Patrick Roger

Make IT sweet!

Life’s like a box of chocolates – and sometimes you get exactly what you wanted (and more).

 

French software consulting and ERP integrator STEL was facing one sweet challenge. Its customer, the legendary Parisian chocolate-maker Patrick Roger, was looking for packaging solution that would combine functionality with high level aesthetics. STEL was able to deliver all this – and more.

Olivier Steinberg from STEL reports that his company was quite familiar with barcode solutions, but this time around, the idea was to explore something different. STEL was eager to find out what RFID could do in this case and convinced the man himself, chocolatier Patrick Roger, that RFID tags would be the right way to go.

Patrick Roger has nine high-end chocolate boutiques, all – with the exception of Brussels – located in Paris. With the use of the RFID tags, the chocolate boxes could be tracked and traced all the way from the factory to the cashier. In the summer of 2015, 20,000 boxes arrived from China, fully equipped with the RFID tags.

- When the boxes arrived to the factory, they were scanned to take full inventory of the delivery.  Throughout the following production process and beyond, the entire chain was tracked, says Steinberg. Also, information was added to the RFID code with each step and a real-time database was set up for the chocolate operation.  

Olivier Steinberg believes that with RFID, there’s more to be accomplished than just top-notch inventory.

- RFID technology is very flexible, meaning that the system can evolve even further. There’s a lot more information, for instance, that can be created and accessed via RFID, he says.

And when you have a product such as a luxury chocolate, every aspect of the packaging must be carefully considered and attuned to the brand. Monsieur Roger himself appreciated the fact that the RFID tag is hidden, in a sense.

- It’s a very discreet way of doing things, improving the visual appearance of the packaging. There is no barcode now that could ruin the look of the box, comments Steinberg.

TAKING CHARGE

Central to all this was Nordic ID Medea, the RFID reader designed for quick, accurate and reliable data collection. Capable of handling both short-range RFID reading and heavy-duty RFID inventory, Medea readers were deployed every step of the way, as the boxes moved through the production facility and onwards to the chocolate shops. Equally important is the Nordic ID Sampo RFID reader, which has been installed in each shop.  Nordic ID Sampo allows reliable, convenient packaging box scanning and database tag recording.

All the shops are connected to a cloud service via VPN. Thanks to the new RFID solution, it was suddenly possible to determine – at any given time – e.g. how many boxes were at the factory, how many in a truck en route to the shops, how many on the shelves, how many already sold…

RFit Technologies, Nordic ID’s French partner in this project, was well-equipped to deliver complete RFID solutions to the client. Julien Vinay from RFit Technologies says that the project started in December 2015 with an aim to streamline the entire process for Patrick Roger.

- As the operator scans the RFID tags at each phase of the operation, there is information being accumulated to the central database. For stock management purposes alone, this is a significant improvement, Vinay says.

SKY IS THE LIMIT

- RFID technology is very flexible, meaning that the system can evolve even further. There’s a lot more information, for instance, that can be created and accessed via RFID, he says.

And when you have a product such as a luxury chocolate, every aspect of the packaging must be carefully considered and attuned to the brand. Monsieur Roger himself appreciated the fact that the RFID tag is hidden, in a sense.

- It’s a very discreet way of doing things, improving the visual appearance of the packaging. There is no barcode now that could ruin the look of the box, comments Steinberg.

RUNAWAY SUCCESS

Six months later, in May 2016, the RFID project is still, technically speaking, in its test phase – but it is already clear that the solution is a success. The new system has performed extremely well, even if the high season of Easter – with the demand of chocolate eggs going, naturally, through the roof – did present its share of challenges.

- Some computers in the shops had to be upgraded in order to cope with the situation, but other than that, the trial period has been a very smooth one, Steinberg says.

- Also, training the personnel in the shops to use the system properly has taken its time, but we’re in pretty good shape now. Everybody has been impressed with the system – starting with the extremely fast scanning ability – and eager to learn more. 

Read more about the case company

 

Text by Sami Anteroinen

Images by Patrick Roger

Challenges

  • Improving logistics and inventory
  • Improving data flow of chocolate boxes
  • Customer experiences at store

Benefits

  • Tracking the boxes in real time, via every step
  • Data accumulated into the central database
  • Primary boost for stock management
  • The aesthetic look

Partner

    Patrick Roger sales box

More information about this reference:

Atte Kaskihalme

General Manager - Facilities Management. Mobile: +358.50.645.49 Contact

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