Going Omnichannel in Orlando & Reaching the Item Level RFID Tipping Point

Just about every year the RILA Logistics Conference is one of the best Events I attend and pleased to say #RILALogistics 2013 was no exception.

Great sessions and excellent networking provided me with many insights and opportunities to take home and build on going forward as direct positive outcomes from the event.

As described in my advance post Mission: Maximize Learning in Multichannel & E-Commerce this was the Track focused on and pleased to say that this mission was accomplished.

Here are some highlighted nuggets picked up at RILA Logistics 2013:

Point One: In Store empowerment required to bridge gaps between stores and channels with proactive Associate Ordering System which leverages all channels. Look for his presentation deck to see further details once released by RILA.

Point Two: In his presentation Jeff Fackler of Walmart shared some very valuable information on how to best align skus based on movement profiles against the potential omnichannel distribution options of fulfill from store, fulfillment center, Retail DC or drop ship from Vendor. Look for his presentation deck to see further details once released by RILA.

Point Three: Interesting results were shared by Susan Kleinman of Comscore relative to their Q4 survey of e-commerce customers. Many insights were shared on the ongoing evolution of e-commerce and their wants & needs relative to acceptable delivery times, perception of delivery costs and more. Check out her presentation here for all the details once released by RILA.

Point 4: Although the above were all great learning insights, probably the most important was the linkage Bill Connell of Macy’s made between Item Level RFID and omnichannel or what I call Matrix Commerce. Bill’s premise was that a retailer’s success with omnichannel required Item Level RFID, as inventory accuracy across the supply chain and especially in store was key. It was his POV that current barcode systems are not robust and accurate enough to rely on with Item Level RFID providing accuracy needed to support omnichannel Matrix Commerce.

Another pleasant surprise in his presentation was the assemblage of retailers already commited to rolling out Item Level RFID in 2013. Citing a total of 5,900 stores coming on stream for Macys, Walmart and J. C. Penney as well as 5 other retailers about to announce, it’s clear the tipping point for Item Level RFID is fast approaching.

Those who know me are aware of my committed belief in RFID technology for retail logistics applications and it’s great to see things moving forward now driven by this groundswell of Item Level RFID.

Before signing off I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank Casey Chroust for his stellar leadership of the RILA Logistics Conference over the past several years. At the same time I would like to wish him well and much success in his future endeavors.

Lisa LaBruno did an excellent job hosting RILA Logistics 2013 and we wish her all the best in managing the ongoing evolution of this landmark annual event as we move into the future.

One last point I wanted to make is how useful the app was that was developed for RILA Logistics 2013. Going forward, any conference of scale should seriously look at using one, especially from a green perspective relative to the massive programs that need no longer be printed.

If anyone has any questions or comments on the above insights and information shared, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JeffAshcroft or on LinkedIn.

See you all in San Diego for RILA Logistics 2014!


Jeff Ashcroft

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