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Now Is the Time Retailers Should Consider Implementing an RFID Solution Regardless of Their Size

This article originally appeared in Loss Prevention Magazine.

Retailers are living in a time of speed, efficiency, and pressure to secure assets while exceeding customers’ expectations. If you add in the evolving challenges presented by COVID-19 and the demand for contactless and e-commerce shopping experiences, it is no wonder why many retailers are turning to RFID solutions to help automate their inventory and business operations while creating a more seamless customer experience.

Retailers with a limited budget may be hesitant to implement RFID because they view it as costly to integrate or having a long return on investment. The rapid advancement of technology, along with a reliable solutions provider, has improved RFID systems making them more affordable, scalable, and simpler to implement, allowing retailers to generate a quick return on investment.

RFID Solutions Help Retailers Gain Insight into Inventory and Enhance Customer Experience

RFID technology has endless potential to help retailers combat their ever-changing environments and gain access to real-time data for better insight and decision making. Here is a breakdown of some of the many benefits of implementing an RFID solution.

Better Logistics & Supply Chain Management
RFID technology enhances omnichannel fulfillment by automatically tracking assets throughout the supply chain journey, from manufacturing through distribution to warehouse to the sales floor. This enhanced visibility and control of the supply chain process reduces the need for human interaction, increasing efficiency while reducing human error.

Automated Inventory and Stock Counting
Managing inventory no longer needs to be a manual process. Compared to the more familiar barcode inventory system, RFID allows retailers to scan hundreds of tags at once without them having to be visible. Not only does this speed up and streamline the process, but it also complements pre-existing inventory procedures with little to no confusion for store associates. Simple and regular counts enable retailers to have accurate stock information more frequently and allows them to take full control of their inventory.

Real-Time Stock Availability and Instant Item Location
The pandemic has accelerated customer behavior and expectations for omnichannel shopping experiences. With BOPIS (Buy Online and Pickup In Store), curbside delivery and same and next day delivery, it is critical to have accurate stock quantities for customers who both shop online and in stores.  RFID technology provides a 99% accurate overview of a retailer’s assets and the exact location of items. Real-time visibility into stock levels and location minimizes out-of-stock situations and simplifies merchandise retrieval, resulting in increased sales and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Advanced Self-Checkout
As customers look for efficient and contactless shopping experiences, retailers can truly provide a contactless method of checkout with RFID. Friction during the checkout process comes from the time it takes for store associates to scan merchandise. With RFID technology, items are instantaneously checked out once placed on the self-checkout counter, eliminating the need to scan items. This reduces the time customers must wait in the checkout queue and provides them with an efficient, seamless, and truly contactless experience.

Point of Sale
RFID can also be integrated with POS systems, allowing inventory to be displayed in real time. Store associates can see in stock items at checkout and use that gathered data to track the sales patterns of specific items, allowing you to make more efficient restocking decisions. RFID can also help streamline the return process and combat growing return problems. Rather than having store associates manually log returns, items can be scanned quickly, saving the time it takes to get them processed and back on store shelves. Also, RFID tags conveniently track the history of an item, giving retailers visibility into whether an item was purchased and at what price, helping retailers combat fraudulent returns.

RFID as EAS
A retail store’s security system is one of the most effective tools in fighting shrink and deterring theft. The addition of RFID technology makes that system a futureproof EAS solution. RFID tags and systems can act in the same role as traditional EAS tags and systems while also having the ability to store and communicate incredibly useful information for retailers. From an anti-theft standpoint, if an asset with an RFID tag leaves the store without being paid for, not only will the tag trigger the alarm, but employees can also see which exact product left the store, making it easier for them to ensure all the missing items are recovered, as well as having the ability to replenish the item to not lose a future sale.

Discover the Best RFID Solution For You With CONTROLTEK

When evaluating an RFID solution, it is essential to choose a solution that is a match for your short- and long-term goals to ensure the best return on investment. For the past 45 years CONTROLTEK has partnered with many organizations including banks, retailers, government institutions, armored couriers, and logistics companies to understand their unique challenges and implement technology to help solve their problem. When it comes to RFID solutions, CONTROLTEK provides retailers regardless of their size or budget, access to the highest quality hardware, software, consumables, and seamless systems deployment.

High Performance Hardware
We understand the demands of a retail environment and the importance of hardware that will stand up to the test. In partnership with Nordic ID, we offer sustainable, long-lasting solutions designed for comfort and ease of use day in and day out.

Introducing the newest and one of the lightest, rugged designed handheld RFID readers on the market, the Nordic ID HH85, is made to perform in the most challenging conditions. It is the only handheld reader on the market that has NFC, RFID, barcode, and an integrated camera. It is built with an easy to hold ergonomic pistol grip, a battery life of up to 18 hours of continuous operation, Android 9 software, and one of the largest displays in the industry.

Offering the Nordic ID EXA21, the world’s smallest RFID reader, a wearable device that is compatible with Android, iOS or PC. Its lightweight and compact design makes it the ideal portable RFID reader for easy and comfortable on-the-go data reading.

Smart Software Solutions
We offer highly intuitive software solutions to enable complete visibility into your operations. We understand no two retailers are the same, so our software solutions have infinite configurability to match your operations, your complex workflow, and your requirements. Our solutions are easy to deploy and integrate seamlessly into your existing infrastructure. The power of RFID technology allows you to automate asset management, business processes and collect and consolidate information so you can quickly transform it into actionable business intelligence.

Versatile Labels and Tags
Regardless of the type of assets you need to protect and track, we have RFID tags and labels to match. From freezers, to electronics to elegant apparel and cosmetic displays, CONTROLTEK’s line of RFID tags and labels help protect a variety of products in flexible and unobtrusive ways. We offer a variety of shapes, sizes, specialty materials, adhesives, and inlays as well as customizable options.

First Time Right Deployment
At CONTROLTEK, we want to make it easier for your LP team to get the technology you need, help you get the ROI you expect, and alleviate the most common pain points in the process. From start to finish, we focus on your business goals and budget so you can protect your profitability. Our team of technology experts work with you to find the right RFID solution for your retail store for maximum results in your environment.

CONTROLTEK Offers Virtual Site Surveys to Better Serve Retailers

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (Jun. 4, 2020) – CONTROLTEK a leader in retail asset protection and security solutions, adds virtual site survey services for examining loss prevention solutions to better support retailers while keeping a commitment to the health and safety of employees and customers.

“Retailers are preparing their stores for reopening and the anticipated increase in theft issues and health and safety concerns. We want to allow them to examine asset protection solution options without having to wait for lifted restrictions or be concerned about exposing the health and safety of their employees,” said Rubin Press, vice president, global sales at CONTROLTEK. “We’ve simply taken our LP Professional Services and made them virtual to meet the needs of our customers.”

“Our Customer Success organization’s many years of experience operating remotely has allowed us to provide uninterrupted and responsive customer support during this difficult time,” said David Hardeman, CONTROLTEK’s director of customer success. “We conduct the virtual site survey with the same First Time Right approach and level of service our customers would experience in-store. Our certified representatives know the right questions to ask to understand our customer’s challenges, and which loss prevention solution would work best in their particular retail environment.”

“This new service offering is another way we continue to support our customers amidst the challenges brought on by the pandemic, while helping them prepare their stores and protect their assets,” said Rod Diplock, CEO of CONTROLTEK. “Thinking differently to evolve and improve our operations has also allowed us to keep our employees working while ensuring their health and safety is protected.”

About CONTROLTEK’s Professional Services and Virtual Site Survey

Our First Time Right™ Systems Deployment and Professional Services streamline the process of implementing a new loss prevention technology, making your life easier. Our team of retail and technology experts are with our customers every step of the way. During the virtual site survey, our Professional Services team conducts a video conference survey examining the store and providing loss prevention solution recommendations. For more information about our Virtual Site Survey and Professional Services, visit the CONTROLTEK website.

Tom Meehan and Rubin Press examining RFID technology in an innovation lab

What is RFID & How Does RFID Work?

by Rubin Press, Vice President of Global Sales at CONTROLTEK

Radio frequency identification, more commonly known as RFID, has been around since World War II and used in many settings and applications. In the last 20 years, the developments in the technology have made RFID available in the retail industry.

How RFID Works

RFID consists of an RFID reader and a tag with an RFID chip and antenna. The reader sends out a radio frequency (RF) signal and waits for any tags in range to respond. The tags used in retail are typically passive tags and require no battery, and the RF signal sent from the device powers the chip on the tag to enable it to respond. One of RFID’s greatest advantages is that it does not need to “see” a tag to detect it. This means a tag can be read through product packaging, inside a shopping cart, or even through clothing, which allows for a very quick reading process.

An RFID tag also contains information about the asset, compared to traditional EAS tags which cannot carry information at all. This means that the company will always know where an asset is, which is a great benefit in asset protection and store operations.

RFID Applications

RFID was first introduced as a way to improve inventory accuracy, not to reduce shrink. However, retailers who implement RFID in their store locations have seen shrink decreased by an as much as 55 percent. RFID tags and systems can act in the same role as traditional EAS tags and systems while also having the ability to provide much more information to the retailer. For example, if an asset with an RFID tag leaves the store without being paid for, not only will the tag trigger the alarm, but employees can see exactly which product left the store, making it easier for them to ensure all the missing items are recovered. This also provides retailers with insight into what stock may need to be replenished, in turn minimizing the loss of future sales revenue.

RFID technology is also a huge advantage for supply chain management. RFID tags can provide important data for lost items because assets can be tracked from source to sale. Considering that many assets begin their journey with overseas manufacturers, then pass through several ports, customs checks and logistical channels before actually reaching a store floor, RFID can be an invaluable technology for supply chain asset protection.

RFID Systems & Tags

RFID systems can be tricky and expensive to install. However, here at CONTROLTEK, we make the process easy. From start to finish, we focus on your business goals and budget so you can protect your profitability and enhance your customer experience. And with our First Time Right™ approach, over 97 percent of our installations are fully completed on the very first visit. Contact us today for a free quote!

Rubin Press against a dark blue background with the CONTROLTEK logo

CONTROLTEK’s RFID Veteran Rubin Press Publishes Educational Article Series

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (Jan. 23, 2020)Rubin Press, vice president of global sales at CONTROLTEK, has published the first part of a series of articles about RFID technology. In his articles, Press uses his technical expertise, developed from years of experience partnering with retailers to implement the technology to improve their operations, to explain how RFID technology works and the endless potential for retail and other industries.

“Rubin has a great understanding of the many possibilities of RFID technology, not just from a sales standpoint but as an innovator,” said Tom Meehan, CFI, chief strategy officer at CONTROLTEK. “Since he has returned to CONTROLTEK, we have met with many clients to learn about their challenges and collaborate with them to come up with new approaches to their problems.”

“RFID is no longer the future, it is the present,” said Press. “From the many benefits in asset protection and inventory management to improving merchandise availability and providing a more seamless customer experience, the technology has endless potential for solutions for loss prevention and other industries. RFID technology is a scalable, omnichannel tool that can help professionals across multiple industries combat their ever-changing environments while meeting and exceeding customer expectations.”

The first article in Press’s series “What is RFID and How Does RFID Work?” has been published and can be found on the CONTROLTEK company blog.

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About CONTROLTEK
Since 1976 CONTROLTEK has been a global leader in tamper-evident security packaging, helping banks, armored couriers and retailers transport cash safely and securely. The company’s expanding line of inventory protection and visibility solutions also helps retailers protect their merchandise better and run their operations more efficiently. As a second-generation family owned business, with a history of stable growth and a reputation for strong customer focus, CONTROLTEK continues to deliver on its mission every single day: to provide solutions that protect and to always deliver on their promises.

Media Contact
Nathalie Schrans
Content and Social Media Manager
(908) 603-2704
Nathalie.Schrans@controltekusa.com

RFID: How It Works

RFID, one of the most modern and interesting forms of technology, is the foundation for CONTROLTEK’s undertaking to be the most ingenious Security Tagging Provider in the world. By providing a link between data capture and storing every stage of business from inventory management to shipping and payment, RFID empowers “commerce through innovation” at your retail stores. From order to stock-take, this advanced identification can be affixed to an object and be used for a variety of applications.

The way in which RFID works is not complicated. The RFID labels are first printed and applied to the products. The application of the RFID plate on the product enables the automatic recording of the delivery of the product when it comes to the retail store. The packing list is printed so that the step of checking manually for the delivery of each product is eliminated. The products are instantly added to the stocklist and all data is updated on the system, which guarantees that the stock management is controlled and up to date.

As each delivery enters the stock room it is registered by the RFID plates. As the inventory moves between the stockroom and the stockfloor, the stocklist continues to be updated. Product groups can be scanned within seconds to measure stocksize and all inventory can be scanned to easily find out if any deliveries are missing or if there are any discrepancies. One of the major benefits of RFID is that the quantity and condition of the inventory delivered can be checked within a very short amount of time. At checkout, the products are registered using the RFID plates and these products are removed from the stocklist as the customer leaves the store, with any goods not registered at checkout activating the alarm. Everything is done instantly and there is no waiting involved.