From the retail perspective, there is an unlimited number of use cases for Geiger counting as the item-level locating is done in different occasions. In our other article, we introduced Geiger counting. Now we list some of the applicable retail use cases.
Co-author: Jessica Säilä
One example where Geiger counting is
used is online fill - a retailer collects online orders in-store.
The online orders are updated over night, which means that the
orders have arrived at the store in the morning when the store
opens. The status quo is that the best personnel collects the
online orders as they are able to locate items faster than for
example seasonal workers. On the other hand, this means that these
most productive workers have finished their day after 4 p.m. when
customers come in for shopping. RFID and tag locating can help in
allocating the staff better. When RFID is taken into use in-store,
the online orders are easy to collect with the help of RFID readers
with tag locator. Geiger Counting with its ticking sound leads the
staff member to the right product, and the staff member does not
need to know the exact location and the appearance of the product
in order to find it. Therefore, the most productive workers can
focus on customer service instead of locating items.
Sometimes the online orders return back
to the store, and the reason is always that the customer is
unhappy. 20 - 30% of online orders are returned and the time taken
for a single return handling is 60 minutes without RFID. With RFID,
the same procedure takes only 10 minutes. Some reasons for
returning are wrong item or wrong size. These usually lead to
sending the right item to the customer, which again takes staff
time as the wanted product needs to be found and the wrong one
returned - preferably as fast as possible. The faster the returned
shoppings are taken back to sale, the higher the selling price is.
And here Geiger counting is efficient.
In some cases, the customer has ordered and
even paid for an item which appears to be out of stock. This can be
avoided with RFID. RFID increases inventory accuracy from 63% to
even 99% as observed at Gerry
Weber. When the stock balances are correct, out-of-stock
situations are prevented.
Item specific search
Another use case for Geiger counting
is, as mentioned, to search for another size and colour of a
certain item. If the stock balances show that there is one in-store
but it is not found where it should be, the tag locator is a useful
tool for search. The missing item can be for instance in a shop
window or behind shelves. But as the Geiger Counting does not need
a line of sight to locate the item, it can locate the missing item
Geiger counting can provide a big help
in the non-retail sector as well. As the basics are locating an
item in an environment, almost any tagged item can be found by
using Geiger counting. Tools in an assembly line, cardboard boxes
in a warehouse, blood bags in a freezer, etc.
Geiger counting equals efficiency in
As mentioned, Geiger counting is a
great tool as it speeds up item search. It saves time and therefore
releases staff for other purposes, which in turn brings savings for
the business owner. When the retailer is filling Omni-channel from
a store, a best practice advice is to allocate the staff according
to their skills. The best personnel is on the customer frontier
whereas the seasonal or external workers are equipped with RFID
handhelds as the Geiger counting performs the search for the person
holding the device. With Geiger counting and RFID, online returns
are minimized and customers get what they ordered.
Best Practices for RFID Based Geiger Counting