Tesco is preparing for a massive rollout of wireless technology across its estate next month after seeing a 1-2% improvement in on-shelf availability in stores where the system is installed.
The Intermec system, now in 255 stores, allows staff to carry out pricing, merchandising and stock checking routines via handheld terminals on the shopfloor, instead of having to go back and forth to the backroom to update systems.
Gaps on the shelf can be instantly addressed through tapping into the central replenishment system via the terminals to identify whether more stock is in the backroom, on order, or unavailable, and stock files updated accordingly, said IT and strategic development director Philip Robbins-Jones. “Book stock accuracy is critical if you are using an automated replenishment system.”
The terminals can also generate barcoded labels for markdowns that can be scanned to instantly update back office systems, he added.
Tesco is also considering extending its two-store trial of item level radio barcoding on DVDs and CDs. While case level RFID tagging would significantly improve book stock accuracy, the breakthrough would come with the ability to determine whether a product was in the backroom or on the shelf, said Robbins-Jones.

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