RFID plays a key role in Giant Eagle's decision to upgrade warehouse management systems

Giant Eagle, a Pittsburgh-based supermarket retailer, has announced plans to install new warehouse management systems (WMS) at its five distribution centers. A key factor in their choice of software was the ability for the new system to integrate with future radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies.

The retailer chose to partner with Manhattan Associates for the new WMS as a result of its future commitment to RFID. Though taking a cautious approach to RFID at present, Giant Eagle intends to use RFID technology to further improve operational efficiencies, both within its distribution centers and across the broader supply chain. The retailer's five distribution centers serve 214 stores in four US states. They range in size from 75,000 square feet to more than one million square feet and consist of Health, Beauty & Cosmetics; Meat; Frozen Products; and two Dry/Perishable facilities.

The move follows last week's announcement that Geest, a leading fresh prepared foods and produce company based predominantly in the UK, have selected Intellident to supply all their fresh food production sites with RFID track and trace solutions. Billed as part of the world's largest supply chain RFID rollout, seven locations, from Edinburgh to Sussex, will be equipped with a range of RFID equipment that encodes data to an RFID tag permanently attached to the new Marks & Spencer's metric tray.

Whilst a cautious approach is not uncommon amongst retailers, Wal-Mart's decision in June to push ahead with RFID has kick-started customers to start their own pilot schemes. The increasing number of such pilot schemes illustrates that 2003 is a critical year for manufacturers,logistics providers and retailers. --From the Analytiqa Logistics Bulletin

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