Working together to further improve supply chain efficiencies and customer loyalty, Carrefour, Intel Corporation, METRO Group and Tesco have formed a European working group to accelerate the adoption of Electronic Product Code (EPC) technology, which will help improve inventory control, leading to reduced operating costs and increased profit margins.
The supply chain is becoming increasingly complex with products passing through distribution centres, warehouses, and store sales floors. Many companies are trying to understand and navigate the complexities of the supply chain, address business process issues, and choose the right technologies to better manage their inventory and operating costs.
Members of the new working group are actively piloting EPC and RFID (radio frequency identification) technologies in their supply chains. The group, named the EPC Retail Users Group of Europe, aims to complement the efforts of current standards bodies, such as EPC Global, by providing a forum for European retailers to identify and share best methods for implementing EPC-based technologies and business processes. The group says it will develop documents and white papers on successful implementations, technologies, and usage models, and then share them with the European retail industry.
Intel and Carrefour
“This industry group will help enable a transformation in retail,” said John Davies, vice president of sales and marketing for Intel. “We are working with other technology firms, retailers, consumer packaged goods companies, and researchers around the world to drive solutions from Intel Itanium 2 architecture running back-end databases, to end user devices based on our Centrino Mobile Technology and XScale technology.”
Carrefour is participating in the initiative to help ensure that the new technology is implemented globally in an efficient way for suppliers and retailers so that consumers will experience greater product availability with better value for money.
RFID in Metro and Tesco
In April 2003 the METRO Group started its own testing of RFID technology under real-world conditions. According to Dr Gerd Wolfram, project manager for METRO Group’s Future Store initiative, “In this new working group we will drive present international best practices for the EPC network, which will be a cornerstone for the future of RFID in retailing.”
“We recognise the importance of implementing an efficient supply chain and the benefits EPC and RFID could bring,” said Colin Cobain, IT director for Tesco in the UK. “We are currently trialling radio bar codes within our distribution network and have already seen some benefits. We hope to be able to roll this out soon.”
For additional information:
- Visit Intel at http://www.intel.com
- Visit Carrefour at http://www.carrefour.com
- Visit Metro Group at http://www.metrogroup.de
- Visit Tesco at http://www.tesco.com/corporateinfo
Copyright 2003 UsingRFID.com
Reprinted with permission from Using RFID (http://www.usingrfid.com/news)
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