Last weekend I was in Walmart looking for some shorts when I heard the oddest noise coming from the other side of the rack. It sounded like a fast-paced video game…beep, beep, beep, beep (all within micro seconds of each other). “What could this be?” I thought.
As I peeked around the corner, I was amazed to see a stock clerk from Walmart walking through the clothes racks getting a real-time floor inventory with a Motorola RFID scanner.
This is how far we have come. Stores no longer spend valuable time and money restocking after hours. Now, they restock as soon as they take floor inventory off the rack. And with RFID technology, they instantly know the brands, models, and sizes that consumers are buying, which helps the whole supply chain become more efficient.
So, how does this “on-demand” inventory control benefit consumers?
As you know, Walmart remains the most competitively priced superstore in the U.S., due—in part—to the reduced overhead for night stockers and merchandisers. This means consumers not only save money when they shop there, they also enjoy incredible service.
For example, have you noticed that Walmart never seems to be out of stock on the floor? That’s because real-time RFID inventory counts alert employees to immediately replenish the racks instead of waiting to restock overnight. Purchasing is also notified on the spot so they can place orders throughout the day instead of the next morning after overnight numbers come in.
(And for those of you who think Walmart uses this technology to track toilet paper to your house, this is not a “Big Brother” conspiracy. All RFID tags are disabled at checkout.)
Walmart simply uses this technology to improve their operations and better serve shoppers like you and me. And it’s working.
I not only quickly found the shorts I was looking for in my size and color; I breezed through self-service checkout and was out of the store in less than five minutes.
Isn’t technology great?
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