RFID technology makes restocking retail stores easierSome of the latest technological developments are making it easier for retailers to know when it's time to restock a product, track their logistical operations and better serve shoppers. One of the newest trends retailers are jumping on is radio-frequency identification, or RFID chips. These tiny devices can be attached to a product and track goods all throughout the retail supply chain.

Logistics efficiency
Products that contain RFID technology make it easy for retailers to keep an eye on their goods as they flow through manufacturing facilities, shipping sites, stockrooms and store shelves - in fact, they can be traced until they're headed out the door with customers. This means tracking shipments is suddenly much easier, especially in the unfortunate event of a recall or missing shipment.

Inventory management
Using RFID devices also makes it easier for merchants to know exactly what they have in stock at all times. Because products that contain the technology are easily tracked, a retailer will be able to determine if they aren't getting enough of a product, or if they're experiencing problems with theft every time they restock a popular good.

RFID can serve to alert retailers when they're low on a product and ensure they order it before it completely sells out. This prevents companies from encountering inventory shortages or surpluses from requesting too many or too few popular products. Being able to better track inventory will help to ensure merchants are using the best retail procurement strategies they can.

Customer management improvements
There are plenty of companies that are beginning to see the value in RFID technology and using the devices in the products to streamline their processes and help consumers. Wal-Mart has already gotten started using the solution to manage retail logistics, clothier American Apparel has used it to reduce theft and J.C. Penney is also working on implementing the devices on their products. Penney's CEO Ron Johnson has publicized plans to use RFID when the company begins to revamp its checkout process in 2013.

This checkout process will use the RFID devices to make the purchasing experience easier and shorter. The company plans to combine its use of RFID technology with iPads and iPods to ensure customers can avoid long lines and shorten the traditional purchasing process.

Even though the technology typically costs more than traditional barcode tracking technology, many retailers seem to feel it's worthwhile and can help them work more efficiently. By being able to keep an eye on shipments, know when to order goods, restock in a timely fashion and heighten the consumer experience, it's likely even more merchants will start using RFID technology in their stores.
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