Full-service RFID solution provider SML said this week that its collaboration with Microsoft has resulted in higher inventory accuracy for its retail clients, which are experiencing higher sales as well as happy customers.
SML had rolled out its “item level” RFID solution, “SML Clarity,” to thousands of retail stores powered by Microsoft Azure, which enhanced inventory accuracy “above 98 percent, resulting in an increase in sales and improved customer service,” the company said. The accuracy rate compares to an industry average of about 70 percent.
“Due to the time needed to manually count stock, many retailers only perform stock counts once a year; leading to inventory accuracy of less than 70 percent,” SML said in a statement. “With item-level RFID technology accuracy increases to approximately 98 percent. Using Clarity, retailers are counting 100 million items every week in less than 6,000 hours. This is 1/25th of the time of manual counts making it reasonable to perform frequent stock counts of entire stores.”
For retailers, this can sharpen their competitive edge. Dean Frew, chief technology officer and senior vice president of RFID solutions at SML, said, “Item-level RFID is changing the way retailers are running their business in order to better compete. We are seeing more and more retailers experiencing the benefits of using RFID technology. By delivering this capability on Microsoft Azure, we’ve been able to provide scalable, high-performance and simple solutions leading to disruptive business results for retailers.”
Shish Shridhar, director of global business strategy of the retail and consumer goods industry at Microsoft, added that it is “pretty clear that this technology combination will be the default standard on how retailers manage their inventory and deliver improved customer service.”