I was just reading an interesting article on RFID and the way that retail stores can use it for order fulfillment. Using Gen 2 RFID tags stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s can make their retail stores into local shipping departments and save money on shipping.
Of course asking Macy’s suppliers to start using RFID tags on items can and will be a challenge that I can see. It does make a lot of sense for the stores to start implementing this practice on a global scale. It solves the problem of items being out of stock on store shelves and would cut down on a lot of the items that lets just say get shoplifted by store employees.
Of course this isn’t going to come cheap as companies will have to buy handheld scanners to have throughout their stores and their warehouses and teach employees how to use it properly.
The article on Software advice brought up a few good points but I can’t say I agree with having to hire new personal that will make higher wages because they are being trained on RFID handheld devices. I think it will just come into being the normal working conditions and become part of the workflow. If RFID will save them having to restock items the employes will be all for it, Or filling up shelves that already have a ton of the product and putting it side by side with excessive inventory. No worker likes doing that type of work.
Employees will see it as a device that will cost jobs in the long run and try to vandalize the handhelds but that will only happen on occasion and can be death with a store by store basis.
One area I can see them having to retrain employees is in the fulfillment department. If stores are going to use their inventory for shipping from a local store employees will have to be retrained as most have never done this sort of work. They are use to getting an item from the back room and handing it to a customer and shipping it will be a whole other animal.
Can shipping from retail stores work using RFID? I think it can but it will be a little time to get things in place on a local store level. Using RFID will help with that. If you would like to read more about what Macy’s is doing with RFID click here.