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IBM teams with METRO to implement RFID technology
Jan '08
IBM announced it has worked with METRO Group to implement Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to improve the availability of products in its stores, enhance consumers' shopping experience, and boost supply chain performance.

The companies are successfully using RFID in a system which tracks shipments from suppliers to warehouses, distribution centers and stores. The companies are also teaming on an innovative customer focused RFID project in one of METRO Group's Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

Retailers worldwide are focused on deploying strategies aimed at meeting the needs of today's increasingly connected and information hungry customers. METRO Group and IBM have been working together since 2003 on projects aimed at improving operational efficiencies with RFID and ultimately improving customers' shopping experience. As part of the relationship, METRO Group has leveraged IBM's retail expertise, industry leading software products and RFID solutions.

"Our relationship with IBM has been a strategic component of our RFID programs," said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, managing director, MGI METRO Group Information Technology GmbH. "Innovation is at the heart of our strategy. Our use of RFID is improving our operational effectiveness as well as the experience of our customers."

Eye on the Supply Chain
IBM and METRO Group recently completed the rollout of Europe's largest RFID project. The system allows METRO Group to track shipments from suppliers to its warehouses and distribution centers to around 200 supermarkets and stores across Germany. It has enabled METRO Group to improve product availability and ensure that customers' expectations are met.

Pallets of goods destined for a METRO Cash & Carry or Real store contain an RFID tag when they leave the supplier or the group's distribution centers. The tags are scanned by RFID readers on delivery at a store location. The data captured by the readers is provided in real-time to METRO's merchandise information systems using the IBM WebSphere Premises Server, software which aggregates and analyzes RFID information.

Smarter Shopping with RFID
Galeria Kaufhof, a division of METRO Group, has teamed with IBM to develop and install a first of a kind system to enhance customer service in one of its department stores in Essen, Germany. As part of a pilot program, approximately 30,000 articles in the men's fashion department have been equipped with ultra high frequency second generation RFID tags.

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