Wal-Mart RfidRetail Stores Using RFID in Supply Chain Management – Wal-Mart
SCM exists in both service and manufacturing environments. A typical supply chain consists of many interactions between suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, with the ultimate goal of providing either a service or a product to customers. This also works in reverse with the customer at the head of the process when returning a product. The overall goal of SCM is to optimize supply chains in an attempt to provide more accurate and time sensitive information that can be used to improve process times and cut costs. Supply chains have been around for decades and a constantly being improved. The newest opportunity for improvement is the introduction of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. RFID technology provides real-time information that allows manufacturers to get better readings of customers and markets which ends up improving supply chains. RFID helps retailers provide the right products at the right places at the right times. Ultimately, this results in maximizing sales and profits.
Wal-Mart has been leading the charge with RFID technology. The company initiated its plan to employ RFID technology in its supply chain in June 2003. Having the largest retailer adopt and begin to use RFID technology has given strong backing to the technology and has furthered and quickened the expansion of RFID. They have begun requiring all their major suppliers to implement RFID technology on all products supplied to Wal-Mart. One example of what Wal-Mart has done with SCM and its suppliers is that of its relationship with Proctor & Gamble. These two built a software system that hooked Proctor & Gamble up to Wal-Mart’s distribution centers. This system monitored supply levels and when products ran low, automatic alerts were sent out to require the shipment of more products to that distribution center. Wal-Mart has taken this as far as going to the individual store locations. The shelves are...