Supply Chain

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is increasingly implemented in supply chain management to improve the efficiency of inventory tracking and management. Advances in technology now mean that brands can protect products at the point of manufacture whilst retaining the integrity of the packaging.

Keeping products safe from thieves is a problem for retailers and suppliers. Small goods such as DVDs, CDs and video games have always been seen as targets for shoplifters as they are easy to conceal from store staff. However, retailers and suppliers alike are now beginning to open up to – and embrace – the concept that RFID may go a long way towards improving a retailer’s bottom line.

In shops around the world, source tagging consistently reduces losses from shoplifting and employee theft. The process of applying a security label during the manufacturing process, source tagging, ensures that items are protected throughout the supply chain and are only deactivated at the point-of-sale. The process not only solves the issue of security for retailers, but it also ensures it is done in a way that does not affect the packaging of the product. Source tagging addresses one of the main obstacles of using RFID, it effectively reduces the cost of applying the labels to zero when it is incorporated into the manufacturing process.

The technique of source tagging offers retailers and manufacturer’s invisible and tamper-resistant security labels that deliver uncompromising protection and eliminate labour costs for manual tagging by providing floor-ready secure merchandise. But source tagging can have other benefits too. By integrating RFID technology into the source tags, products are not only protected from theft but can be tracked throughout the supply chain, providing visibility and vital inventory information to retailers.

It has become essential to enhance inventory management and supply chain logistics by implementing RFID tagging and labeling to help consumer goods manufacturers, distributors and third–party logistics providers comply successfully with RFID mandates, meet consumer expectations, increase inventory visibility and maximize their bottom line.

In supply chains across a variety of industries, RFID is being used to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and enable real-time processes that have historically been manual and labour-intensive. RFID enables retailers to not only know that a theft event has occurred but also what specific merchandise was stolen. This insight gives retailers a far more accurate picture of inventory levels, allowing them to promptly restock shelves – improving on-shelf availability, leading to increased sales.

According to research, source tagging is the best solution on the market to meet the needs of retailers, as well as that of the brand owners. It effectively protects retail profits and the packaging image – after all, if a product is not on the shelf, it’s not there to buy! The continuing significant threat of shoplifting and subsequent impact on the profitability of a retailer outlines the importance of taking the issue seriously.