Rfid at the Metro Group

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RFID at the Metro Group
Mierdorf and Wolfram are preparing their report to the RFID steering committee next month and they have three options to recommend. They can: * Expand the scope of the current pallet level RFID rollout * Move to case level RFID tagging with the manufacturers currently engaged in pallet level rollout * Stop the expansion of the RFID and focus on traditional process improvement opportunities
Given the facts in the case and as outlined in more detail in this case study, it is our recommendation that Mierdorf and Wolfram move to the case level RFID tagging process. The improvements up and down the supply chain in accuracy, inventory control, reduced labor costs are enough to at least continue with the RFID rollout at the pallet level. However, there is ample financial data that supports quite forcibly the added benefits of RFID at the case level. Now, with any initiative as bold and challenging as this as far as logistics between manufacturers, distribution centers, and retail stores, implementation of technology that is emerging almost daily, and not to mention the substantial capital expenditures has its inherent risks. We identify those risks later in this study. However, we contend that despite the obstacles that lie ahead, the benefits for this initiative are overwhelming. The potential for this technology given the reporting capabilities, the versatility of product specific inventory levels, and the opportunity to make the RFID tag universal worldwide are endless. Furthermore, as more manufacturers, retailers, shippers, distribution centers, etc. incorporate RFID into their supply chain the more cost effective it becomes for the entire industry. In this study, we examine the process flow of the supply chain; the financial analysis of both pallet level and case level tagging; the risks associated with RFID tagging at both levels; and conclude with a timeline chart starting from the beginning of the project up to this juncture.

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