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RFID Steps Closer

RFID Steps Closer

Full implementation of RFID (radio frequency identification) applications have stepped closer with global retail giant METRO Group announcing a November rollout of the technology across its supply chain.

The rollout includes 269 outlets, 8 warehouses and initially 20 suppliers. It is expected to expand to 100 suppliers.

METRO have chosen Checkpoint Meto to form part of the RFID solutions team, providing systems integration and helping suppliers implement the technology into their daily operations.

Speaking on behalf of his international parent company, Checkpoint Meto New Zealand General Manager Mike Champness says the announcement marks a new era in retailing.

"Although there will continue to be considerable investment in developing the technology, its adoption by the world's fourth largest retailer clearly indicates RFID is here to stay," says Champness.

Champness says implementation of the technology across the supply chain ensures better product traceability and food safety. With real-time data available inventory management is improved, shelves are better stocked and the customer in-store experience is improved.

"This technology is going to allow supermarkets and retailers to really re-think how they manage their supply chain and inventory levels."

"In the future this technology stands to be one of the key factors in maintaining competitive edge through stock management and offering consumers the high levels of service."

Checkpoint has also been working closely with METRO in the retailer's RFID Innovation Centre. Based in Germany, the centre allows participants to test RFID applications under virtual conditions.

Technology solutions Checkpoint has at the centre include specialised dual frequency antennae and tags to assist shop level implementation of RFID. The systems read both EAS (electronic article surveillance) and RFID tags therefore providing a platform which will help retailers avoid many of the pain points of switching technologies.

"One of the main concern retailers have been expressing is the lifespan of their investment into the technology. Although they would like to implement EAS now, they don't want the situation of building a platform and then find it's redundant in a few years."

"Companies like the Warehouse are now able to install RF-based security systems knowing there is a development path ahead for the technology."

Dual frequency hard tags can be attached either at source or in distribution centres. The reusable tags are considered a cost effective means of eliminating shrinkage and protecting garments because they cannot be detached from an item unless a sale has been entered into a cash register.

About Checkpoint Meto Checkpoint Meto is the New Zealand subsidiary of Checkpoint Systems Inc. Checkpoint is the world's leading supplier of RF (Radio Frequency) technology. The company's product portfolio includes digital RF/EAS (Electronic article surveillance) and RFID (radio frequency identification) systems, RF source tagging, barcode and labelling systems. Checkpoint operates directly in 30 countries and has distributors in 50 countries.

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