Boosting Your Inventory Management: Case Kekäle

“Taking stock requires the whole staff of each store and still takes days.” Sounds familiar?   This was the starting point with the Finnish fashion retailer chain Kekäle and their 11 stores before switching to RFID in 2019. 

Just like Kekäle before, many businesses work with barcode-based systems to keep on top of their stock. The problem is that barcode systems often require lengthy and labour-intensive inventory taking processes that still produce typically an inventory accuracy of only 65 to 70%, compared to RFID’s 95%. Barcode readers need to be at close distance and barcodes clearly visible to the reader. This makes stock taking slow and possibility for human counting errors high. All in all, working with barcodes does significantly tie up resources.

Nordic ID’s inventory service utilizes RFID technology to produce real-time information on individual items in stock, both locations and stock counts. The service is available for companies and retail chains of all sizes – it is scalable for all needs regardless of the number of stores. In addition, it does not require substantial investments in systems or equipment. Deploying is quick due to a monthly billing plan and benefits of the new inventory technology are immediate.

“Now we are able to take stock of a whole shop in only 30 minutes – which feels nearly magical”, says Eetu Karppanen, Development Manager at Kekäle

With RFID technology, the tag does not need to be visible for the reader to detect it. RFID tags are also individual, so when attached to a piece of clothing, the reader knows exactly what it is, the size and colour included. This will help greatly in reducing the buffer stock needed. As a result, accurate inventory information will release 15 to 20% of working capital, and boost sales at least 2.5% since customers will be able to buy exactly what they wanted. And because the buffer stock is smaller, less items will end up on the sales rack and more will be sold for full price.

Kekäle was looking into improving their omnichannel sales, but the data on products in stock was not accurate nor up to date. As the Kekäle chain does not have hundreds of stores, they were looking for a system that is sensible in costs but still powerful to use.

 

We also looked into electronic price tags and other technological possibilities for improving stock management efficiency, but an RFID based system was clearly the most cost-efficient solution for us. As a result, we can get up-to-date stock information that helps us sell more and serve our customers better. An additional benefit of Nordic ID’s inventory service is that it does not require any changes to the current systems or processes. “The only difference is that as we stick price tags on the clothes when they arrive at the store, we include RFID tags in the labels. This made deploying RFID technology very easy for us.

Eetu Karppanen.

Nordic ID is a full-service provider that offers affordable, scalable asset tracking and management solutions. We work alongside the customer throughout the project and the relationship doesn’t end at roll-out. We continue to support our customers for years.  

 

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