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Uptown to use FLiP system for apparel & safety gear
05
Jan '10
Uptown Cycles, an independent retailer of high performance cycling equipment, has deployed an RFID-enabled inventory management system from UPM Raflatac, Freedom Shopping and Zebra Technologies at its store in Charlotte, North Carolina. The FLiP system, designed by Freedom Shopping, integrates seamlessly into Uptown Cycles' POS system, enabling the merchant to harness the power of item-level RFID tagging for electronic article surveillance (EAS) in order to increase inventory accuracy, reduce out-of-stocks, enhance customer experience and improve store security.

Uptown Cycles deployed the FLiP system in one week with no disruption to its normal operating processes. Using Freedom Shopping's IntelliSuite Developer's Tools, merchants and their integration partners can integrate RFID into existing POS systems quickly and easily, for as little as $2,500 per software license per store. The tools leverage stores' existing item masters and inventory database, eliminating the potential for human error and process disruption due to redundant data, while enabling retailers of all sizes to benefit from RFID's ability to drive critical process improvements.

The FLiP system includes fixed and handheld RFID scanners, a software bridge that syncs the RFID tag database with the POS system, a self-service payment kiosk and an RFID-powered intelligent EAS system. To tag existing inventory or receive new shipments, employees use RFID handhelds to scan product bar codes; the system identifies goods in the POS system, queries for item quantities and wirelessly sends information to a Zebra Technologies' RZ400 printer. The printer generates a master sales tag, which includes an item description, bar code and encoded RFID tag.

Merchandise, including bicycles, apparel, safety gear, accessories and food, is tagged with UPM Raflatac Web and ShortDipole UHF RFID tags. Item-level RFID streamlines the checkout process, enabling customers to use the self-service kiosk to check out independently or have a clerk scan all goods for payment simultaneously. Purchased items' tag data is flagged in the system during the payment process, eliminating false alarms traditionally associated with non-intelligent EAS systems. As a consequence, employees are able to instantly identify and prevent real instances of pending theft. The new solution allows retail staff to spend more time with customers and focus on sales.

“The RFID system designed by Freedom Shopping, UPM Raflatac and Zebra Technologies helped Uptown Cycles improve operational and customer-facing processes, while reducing shrinkage and theft,” says Chris Sheehan, Co-owner and Manager, Uptown Cycles. “We are using RFID data to remove cost and waste from our processes, just like global retailers, which is translating to higher productivity and increased revenue for our store.”

UPM Raflatac

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