Retail RFID technology leader SML RFID has today announced that its cloud-based item-level RFID software application suite, Clarity®, is now deployed in more than 5,000 stores in 34 countries, with more than 60,000 users using its RFID handheld application. During last year’s pandemic SML deployed its software in over 1,000 stores and managed over 1.5 billion unique RFID tags, processing over 25 billion RFID events. In addition, SML reports that retailers using Clarity® have improved their in-store inventory accuracy from <70% to >95%, which has added over $1 billion in profit while simultaneously reducing over $1 billion in inventory over the last six years.
“This is another huge accomplishment for our team and a testament to the collaboration and innovation that they have built with our ecosystem partners as well as our customers, transforming the most fundamental element of retail, inventory management,” said Dean Frew, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of RFID solutions at SML Group.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused global industries to struggle, but few industries were impacted as heavily as retail. In what became a case of adapting to survive, many retailers leveraged new technologies to streamline in-store processes, improve customer experiences and create efficient and cost-effective solutions during the sector’s most challenging time.
Many of the most respected and innovative retailers around the globe have selected the SML team and Clarity®, SML RFID’s proprietary RFID item-level inventory management solution deployed on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform, to provide faster, easier, vastly more accurate inventory and new innovative inventory processes to help them improve financial performance. SML shares that it has an additional 3,000 stores under contract and will deploy its software to all of these stores by the end of 2022. With just these existing and planned projects, SML estimates that over 3 billion unique RFID tags will be under management annually on Clarity® – by the end of 2022.
Clarity® is being used by retailers of all sizes from 100 stores to retailers with 1,000s of stores. These retailers are serving several retail segments today, including Apparel, Footwear, Home Goods, Sporting Goods, Cosmetics, and Electronics. Further to this, SML is working with customers in Quick Serve Restaurants, Food Supply Chain, Pharmaceuticals, and Agriculture. In addition to stores, the organization is also processing millions of items annually through its Clarity® Supply Chain applications in customer factories and distribution centres. All these customers share the same drive: moving rapidly into the New Era of Retailing powered by item-level RFID.
One of the additional benefits of using Item-Level RFID and the resultant increased inventory efficiency is that retailers can have a large impact on sustainability goals. By leveraging Clarity® Item-Level RFID, retailers can significantly enhance the sustainability of their supply chains. One SML customer has taken 400 shipping containers – equating to 22 million items – out of demand per year while still increasing sales, making a significant sustainable impact on the environment.
Frew also adds: “When you look deeper into the adoption of Clarity® within retailers what you see is that retailers are increasingly recognizing that they can’t thrive with the once-a-year SKU based physical counts of the past and are converting to Item-Level RFID to transform and realize the tangible business benefits that follow. These retailers see that poor inventory accuracy is a fundamental problem that prevents them from effectively delivering the customer service required for retailing today and in the future. Our focus is to provide retailers with world class technology, solutions and service to help them with this Item-Level transformation, contributing to our customer’s further prosperity.”