Services for Merchandise Vendors

1.    Compliance Strategies

Now that several of America’s largest department stores have rolled out RFID on individual pieces of merchandise, suppliers must begin preparing for similar requests from other major retail accounts.  Rather than being caught off guard, smart companies will approach this proactively and begin evaluating:

•    Their near-term ability to comply with a request for tagged merchandise
•    Long term source tagging models
•    The operational implications of supplying tagged merchandise to a broader base of retail accounts
•    The ability to engage with key retail accounts in a manner that advances the company’s standing with those customers
•    The commercial terms that might be requested of these retail trading partners in exchange for cooperation on RFID
•    The "tipping point" where it will make economic sense to tag all of their product, rather then just a subset

2.    Opportunity Assessments and Business Case Development

Merchandise vendors do themselves a disservice when they approach RFID with a compliance mindset.  RFID is a commercial breakthrough in the same vein as the barcode and the Internet.  Smart companies have begun evaluating how improvements in accuracy, efficiency and inventory visibility can improve market share, revenue and profit.   In addition to strengthening the operating performance of their Wholesale businesses, many vendors have networks of full price and outlet stores.  RFID can improve the performance of these stores too.  RFID Sherpas LLC helps vendor clients:

•    Identify appropriate business metrics and conduct baseline performance measurements
•    Measure the commercial impact of RFID in pilot stores and other environments
•    Quantify the positive impact RFID can have on revenue, gross margins, operating costs and market share
•    Quantify the costs associated with the phased introduction of RFID
•    Develop roadmaps for evaluating and deploying RFID within stores, distribution centers and production environments
•    Identify the linkage between RFID and broader corporate objectives
•    Identify strategic reasons for accelerating utilization of RFID  

3.    Executive Workshops

Since many RFID projects are not publicized in the business press, executives are often unaware of the level of activity within key retail accounts and the adoption triggers most relevant to their market sector.  The magnitude of the financial opportunity is also frequently not well understood.  RFID Sherpas LLC provides executives with the factual foundation needed to make informed decisions.

3.    Project Design, Support and Roll-Out

RFID Sherpas LLC assists clients in shaping and managing their projects, and selecting the right technology providers.  Recognizing that Retail RFID is primarily an exercise in operational improvement, RFID Sherpas LLC helps clients determine:  

•    Which vendors to select
•    Which distribution centers and/or production environments to RFID-enable
•    Which merchandise categories to focus on
•    How long to run their pilot tests
•    Where along the supply chain to have merchandise tagged (both in the short-term and long-term)
•    Which business objectives and metrics to focus on initially
•    What modifications to make to existing business processes
•    What data to capture or ignore and what data to request from retailers