RFID Tag Application In South Africa Retail

- Feb 07, 2018-

South African retailer House of Busby deployed an RFID-based solution at one of its Johannesburg stores to increase inventory visibility and reduce the time it takes to inventory. The solution, provided by Milestone Integrated Systems, uses Keonn's EPC UHF RFID reader and uses AdvanCloud software to manage the captured read data.

Since the system was deployed, the store's inventory time has been reduced from 120 hours to 30 minutes. The retailer also uses the technology at the exit to verify that there are unpaid products leaving the store, eliminating the need for additional hardware at the store because the overhead readers can read the labels over a few meters.

Neels Lourens, managing director of the company, said Milestone Integrated Systems, headquartered in Johannesburg, offers loss-resilient management solutions for South African SMEs. House of Busby was founded in 1986 as a retailer and wholesaler. The company sells handbags and luggage as well as brand management for companies such as Guess, Aldo, Forever New, Karen Millen, Call it Spring and Kipling.

Since the system was put into use, Sandton has attached passive UHF RFID tags to about 7,000 items, including clothing, jewelry, watches, handbags, wallets and sunglasses. These products use two UHF RFID tags: hard tags and jewelry tags, labels are provided by Century RFID.

When the store receives the item and displays, the employee uses the Keonn AdvanStation RFID reader to encode the label. The desktop reader built-in bar code scanner and UHF RFID reader. Users can use the device to scan the QR code to read the item SKU information and read the tag ID number, and the bar code and RFID number of the item will be bound on the cloud software.

When inventorying, employees use the AdvanScan handheld reader to scan. Employees simply open the AdvanScan application on their device, click the inventory count as prompted, walk through the warehouse to read the item ID on the nearby shelf item, and the reader will send the data over WiFi or cellular to Cloud software.

An AdvanPay reader was also installed at the checkout counter. When the customer checks out in the store, he simply places the item tag at the reader and reads the tag ID information which is read to the software to update its status.

At the store's exit, Milestone installed an AdvanSafe overhead damage reader, which triggers alerts when personnel carry unbound items out of stores.

Lourens said that since the technology was in place, the amount of manpower spent on inventory counts dropped significantly. "It takes two business days to inventory before RFID is installed, and now it's down to half an hour." That equates to a reduction in operating costs while improving inventory accuracy and indirectly improving store profits . House of Busby is considering installing the RFID solution in other stores.