Skeptical about RFID?
While many jewelers have eagerly embraced RFID, there are some who are still slightly skeptical to the technology. Here are some of the most common reasons why and how to overcome them.
A common deterrent is the price of the RFID tags. Jewelers tend to compare this price with the price of the barcode labels but it is an invalid comparison. Aside from the fact that an RFID tag is an actual piece of electronics, the value of RFID tags reside in the amount of labor they save; enabling more frequent stock takes which is proven to reduce shrink and dramatically improve stocking decisions. Some jewelers are also choosing to add the cost of the RFID tag to their cost of goods, given the value it delivers.
Another hesitation towards RFID adoption is its reputation of missing tags when scanning. Here are two of the most common reasons we found: 1) in many cases, jewelry forms contain metal which is like kryptonite to RFID. It interferes with the waves causing the tag to fail from responding to the scanner. To avoid this, ensure the forms you're placing the tags on do not contain metal, you can verify by simply placing a magnet on the form. If removing the metal is not an option, choose a tag with a long loop that allows you to hang it far enough from the form.
Another cause for missed tags is when many tags are layered on top of each other. This causes the waves emitted from the tag to interfere with each other leading to missed tags. Jewelers are overcoming this issue by using the right scanner for that environment. For example, when bulk scanning, use a pad scanner; for inside the displays choose a small mobile scanner that can easily reach the tags.
The final concern we hear from jewelers is the amount of time it takes to place RFID tags on their jewelry. Of course this can be overwhelming, especially to a high volume jeweler. One way to drastically reduce tagging time is by using a barcode RFID printer. This printer prints the barcode and associates the barcode to the RFID tag in one step. Another way jewelers are overcoming this initial block is by tagging one product line, category or department per day or week. This also helps uncover any additional requirements early on. Also keep in mind that the initial tagging is a onetime effort that will save you hours even days in stock take time throughout the shelf life of the inventory.
Tracking your JCK Inventory - Three Ways RFID Can Help You
So the JCK is right around the corner. Besides all the excitement it brings, remembering how the show went last year can also create a lot of anxiety. We spoke to many jewelers after the 2011 show and there were three main sentiments: 1) it takes hours or even days to reconcile the large number of items being moved from the warehouse to the show and vice versa, 2) creating manual memos at the show is both time consuming and error prone due to the hectic environment, 3) and there is no efficient way to update managers on the daily progress of the show. The great news is RFID can solve these issues very easily and cost-effectively.
Fast Inventory Reconciliation
Before moving jewelry items to the show and back, do a quick reconciliation by waving a wireless scanner over the items. In fact, multiple scanners can be used simultaneously, decreasing scanning time tenfold. After the scan, instantly view if any items are missing that should have been reconciled.
Quick and Accurate Memos
With RFID, you can simply place a tray of items on a pad scanner or wave a wireless scanner over the jewelry items. All of the items on memo appear with their name, description, and price. You can then print a copy for you and the customer. The memo is also saved in the software for future use.
Daily Progress Reports
RFID gathers data which allows you to access multiple reports which you can save as a PDF and then email to your manager. Besides generating reports such as daily sales, you can also view salesperson performance and show to sale ratios of your items.