[Project "Fresh Link" demonstrates that the use of RFID within the retail supply chain can get fresher produce to the consumer faster]
The successful use of RFID within the supply chain provides transparency and ensures that information can be shared throughout the chain allowing for better operational control. Ren Bakker, Director, Marketing, Schuitema
Schuitema N.V. is the second largest Dutch retailer and food distributor. The company operates some 450 stores primarily under the C1000 banner in the Netherlands. Schuitema wanted to pilot the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to achieve a number of objectives:
- improve the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables in its stores
- improve shelf availability
- shorten the logistic turnaround of crates
- increase productivity
- decrease the number of distribution/routing errors
- improve the efficiency of logistics and administration
- reduce obsolete stock.
Schuitema engaged Capgemini to provide RFID expertise, business process design and project management expertise for an RFID pilot called “Vers Schakel” (“Fresh Link”). The project is designed to get fresher produce to the consumer by using RFID to track crates and temperature in the supply chain. Fresh Link is the first European project to test RFID throughout the entire chain of fresh produce using EPCglobal Network architecture to share data between trading partners.
Through the Fresh Link project, batch information and temperature registration in the chain can now be linked to RFID location information. As a result, for the first time, it is possible for Schuitema to see exactly where certain batches of products are in the chain at any given point. Additional benefits include:
- direct insight into inventory at batch level across the supply chain
- early detection of errors through the use of alerts, enabling correction at the cause
- possibility to adjust the shelf life when temperature has exceeded norms and reroute products to avoid spillage.