Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Readers > RFID Handheld
Having designed the first purpose UHF Handheld for Apparel for a Major High Street Retailer, using the then pioneering IPX protocol, moving on later following the introduction of the then new global standard Gen 2 operating on a different protocol.
When changing to Gen 2 protocol, it was estimated that for this major retailer, due to their size and stock holding it would take between 6 -18 months to fully move through the transformation.
The unique solution was to create another world’s first; seamless transition in one device from its first protocol to the current global standard. This allowed them to maintain their substantial return investment, which obviated the need to use two separate readers and perform the count twice.
Over the years we have comprehensibly conducted independent comparative tested on all UHF Handheld suppliers. Both laboratory comparisons of field patterns and radiated energy, to very practical comparisons taking into account both exposure and potential repetitive strain injury that may occur through inappropriate use of the device, that can lead to employee legal litigation.
Understanding fully the user requirements, made sure that the data capture was less prone to user technique, accuracy and to activating tags especially when they are in high density environment.
Giving us practical measurements on manufacturer’s specifications relating to number of tags read per second, battery life and capture reliability.
The handheld tests all read tags and the difference in performance between them was often small, however when this difference was analysed in detail it was found that its impact was substantial.
Let us illustrate this through a practical example:
Let us assume that we have a sample of 30,000 garments and the difference in data capture between 2 readers is of the order of 0.02 %. This translates to 600 tags not being captured.
Assuming that the missing items from the stock take are priced at £15 per item, this means that you will be duplicating £9,000.00 of stock, that you will have to find space for, this stock will need to be removed from Distribution Centres and thus reducing the availability for other stores.
If it is the display density that has caused even 1/5th of this sample stock to be missed, this is equivalent to £1,800.00 - allocated to poor capture, if you then progress to ‘replenishment’, this will then be added to the sales floor where it increases the density and therefore impacting the accuracy of the data capture even more the next time you count ...
- One count has cost you £1,800.00 hard cash.
- Incorrect store stock file as perceived loss/theft of revenue £4,000.00
- Perceived loss of Profit to the value of £2,200.00
- Directly effecting reported Store performance.
- As stock inaccuracy is usually only corrected through Stock takes, usually twice per year.
- There is a high potential for overstocks having to be sold at less then full price, impacting the Gross Margin and Profit.
- Even more losses if the items are seasonal and size complex: Sale at 50% reduction in ticketed price, means 10% gross margin and only £1.65 Profit.
- Simply from just 120 items you could lose £2,000.00 of direct Profit.
- All this from what is actually 0.004% of a 30,000-item count.
- Taking either of the percentages: From just one count you have now lost more A direct consequence of this is the additional millions of pounds in profit which propelled their share price higher money than the initial cost of the Handheld hardware that you have used for the count.
In answer to the question does being 0.02% inaccurate matter?
Well you can see just how 0.004% has impacted the business and how much it could cost you.
We have a detailed formula that under NDA gives exactly the ROI (return on investment) taking into account all financials. You will be amazed as to actual possible gains and saving.
We recently have been retained to independently compare 12 new proprietary handhelds from different manufacturer’s as replacement to the 6-year old devices used in stores. The sample size was quickly, reduced to 7 following an initial test. Using the same data capture technique as the store staff have been using for over a decade, the best data capture from the new devices was still less than that achieved by the “current” device. In some cases, the performance was more than 5% less than the “current” unit. Only 2 came close to capturing the same accuracy as the current 6-year old devices.
The others did improve when their parameters were adjusted as well as the data capture technique: this resulted in some cases, for the time taken to be over twice than currently being achieved. This additional time combined with additional effort gave rise to concerns over the length of time that the staff will be using the device and certainly user fatigue, as single floor counts already took over 2 hours. Certainly, long enough for any user to be constantly counting.
Another factor, that required our attention was the read performance, all the readers came with configurable settings set as default by either the manufacturer or the integrator. Through our experience we have developed an understanding on what is the best parameters to set for as the best technique and optimising data capture with less physical effort. The capture settings we recommend do not depend on precise user methods and incorporate valuable user feedback. When set with these parameters, the result is to a seamless data capture rhythm which gives the user confidence in the data capture process.
Combining all our years of understanding and unique practical experience, working closely with a leading reader manufacturer: Have all been combined to form our unique out of the box offer, removing - uncertainty as to what parameters to set the device and what data capture method to use to ensure, maximum performance that is demonstratable and repeatable as best in class.
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