production run for the moment.
Otherwise, if the raw materials are insufficient or no items are in process, the ERP system can initiate quote requests from suppliers. It can even create procurement requests.
The system will then track the orders from the supplier to transportation providers until they have been delivered to the company warehouse, where they will also be logged and tracked in the company’s supplies inventory management system.
RFID Technology for Superior Inventory Management
RFID technology can provide companies with an advanced inventory management system that can support their post-pandemic recovery.
With improved inventory visibility, companies can provide their customers with superior omnichannel retailing experiences, minimize avoidable and stockout losses, and unlock efficiencies and value from supply chain automation.
We can help you implement an RFID inventory management system for your retail or manufacturing business. Schedule a demo today!
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