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Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects. The technology and concept behind RFID is not a new one, however recent advances in manufacturing, quality control, and next-generation improvements to both RFID tags and RFID readers have driven the production cost significantly down while inversely raising the economic feasibility and strategic attractiveness of its use, particularly across retail and in other inventory-heavy environments where real-time visibility and tracking can provide a key advantage.
Nedap Retail is one of the leaders in deploying RFID technology for retail solutions, helping large organizations simplify their multi-store supply chain management. Under Armour, which is hoping to drive operational efficiencies across 400 of its global locations, chose the provider because of the ability to quickly scale the inventory visibility program. With the new initiative, the athletic apparel retailer will build a next-generation operational and technological foundation providing both its management and store associates with a real-time view of inventory across each of the brand’s stores. This new layer of insight will lead to optimized item availability and, ideally, accelerated efficiency gains across the retailer’s daily processes through more accurate stock visibility and merchandise availability, allowing for flexible changes based on in-the-moment shopper needs.
By gaining access to scalable, multi-store supply planning functions, as well as leveraging RFID to create a more seamless and connected shopping experience across a variety of consumer touchpoints, Under Armour will be able to make stronger data-driven decisions and maximize the omni-channel experience for its customers. Using innovative tools like RFID tags to increase retailer agility and responsiveness is just one of the ways organizations are deploying in-store technology to offer shoppers a better omnichannel shopping experience and increase sales. Retail is poised for a tech-fueled reinvention in the near future, as innovative organizations take best practices and key learnings from the industry's rapid digital transformation and apply them to physical environments.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK report, Technology Innovations Fueling Intelligent Store Operations.