New York City Newly released results from an item-level RFID pilot done with Bloomingdale’s and the University of Arkansas revealed a 96% improvement in inventory count speed, according to an article in Storefront Backtalk.
The 13-week trial compared a non-item-level control store to a one item-level store; the same limited product area (denim jeans) was examined for both.
“The test store was equipped with static readers at all employee and customer entrance/exit doors. Cycle counting (i.e., physical inventory counting) was conducted with handheld RFID readers (in the test store) and with bar-code scanners (in both the test and control stores),” the report said. “There were between 9,800 and 10,500 items included in this study. Items were RFID-tagged upon arrival at the store; thus, they could be read when moved from the receiving area to either a stock room or the sales floor. Tags were removed at point-of-sale and discarded. Returned merchandise was re-tagged by a store associate using a printer/encoder near the department.”
The study found that the adjusted overall inventory accuracy improved by more than 27%, with a corresponding decrease in understock of 21%. The overstock figure accounts for the remainder of the adjustment, decreasing by a little more than 6%, the report said.
Inventory counts sped up 96%. “The item-level scanning of more than 10,000 items took two hours, far less than the 53 hours required with bar-code scanning. On average, 209 items could be counted per hour via bar code whereas 4,767 items could be counted per hour via RFID,” said the report.