First All-in-One Solution Reduces Barriers to Compliance with RFID Mandates
GXS, a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions, today introduced RFID Accelerator, the first automated, off-the-shelf, packaged data synchronisation and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solution. This new GXS offering includes an integrated approach to global data synchronisation (GDS) with a quick and easy way to meet retailer mandates associated with RFID compliance. The solution includes three components: GXS Quick Connect, which enables product information synchronisation according to industry standards; a connection to a supported global data synchronisation network (GDSN)-certified data pool; and RFIDTagManager, an RFID tagging software solution from epcSolutions. GXS RFID Accelerator enhances the benefits of clean, accurate and consistently synchronised product information while giving suppliers the ability to leverage the synchronised data as part of an integrated RFID implementation.
Without accurate product information, companies face invoicing problems, shipment discrepancies and out-of-stock conditions, all of which can significantly impact a supplier's and a retailer's bottom line. While GDS helps trading partners streamline product information electronically to ensure data accuracy, RFID provides the mechanism for tracking of goods moving throughout the supply chain, greatly reducing out-of-stock an overstock situations. Consumer product goods manufacturers are struggling to develop RFID strategies that meet the compliance requirements of their large retail partners. It is estimated that the average investment to start an RFID program is between $500,000 and $1 million. Pricing for GXS RFID Accelerator starts at under $5,000 (excluding hardware and data pool registration fees), giving customers a cost-effective solution to align product data in their supply chain, to communicate that data through GDS and to conduct quick-and-easy RFID tagging of merchandise.
According to industry analyst firm, Gartner, "Retailers that successfully exploit GDS will find their supply chain far more responsive. The supply chain will undergo equal amounts of reinvention. The promise of RFID is on the horizon, but to make it work, retailers must establish clean, consistent product data so that partners can interpret RFID messages when received." epcSolutions, Inc. is a plug-and-play RFID software and solutions provider, and the creators of SensorOS, the operating system for RFID. epcSolutions' RFIDTagManager, which is interoperable with a variety of RFID printer/encoders and readers from leading manufacturers, enables small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to quickly implement RFID tagging for all products and to ensure compliance with RFID mandates from major retailers and government bodies, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and the Department of Defense.
"GXS RFID Accelerator is a valuable option for any of the businesses in our large customer base that are seeking to implement affordable data synchronisation and RFID solutions," said Bill Bulzoni, director of RFID Business Development for Zebra Technologies. "With this new solution from our partners, GXS and epcSolutions, businesses in almost any industry now can benefit from improved supply chain efficiency. Zebra printer/encoders work seamlessly with RFID Accelerator to help bring this groundbreaking solution to market."
Also launched today is GXS Quick Connect, a key component of GXS RFID Accelerator, that enables suppliers to co-ordinate and align product data, according to globally accepted standards. With more retailers requiring standardisation among product attributes across several industry verticals, and the increase in online retail sales, suppliers are experiencing greater demand to align product data and automate the communication of that data to retailers. By automating product data synchronisation, Quick Connect optimises supply chain effectiveness, ultimately reducing costs to suppliers and retailers alike by improving inventory management. This helps prevent overstocks and out-of-stock situations, and ensures consumers are provided with the appropriate product details as required by recent FDA regulations, such as requirements for new food labelling.
RFID Accelerator integrates dynamic supply-chain event data that RFID devices collect with synchronised product information to automate product tagging and tracking. By aggregating internal and external product information, retailers and suppliers can see how products are moving from manufacturing facilities through a retailer's supply chain and into the stores. In addition to meeting retailer RFID initiatives and ensuring data accuracy, RFID Accelerator enables businesses to improve control of stock and other assets; eliminate inefficiencies in the supply chain; increase accuracy and visibility for real-time decision making and enhance the traceability of goods in the manufacturing process.
"As a provider of B2B services to more than 40,000 businesses, GXS understands the e-commerce challenges associated with RFID. In today's market, companies are in need of a low cost, easy-to-use solution that allows them to comply with RFID mandates and reduce operating costs, while providing them with a solid foundation for a long-term RFID strategy," said Larry Rushing, director of business process solutions at GXS. "The minimal investment required for RFID Accelerator will certainly provide huge returns for suppliers by increasing visibility and tracking of product stocks and reducing critical supply chain inefficiencies. For the first time, businesses of any size can experience the return on investment of RFID and GDS already gained by their large retail partners."
GXS enables demand driven supply chains for retail and consumer products companies by integrating trading partners, synchronising product information and monitoring supply chain events to facilitate collaborative planning. Retailers and suppliers in the grocery, do-it-yourself, department store, apparel, and consumer electronics sectors, rely on GXS solutions to help build customer loyalty, reduce supply chain errors, enhance supplier relationships and streamline operations. Through industry-leading technology, strategic partnerships and professional support on all major continents, GXS enables retailers, manufacturers and suppliers around the world to increase B2B e-commerce functionality and reach and to improve the efficiency of their supply chains. GXS customers in the retail sector include AAFES, Best Buy, Hudson Bay Company, JCPenney, Stage Stores and Warnaco.