NCR is integrating its TransitionWorks for RFID and Mobility solution with the E-Business Suite from Oracle.
Announced April 17 at the RFID Journal Live convention in Las Vegas, the integration streamlines the transfer of radio-frequency identification data collected by TransitionWorks into E-Business order fulfillment and supply chain management applications.
"With some of our customers being the largest retailers in the world and having RFID mandates and already using the NCR TransitionWorks platform to meet them, we decided to go ahead and integrate that functionality into our back-end systems, which happen to be Oracle," said Terry Massey, director of marketing for NCR's AIDC Group. "It makes sense to be a user of our own products."
Massey said NCR launched the integration with two main goals: gaining the ability to sell into the Oracle customer base and integrating TransitionWorks with the Oracle E-Business Suite modules that NCR uses at its own central fulfillment center-inventory, shipping and order fulfillment.
"Oracle thought it was good idea and assisted us," Massey said. "The whole process took three weeks."
He said TransitionWorks users now have the integrated capability of filling Oracle E-Business Suite applications with RFID data captured from the warehouse floor.
"EPC tags are recognized as -license plates' on pallets and as they move to staging, the information is automatically passed to the E-Business Suite in real time," he said. "There are multiple ways of accomplishing this, including message queues, Web services and Oracle APIs, so you can get real-time visibility without changing your warehouse processes."
Massey said that as a result, TransitionWorks users can now take a "hybrid approach" to RFID. "You can use RFID where it makes sense and use bar codes where they make sense," he said.
Due to consistency between E-Business Suite applications, Massey said it will now be easier to integrate TransitionWorks with other Oracle components, such as manufacturing and receiving, resulting in a more granular visibility of operations.
According to an Aberdeen Group 2008 benchmark report on the use of RFID in retail, retailers are increasingly considering RFID adoption to improve inventory visibility and customer satisfaction. The report, based on a survey of more than 150 retailers in February and March, indicates that 78 percent of respondents increased inventory turns by an average of 5.4 percent as a result of enhancing inventory visibility with RFID systems in the last two years.
Respondents also saw customer satisfaction levels rise by 12 percent after implementing RFID technology.
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.