Why is Walmart Mandating RFID tags?
Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the US, began adopting RFID inventory management as early as 2003. They required their top suppliers to use RFID tags on all their products starting in 2010. This successful implementation by Walmart prompted other major retailers, such as Target, Zara, and Nike, to follow their lead in adopting RFID technology for inventory management. The US Department of Defense also started utilizing RFID for inventory tracking. This widespread adoption of RFID technology highlights the benefits of improved inventory management and supply chain optimization.
The answer to “why”
RFID item-level tagging is the innovation of all other inventory counting systems. It simplifies the counting of your inventory by using uniquely encoded RFID tags that are readable at a faster rate and greater distance. Inventory accuracy is a byproduct of ease of counting. For Walmart, RFID technology is rivaled by none regarding inventory accuracy. Shelly Mcdougal, Walmart’s senior merchandising director, states, “We have seen dramatic results in our ability to ensure the product is available for our customers, leading to improved online order fulfillment and customer satisfaction.”
Loss and theft are other factors that are mitigated through the introduction of RFID into item-level tagging. With heightened accuracy and inventory visibility, item-level tagging improved retail inventory accuracy by 95% and above. Stock-level data are now much easier to handle and predict.
On the other end of the spectrum, customer satisfaction has dramatically increased, which means an increase in overall revenue. With the surge in online purchasing and in-store pick-ups, RFID bolstered the online retail marketplace through up-to-date and accurate inventory data points.
What happens now?
The widespread adoption of RFID technology has significantly shifted how retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers manage their inventory. With RFID tags continually decreasing, implementation has become less about cost and proper execution. Within the next 3 to 5 years, almost all retailers and manufacturers are expected to utilize RFID item-level tagging. Retailers are now using RFID technology across various categories and exploring new possibilities for its application. This change has ushered in a new era of inventory management, where businesses can more efficiently track and manage their inventory throughout the supply chain.
Not too far in the future, RFID tags will become ubiquitous in retail stores of all sizes, from big-box retailers to small mom-and-pop shops. This is made possible by the ever-decreasing cost of RFID tags, making adoption more accessible and widespread.
How can I start using RFID technology in my inventory?
There are a lot of things that need to consider before joining the bandwagon. Luckily, SimplyRFiD specializes in end-to-end RFID inventory management implementation. With our AI Kickstarter campaign, we will help you establish, implement and maintain accurate inventory data across multiple stores, distribution centers, and warehouses.
Learn how SimplyRFiD’s AI Kickstart Program will help
Check out SimplyRFID's AI Kickstart Program, a comprehensive service offered exclusively by SimplyRFiD designed to help retailers optimize their inventory management practices and enhance product availability and customer experience. This program involves essential training, including product source tagging, implementing a retail rollout protocol, staff knowledge, and data integration across eCommerce, ERP, and CRM platforms.
Our team of experts with 20-plus years of experience in RFID and inventory will work closely with your project leaders to establish guidelines, methodology, and best practices for all your locations. Together, we will develop a comprehensive inventory management strategy that ensures 100% visibility and synchronization across all your stores.
SimplyRFiD's Accurate Inventory Kick-Start is available to retailers with multiple physical locations in the USA or 100+ locations worldwide. Contact our sales team for a scheduled product demo and any other additional information