How Can Retailers Enhance Warehouse Operations Through Real-Time Inventory Visibility?

Supply chain efficiency plays a critical role in any retail operation. From ensuring shelves on the shop floor remain stocked and enabling omnichannel fulfilment from any location, to minimising waste and reducing transport and storage costs, an efficient supply chain can transform a retailer’s business.

One key factor in driving efficiency lies in real-time inventory visibility. A clear view of stock from manufacture to shop floor allows retailers to make informed decisions about their inventory and create a foundation for wider integrations that deliver improved fulfilment opportunities for customers.

Specifically, within the warehouse, a vital hub in the movement of inventory, real-time inventory visibility is crucial for efficient operations. It is from here that retailers must make important decisions, such as sending stock to stores in need and fulfilling online orders. Efficient warehouse management can be the key to optimising their use of stock, reducing manufacturing and transport costs, while improving in-store sales opportunities with improved replenishment.

So how can retailers achieve real-time, accurate and reliable inventory visibility? The answer can be found in item-level RFID…

RFID’s Role in Warehouse Receiving

Receiving stock within a warehouse can be a major task, with some locations processing thousands of items on a daily basis. With many warehouse operators still manually tracking inventory in a paper-based system, not only does warehouse receiving take a significant amount of time to complete, but it is prone to human error. Without an accurate knowledge of inventory, retailers cannot possibly make effective stock decisions. They can easily over order – or under order – products, items can go missing, and the unnecessary manufacturing, transportation and storage of stock can be an expensive mistake.


RFID plays an important role in removing these inaccuracies to transform warehouse operations and deliver unparalleled efficiency. Clustag’s RFID MOT Station is capable of scanning over 1,200 boxes per hour, delivering up to 99.92%* inventory accuracy. A highly reliable and accurate technology, warehouse operators can automate their receiving process, removing the risk of human error and significantly reducing the amount of time spent on manual warehouse tasks.

With products equipped with RFID tags and scanned at item-level upon arrival to the warehouse, warehouse operators can also receive a number of validations of their stock when receiving. On top of improved inventory reliability and enhanced replenishment practices, Clustag’s RFID MOT Station also provides visibility and correction of items with labelling defects or discrepancies in quality, the ability to divert incorrect boxes to an audit line for inventory reconciliation, and it reduces the number of incidents caused during order preparation.

Optimised Warehouse Dispatches

Once items are received in the warehouse, RFID continues to provide its value in the next step of the inventory’s journey. With real-time visibility of products – which can be scanned and tracked as they move – the data captured by RFID empowers retailers to make quick, accurate decisions. If stores need additional shipments, they can re-route stock to alternative locations in order to combat low inventory levels. The technology also provides confirmation of the contents of each consignment, and can detect missing or surplus items with ease. From here, again, fast and accurate decisions can be made to correct any issues or anomalies and ensure all warehouse dispatches meet the needs of any location receiving stock.

In the instance of making customer deliveries directly from the warehouse, incidentin deliveries to customer can be minimised, with real-time visibility of product movement. Warehouse operators can also keep a record of dispatched items for greater traceability in the event of incidents.

Automated Efficiency for Maximum ROI

RFID delivers a foundation of reliability for retailers when it comes to efficient warehouse operations. Equipped with real-time visibility of all stock, retailers can minimise waste and optimise inventory levels across the entire supply chain. This not only creates significant cost efficiencies, but it ensures that in-store shelves remain replenished and that omnichannel orders can be fulfilled, allowing retailers to meet the evolving demands of their customers and maximise their sales opportunities.

To find out more about how your retail business can drive operational efficiency through real-time inventory visibility, get in touch today.

*Results obtained from mass testing for products labelled according to Auburn University’s international standards, and for items composed of non-conflicting materials for RFID environments.

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