Speedy and efficient system makes for a happy consumer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am

Top retailers and buyers in the United States and Europe are the main force driving the adoption of the EPC/RFID supply chain model in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region.

Visitors to the retail zone of the Supply Chain Innovation Centre, at Hong Kong Science Park, will see how EPC/RFID applications work at the retail shop floor level, transforming operations, facilitating shopping and ultimately increasing sales through satisfied consumers.

A simulation demonstrates how RFID technology has transformed today's supply chain operations and given retailers a distinct, real-time, competitive edge. EPC/RFID has helped to heighten shelf inventory alert and control; provide timely and interactive product information to help shoppers make purchase decisions; enhance the shopping experience, and speed up the checkout process. This has made the shopping experience more efficient.

German retailer Metro is one of the centre's founding members. As one the world's leading retailers, Metro Group operates 2,100 stores in 30 countries in Europe and the United Sates, spanning supermarkets, hypermarkets, department stores, consumer electronic stores and wholesale operations. The group also has a wholesale business covering 33 stores in China, as well as a large base of suppliers there.

Gerd Wolfram is managing director of MGI METRO Group Information Technology. He said the group started to adopt RFID technology in 2003, with research and development backup from an innovation centre in Germany, and would like to see the promotion and adoption of RFID in southern China.

'The SCIC will help encourage the industry in the Pearl River Delta region to adopt the RFID,' Dr Wolfram said. 'This, in turn, will encourage international buyers to use it as a base for supplies. The region can also become an RFID centre for the further promotion of this technology to the rest of China.'

Dr Wolfram said Metro was taking an active role in supporting the operation of the SCIC, and the group planned to invite business partners to visit and use the centre.

'I see the SCIC playing mainly the role of an information platform for educating the industry and the public in its early stage,' he said.

'Later on, it can be enhanced to become a service centre for conducting certified tests such as solution testing. In the long run, the SCIC can provide a wide range of functions, from education and training to testing, to make it a regional hub for RFID.'