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Getting a grip on inventory management using RF
Date:10/24/2013

From a cocktail dress for the next summer party, to favorite perfumes, or computer accessories. There is almost nothing that you cannot buy on the internet today as well. Many customers value the opportunity of going on a shopping tour from the comfort of their sofa, instead of having to fight their way through the city. Therefore it is not surprising that brand name manufacturers are increasingly offering their goods for sale on the web, not to mention the large online mail-order companies. The companies are increasingly working together with regional specialist retailers. Both sides profit from the cooperation. The manufacturer saves the costs and effort of building up additional logistics infrastructure, since the local retailer delivers the goods that were ordered online or has them available for pick up, and deals with returns of products. The retailer in turn receives access to the online market and can thereby broaden its customer base.

The linkage between retail and online business places high demands on inventory management, however. What is crucial is keeping an overview of how many products of what kind are actually locally available from the web shop. Otherwise, duplicate sales may easily occur for instance, when a customer in the web shop orders a piece of clothing just as another customer in the store is trying on the same piece and would like to purchase it. To avoid situations like this, the retailer would, however, need to grant the web shop access to its inventory system, which only a very small number are prepared to allow. Above and beyond that, these data are only updated once a day as a rule.

Software takes over synchronizing the data

Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM are working together with logistics provider gaxsys GmbH on a simple and effective alternative. "We furnish the products with an active radio module", explains Stefan Seifert, Developer at Frau
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Contact: Stefan Seifert
stefan.seifert@izm.fraunhofer.de
49-304-640-3685
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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