-Iolanda Satoca-

Recently I started working in Decathlon and I was surprised at the system they had to control the stock and the speed with which the products arrive at the store. That’s why I decided to research more about how they do in Decathlon to always have the necessary inventory in each moment.

In 2014 the RFID technology was implemented in all stores. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. These tags contain electronically stored information. Once an RFID tag is applied to a product, the coded identification number is related to the stock storage unit (SKU). This information is stored in RFID inventory control software.

In each store a reader is placed in each terminal of the point of sale. In the cash, the employees receive the products that the customer has chosen and place them on the reader, which captures all the identification numbers of the tags simultaneously. And automatically the warehouse receives the order to send a new identical product.

Moreover the RFID works as alarm. When customers are leaving the store the door detects any tag RFID that passes through it. The tag is interrogated and its data is transmitted to the software, which determines if the product was sold. If not, the security system triggers an alarm.

With the implementation of this technology the firm was looking for improving inventory accuracy across all its stores and logistics centers to ensure that the products are on the shelves when customers need them. The RFID also reduces the work of the employees of controlling the inventory. Most stores can now perform inventory checks 5 times faster than they did manually.

One year after the implementation of the new technology, Decathlon says its sales increased 11% and experienced a 9% reduction in damage losses.