Wal-Mart Quantifies RFID Benefits

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores released statistics showing the benefits of radio-frequency identification (RFID) and the Electronic Product Code (EPC). The study was commissioned by Wal-Mart and conducted by the University of Arkansas.

Researchers found a 16% reduction in out-of-stocks at stores equipped with RFID technology. Additionally, the study also showed that out-of-stock items with EPCs were replenished three times faster than comparable items using standard barcode technology. Wal-Mart also experienced a meaningful reduction in manual orders resulting in a reduction of excess inventory.

“This is no longer a take-it-on-faith initiative,” said Linda Dillman, executive VP and CIO of Wal-Mart.

The 29-week study analyzed out-of-stock merchandise at 12 pilot stores equipped with RFID technology and 12 control stores without the technology. All Wal-Mart formats—Supercenters, Discount Stores and Neighborhood Markets—were included in the study.

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