February 9th, 2015
What’s In a Name: Xterprise Becomes SML IIS
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” –W.C. Fields
When Dean Frew started his company in 2002, he knew he was onto something big. The ability of RFID to count vast amounts of product rapidly and with unprecedented accuracy had the potential to revolutionize the way hospitals operated, heavy vehicles and machinery were manufactured, valuable items were accounted for, and businesses were run. He had the product, the vision, and the know-how to make it happen. He just needed a name.
Dean pored through name after name, only to find that they were taken (this was the beginning of the era of domain name squatting, after all). He knew he needed something that evoked sleek technology suitable for the large enterprise, and due to a combination of the name and domain actually being available and its spelling and pronunciation evoking enterprise aspirations, Xterprise was born – the ‘X’ representing the unknown-at-the-time, seemingly limitless transformation RFID would bring to industry. (more…)
January 26th, 2015
What Will Omnichannel Be Like In 10 Years?
At the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show this year, it was apparent that the entire industry is serious about omnichannel retailing and the opportunities that it offers. Exhibitors were tailoring much of their marketing and messaging toward omnichannel applications, such as online orders delivered to the store, and smart dressing rooms or video product displays enabled by RFID technology.
The customer experience is a big reason why omnichannel retail is so popular. As noted in a recent Apparel Magazine, Cross-Channel Report, the expectations of today’s connected consumer are driving the need for an omnichannel, customer-centric business model. Many consumers take advantage of online coupons, leverage their own shopping data to get better deals and practice showrooming, or look at merchandise in-store and then buy it online. (more…)
December 16th, 2014
The Biggest Retail Problem – And How to Solve it With RFID
Let’s face it – there are many challenges in the retail industry. But of all the difficulties that those in the industry have to deal with, the biggest retail problem is visibility and accuracy.
Think about it: if you don’t know exactly what inventory you have on hand and where it is located, then problems of shortages, surplus, shrink, customer service and missed sales all can occur. In fact, a typical retailer’s inventory is at best just 65-70 percent accurate at the SKU level. Every day, consumers walk out of stores empty-handed because they can’t find the item they want. (more…)
November 17th, 2014
10 Quick Tips About Retail RFID Stock Management
Of all the industries using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, apparel retail has the most to gain. This is because the benefits of RFID lend themselves so well to both the business practices and high SKU complexity of the typical apparel retailer. Here are 10 quick tips about RFID stock management in apparel that drive greater cost savings and efficiency. (more…)
October 31st, 2014
7 Things Your Boss Wants to Know About RFID
While you may have already been sold on the benefits of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for greater efficiency and cost savings, now you need to sell it your boss.
Maybe your boss still prefers manual inventory tracking or using other options that have worked for your company in the past. Whatever the case, with strong ownership and RFID supply chain knowledge, you can show the higher-ups specific reasons why the world’s most successful retailers are tracking their inventory with RFID systems. Here are the top 7 things your boss wants to know about RFID: (more…)
December 5th, 2013
Inventory Management Will Create the Internet of Things
It’s buzzworthy… it’s unavoidable… it’s trendy… it is… the Internet of Things. What does the term mean, and, more importantly, what does it mean to a retailer (or everyday human being) today?
The term “Internet of Things” (or IoT) was first popularized in an RFID Journal article written by Kevin Ashton, though similar ideas around interconnected objects had existed for quite some time. In the article, Ashton claims the term first originated in 1999 in a presentation he gave to Proctor & Gamble. The term generally refers to the idea that, while information (bits and bytes) is certainly valuable, in the real world, things count even more. While the internet and the devices that connect to it are fantastic at managing information, they still do a very poor job managing things–where they are, what they contain, their current status, and the like. (more…)
November 16th, 2013
Welcome to the SML RFID blog! We’re hoping that this will serve as an informative, thought-provoking, and fun way to communicate with you, whether you are a customer, partner, supplier, or industry expert. If you are curious about RFID, inventory management, supply chain management, retail apparel, and enterprise software applications, we’ve got you covered.
We want to use this forum to share the kinds of things we are thinking about on a regular basis with significantly less formality (and signifcantly more two-way discussion) than a typical website or white paper allows. Together, we can explore ideas, ask and answer questions, and comment on industry-related current events. With this blog, we can broaden the scope of inquiry beyond the often narrow areas of interest addressed in white papers and case studies, and do everything from contemplate the future of our industry and others, to elucidating some technical detail of RFID you may have been curious about. (more…)