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Application effect of RFID inventory technology in Decathlon

Application effect of RFID inventory technology in Decathlon

Nov 19,2021
Decathlon, the world's largest retailer of sports and leisure products, was born in France. Decathlon is a sporting goods retailer. It was founded in 1976 by Michel Leclercq. It's first store was opened in Englos, a small village near Lille, France.More than 90000 employees work hard in the whole industry chain and are committed to providing excellent products and services to local sports lovers in 1647 stores in 61 countries around the world. Behind decathlon's rapid expansion is its success story of fully adopting RFID management application technology in logistics, retail and omni-channel marketing.

Due to out of stock products, vacant shelves and unreasonable inventory, the global retail industry has an annual loss of nearly US $450 billion, and there is an urgent need for automatic retail inventory technology. For a long time, the development and promotion of automatic inventory technology in physical retail has been plagued by various product types, large quantities, frequent shelf adjustment, high cost and weak data transmission in physical shopping malls. Now, the birth of "Dibao" makes these problems a thing of the past.

"Dibao" is an artificial intelligence robot invested and developed by decathlon. It is applied to offline shopping malls to realize automatic inventory of all kinds of products by carrying RFID technology and artificial intelligence. Its main functions are:

1. Accurate inventory counting and regular cycle inspection of the whole store;

2. Out of stock or low inventory alarm;

3. Locate and identify placed products with sub meter accuracy;

4. Visual management of commodity and inventory layout optimization.

"Dibao" integrates a number of Black-tech, with a height of about 163cm, a weight of 30kg, a walking speed of 0.45m/s, an average scanning time of 2 hours, an RFID reading range of about 4m, nearly 40 sensors and more than 10 high-resolution cameras. During walking, it completes inventory counting, shortage management and location optimization through RFID, vision + sensing technology, It eliminates the operation of employees holding RFID readers to read tags. If you pass through a densely populated area, the sensor will identify it in time and guide Dibao to bypass, and then go to the area for inspection after the personnel leave.

The traditional manual inventory method can process 200 goods in an hour on average. When using "Dibao", 15000-30000 products can be inspected every hour and can be inspected three times a day, which greatly improves the inventory efficiency of the warehouse. Ordinary small shopping malls can complete a shelf in 2 minutes, and the accuracy is more than 97%.

In the past, large warehouses relied entirely on manual search for goods. On average, a warehouse needed dozens of people, which was easy to make mistakes and tested their physical strength. However, with the "Dibao" robot, only one person needed to operate in a 600 space. Which shelf needed replenishment, the robot would automatically identify through RFID to remind the store to transfer goods and replenish inventory in a timely and appropriate manner. With the introduction cost of RFID technology decreasing year by year, the return on investment is getting higher and higher. For enterprises, if they do not use this technology, they are likely to be left behind by competitors.

Problems and solutions encountered in the promotion and application of decathlon RFID

With the continuous expansion of decathlon in the world, RFID has also encountered more and more technical difficulties and problems. There are some difficulties in the current tag chip and reader technology.

1.Chip storage stability:

In order to pursue ultra-low power consumption and low cost chip storage, about one in ten thousand memory failures will occur in practical applications. The loss of RFID tag data will bring a lot of trouble to automatic reading.

2.Reading rate of Reader:

If more than 100 clothes are quickly read in a short time, the performance requirements of the reader will be very high. From the perspective of trend, in the past, enterprises focused on reading distance, but now they pay more attention to reading rate.

While decathlon introduced RFID technology on a large scale, its processing plant also faced many problems in the verification management of RFID electronic tags, which are highlighted in:

1. The problem of mislabeling is serious:

The RFID tag of product A is attached to product B, and the RFID tag of product B is attached to product A.

2. Missing or multiple labels:

Missing RFID tags of products or two tags of the same product.

3. Inaccurate packing quantity:

During the product packing process, it is easy to put more or less products, and the shipment information of a single box is inaccurate, resulting in the decline of KPI score.

4. Label problem cannot be monitored:

A small probability is due to the label's own problems, such as damage, unsuccessful code writing, wrong code writing, etc.

In view of the existing RFID electronic tag verification problems in the processing plant, Decathlon has created multiple sets of "RFID full container verification management system" according to different application scenarios and needs of customers. Count the number of labels provided by the supplier through RFID scanning equipment to quickly complete the standard inspection. According to the EPC rules of different styles of products, quickly and automatically detect whether the label data and quantity are consistent with the product information. In case of abnormality, the system will automatically prompt the alarm to eliminate the problems of wrong label and code from the source and ensure the accuracy of label binding. Through multiple verification such as EPC quantity detection and automatic weighing function, the phenomena of excessive labeling and missing labeling and product loading and missing loading are prevented.

With the RFID full container verification management system put into use, the factory packing error rate decreased from 1.5% to 0.2%, a decrease of 87%; The product exception handling time is reduced by 90% and the total consumption cost is reduced by more than 70%; The accuracy of order delivery has reached more than 99.95%, and the loss cost caused by penalty has been reduced by 90%.
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