In order to build a sustainable future, food retailers need to become more conscious of food waste – not just for the cost aspect, but also for the environmental impact. With world hunger on the rise, and exacerbated levels of methane released by rotting food items, it’s irresponsible for retailers to go about business without implementing a solution to curb the food waste issue.
There is light at the end tunnel, however; food retailers can implement a simple solution that uses complex technology to accurately manage perishable stock.
RFID for Perishable Inventory
RFID is a wireless technology that makes use of transmitted radio signals to tag an item and record it on RFID software. This system makes it simple for retailers to track their stock, record expiry dates in their system, and reduce overall wastage by implementing a strategic stock management system.
Stock can be managed with RFID in a variety of ways.
RFID Technology for Inventory Management
Seamless Supply and Demand
Thanks to RFID software, grocers and stock managers have access to accurate and visible data relating to their stock. They can move stock strategically by implementing the first in, first out method, create movement on soon-to-be expiring stock by putting them on sale and in high-traffic areas, and monitoring ordering to ensure no over- or under-ordering is done.
RFID is a versatile solution that can track every item, from the last box to the last individual item. Optimised stock management will significantly reduce food waste and optimise profits in turn.
Automated Expiry Date Monitoring
Expiry dates can be difficult to manage when done by hand. There is plenty of admin involved and a lot of strategy – and still it isn’t a seamless process. With RFID, alerts can be set up to inform users of expiring products. They can action these accordingly using methods mentioned in the point above. Alternatively, the store can implement a Corporate Social Investment strategy and donate the expiring food to institutions who feed the less fortunate.
Monitor Temperature-sensitive Products
A large cause of food waste comes from improper temperature management on foods that need to be kept cold. Most retailers use temperature sensors and other technology to manage this, however, coupled with the improved visibility of RFID, stock control becomes a lot easier, and food can be stored optimally with proper, informed planning.
Precise Recall Management
Product recalls can be a costly experience as well as an exceptionally large waste. Oftentimes, however, it is select items in a batch of stock that will need to be recalled, and not the existing additional stock. Oftentimes retailers panic during a recall, not knowing which batch has been distributed, and they end up throwing away or sending back products that were perfectly safe for the consumer.
RFID tagging enables traceability during recalls, letting suppliers and grocers quickly pinpoint tainted products. RFID tagging can help keep consumers safe and prevent significant volumes of food from being discarded.
Milestone supplies comprehensive RFID, EAS and other systems to the South African market, including brands Checkpoint and Keonn which are international bestsellers in the retail loss prevention industry. To optimise your stock management and reduce food waste, contact our team today.