The GS1 organization has announced the roll-out of its next-generation « EPC » (Electronic Product Code) identification standard based on RFID technology at the retail group Oxylane. Starting in the spring of 2014, 85% of products sold in Oxylane group stores will have an RFID tag.
This roll-out affects Oxylane Group’s three main business areas: production, logistics and point of sale. An RFID roll-out on this scale is a first for a French retailer. For Patrice Ribout, Project Manager for Oxylane, RFID improves the group’s performance significantly: « We have a much better product availability rate because we can check inventories more frequently. We are reducing internal shrinkage by implementing comprehensive item flow control. We are also improving the speed, security and reliability of the checkout process. We are therefore addressing the three key elements of the business model: an increase in revenue, an improved margin and efficiency at both the logistics and store level. »
A first phase completed in the spring of 2014
RFID tags will be integrated into the 2014 spring/summer products at the factory. “All our production offices and the majority of our subcontractors in the world are concerned with source tagging. Relying on local printshops, the RFID labels are encoded and printed with a GS1 Databar that has the same unique product number. »
All the points of sale must be equipped by the end of March 2014. « Our operators will then be able to check inventories with their smartphones connected to RFID wands. We are also equipping our checkout systems and migrating our anti-theft devices, which will now use dual technology (traditional anti-theft and RFID) ».
The group has been especially mindful of the need to respect its customers’ personal information. « You have to be straightforward and unambiguous with people. Anyone who is bothered by the technology can get rid of it. Each tag can be deactivated immediately. »
Hundreds of millions of connected items
With this roll-out, Oxylane group is also preparing the arrival of the Internet of Things in 2015. “Customers will interact with the system to access the maintenance manual, usage instructions and recyclability information. Our goal is to be a real socially responsible company that guarantees the safety and durability of its products. »