Walmart Smart Inventory System

Topics: Supply chain management, RFID, Electronic Product Code Pages: 4 (1295 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Arnold Zio
BUS 362 Spring, Miller

Wal-Mart S.M.A.R.T System

I live close to a walmart in Burtonsville MD, so I decided to write this Paper on their Inventory System. Wal-mart, the wholesale retail monopoly, focused on developing an RFID-based electronic product code, or EPC. The electronic code would allow businesses to track shipments and inventory automatically through a system of tags and sensors. It was a potential replacement for the manual scanning of bar codes, a technology that itself revolutionized retail two decades earlier. Given the nearly non-existent cost of bar codes relative to RFID, several in the industry said, the EPC was a solution in search of a problem. Wal-Mart view RFID technology in their SMART system as a means to further enhance its much-envied logistical prowess. Those in the field expected adoption to ultimately be “narrow and deep,” primarily in the area of supply chain management.

The inventory system is called S.M.A.R.T which is not an Acronym but simply a tracking system This system keeps track of all of Wal-Mart's inventory, the on-hand counts, and can automatically detect and record product that is low in stock or sold-out not in stock. The most interaction with the SMART system is through the Telxon. The Telxon is a 900 MHz wireless handheld terminal equipped with a barcode scanner. When a barcode is scanned, almost instantly the item number, description of the product and amount on order are displayed. The technicalities of this system are a bit too complicated for me but I can only assume that the Telxon is linking to the SMART database to retrieve all of products in the stock database information. All from a simple thing like a barcode which is just a set of numbers that are unique, like a primary key. 

A brief history of the Telxon, The Telxon handheld unit, first deployed five years ago, is Wal-Mart's Swiss army knife. Equipped with a keypad, bar-code scanner, a 16-line character display, and radio...
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