Dutch children's clothing retailer improves inventory availability online by increasing supply chain visibility with new wireless tracking system
Dutch children's clothing retailer Coccinelle has reduced the amount of web orders it has to cancel by 60% after optimising its inventory accuracy using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
The retailer shares one pool of stock between its distribution centre (DC), web shop and six stores. In the past, administrative differences between the inventory in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, supplied by Softwear
, and the actual stock held in its supply chain often led to online customers being disappointed when they ordered products that had actually sold out.
To ensure customer satisfaction and improve inventory accuracy, Coccinelle decided to introduce RFID technology. The retailer chose Nedap
to supply RFID point-of-sale (PoS) and handheld readers for the system, along with the associated iOS app. For automatic processing of inventory transactions, Nedap's RFID solution is linked to the Softwear ERP and electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) system.
Increased inventory accuracy
RFID labels are applied to every product in the distribution centre so that all shipped items can be registered using Nedap’s !D Hand handheld RFID reader. This information is processed automatically by the ERP system and the product is then registered as ‘sent’.
At the cash register, the Nedap RFID PoS device, which is also linked to the EPoS, reads the labels of items sold. And store employees do stock takes twice a week using !D Hand. These results are processed automatically by the ERP system, allowing for any differences between the administrative and actual inventory can be traced and corrected extremely quickly.
The increased inventory accuracy has had a positive effect on sales and on employee productivity, since Coccinelle now always has insight into which products are available and where they are in its supply chain.
Exploring further benefits
Marc Bakker, Coccinelle managing director, explained: “Our goal was to reduce ‘out-of-stocks’ in our web shop without having to make concessions in product assortment quantities. After an intensive period, we have arrived at a level of extreme inventory accuracy in the physical shops, and this results in considerably fewer cancellations in our web shop.
“In addition to this advantage, we've taken significant steps forward in terms of efficiency in our DC because the RFID process has enabled us to put a stop to a number of inefficient procedures and since a large number of transactions can now be executed more quickly."
He added: "In the future, together with Nedap, we'll focus on expanding functionalities that further optimise processes, and we're tentatively discovering the advantages RFID offers from a marketing standpoint. In summary, it was an intensive exercise that turned out to be more than worth the trouble. And what's more: we'd no longer consider working without RFID.”