Oh, how I love good shirts! Of course, I don’t always have enough time to buy them. And to save time, I usually start looking for shirts in online stores, with the option of trying them on! And when you finally discover a good shirt on the Internet, you go to the nearest store to try it on, but it is not available. And it’s annoying!
Everyone faced a similar problem and in this case, we are going to tell about our solution.
The popular nordic shirt brand owns an online store and a network of branded offline shops. If you came across or owned a similar business, then you know how difficult it is to keep goods in the right quantity in the stocks of all outlets. Inventory accounting is delegated to the goods manager or store manager. And this person constantly monitors the actual stocks of goods in all outlets.
What is the risk? Here are some examples:
- More goods in one store and a shortage of this product in another one. We take the car and transport goods.
- Popular product models run out quickly. We constantly have to order and wait for the delivery.
- The wrong item is sent by mistake. Then we get the situation from the first example.
This all leads to additional costs and reduced profitability.
RFID helps in solving such problems!
This company reached us with a similar problem — controlling the residual products available in company stores and in the central stock. Their process was cumbersome and included manual physical accounting and ordering from the stock. We proposed introducing RFID tags for products. This greatly simplified the work with balances and below you can find the explanation.
The development process and solving problems
In addition to generating RFID tags, they still need to be associated with all the systems that will be used in the company. To do this, we used the following technologies: Swift, RFID, ASP.NET, ASP.NET Web API, MS SQL Server, Microsoft Azure. Ecosystem Solutions: iOS App, Nedap’s RFID Handheld Reader !D, web portal, REST API, integration with CMS Magento.
Where to store product data?
We used Microsoft Azure to develop a web portal. We included all the data on the goods in the portal database and generated RFID tags. This allowed us to access the web portal from any device anywhere in the world. For example, in a company store 🙂
How to scan RFID tags in the stock and in the store?
For this purpose, we purchased Nedap’s RFID Handheld Readers !D and connected them to the iOS-based smartphones. For smartphones, we created an application that processes tags and exchanges data with a web portal. The advantage of smartphones is that it is easier to update the application and you can add additional functionality that is lacked in conventional RFID tag readers.
How to control balances in stock and in stores?
For the web portal, we created a function that carries out all the calculations. Now, the store employees can easily control the physical balances in just a couple of minutes. The application automatically decides which products need to be ordered from the stock, and places an order on behalf of the store. The regional managers have an easy-to-use tool that controls the rules for replenishing stocks in stores.
How to manage the online store?
Since the online store uses the availability of the central stock, it is necessary to avoid mistakes in the distribution of goods between company stores and the online store. We created an extension for CMS Magento, which exchanges stock data with a web portal. The web portal “knows” where and when a certain product will be needed. This allows avoiding mistakes in displaying the availability of goods in the online store.
How long did this project take?
The solution to this problem took us 6 months. The team included two developers, two testers, a business analyst, and a team lead.
If you have additional questions about this case or you have similar requests, feel free to contact us!