RFID pinpoints source of promotions failures

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Radio frequency identification, Electronic product code, Rfid

The failure of in-store promotions often comes down to neglecting display materials, according to the results of a radio frequency identification...

The failure of in-store promotions often comes down to neglecting display materials, according to the results of a radio frequency identification (RFID) trial in Germany.

Initial results from the RFID study to track promotional display material along the supply chain showed displays often arrive at stores too early and are forgotten about on backroom shelves. They then end up being brought out too late, said the researchers. The project was carried out by Metro Group Logistics and Kraft Foods.

Execution of promotions had to be prompt and accurate as it involved a high turnover in a short period, said Metro Group Logistics’ Markus Wagener. He was speaking at last month’s CIES food business forum supply chain conference in Prague. Advertising heightened consumer awareness, making them upset when products are not available, he added.

In some categories more than half of turnover is achieved through promotions and spending on them is increasing, claimed Kraft Foods’ Volker Heidorn, so it is critical to get them right.

“A working electronic product code information service (EPCIS) is key to tracking the displays and linking all information,“ claimed Wagener. However, the alert and reporting system to improve availability is “the heart of the whole application”, added Heidorn.

RFID tags were used to trace displays as they went from suppliers distribution centres to supermarket sales floors and finally to crushers for disposal. Data exchange including EPCIS data was used to collect all necessary information, which allowed for improvements to be achieved in promotional accuracy.

The project was meant to improve effectiveness by raising the transparency of promotional campaigns by using RFID technology to track and manage promotional displays along the supply chain. It began in February and included the implementation of an alert and reporting system in September,

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