Improvement in retail operation using RFID
As a part of Future Fashion Innovators module, my lecturer brought the class for a field trip to a Singaporean company DECKS to see how they implement RFID to their system and how it changed the productivity and effectiveness of the company.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. In retail, it is a system that uses that can help easily to scan and track inventory of goods coming in, goods in the store, or finding specific goods in the inventory for customers.
DECKS took the chance to undertake a major change in his business to implement the system. They were the first in Singapore to do so. According to TodayOnline, DECKS invested $700,000 for the system, with the government covering 85% of that sum.
With RFID, DECKS was able to cut down the time the employees take to count and handle the stock to 150 hours per month from 2520 hours per month. We saw how easy and fast it was to scan the stock in Island Shop at Tanglin Mall.
Kelvyn, the founder of DECKS, is a very innovative businessperson. He saw the potential of RFID beyond the inventory management. He was the first to integrate RFID with front end cashiering process, resulting in a cashier-less payment machine. Unfortunately, this early system could not foresee the rise of mobile payment, e-payment, so it did not take off.
As someone who wants to have a fashion business in the future, it was interesting to have a peak at how someone in the industry used this sophisticated system to help retail operation, especially, when done manually, dealing with inventory is a long and hard job.
Although, I am not sure if I will immediately use the system when I have a new business, (because it is a big investment) I still can see using RFID as an option as the business grows bigger. I will have to search if Indonesian government gives grant for this, or if the technology has been used in Indonesia at all.
From the field trip itself, I think aside from the efficiency, innovation and productivity related to the use of RFID, I would have loved to know how much more about RFID impacted the sales and growth of the company. That being said, I was grateful for this opportunity overall.
Ng, J. Y. (2015, December 11). New manpower plan to aid labour-starved retail industry. Retrieved from https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/manpower-plan-launched-retail-sector
Swedberg, C. (2016, March 1). Singapore fashion company adopts rfid to be on the cutting edge. Retrieved from https://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?14128