Each year, the beverage industry struggles to deal with loss of goods and retailers are being forced to devote more time to preventing theft. In 2020 alone, food and beverage products were the most targeted in terms of global cargo theft, representing 33% of stolen commodities in North America, and 31% globally.1
However, over the years, loss prevention technology has rapidly evolved, helping minimise the impact that theft and diversion have on the beverage industry and economy as a whole. Among the most impactful innovations has been source tagging, which has helped retailers minimise shoplifting, while improving traceability and stock management.
What is source tagging?
Source tagging is a method of introducing a Checkpoint RFID tag to a given product while it makes its way through the production line, before the item is finished and is placed on a shelf in-store. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology that enables the automatic identification of merchandise through the detection of radio signals stored in unique tags.
The aim of source tagging is to help guarantee the security and traceability of a product, without any visual interference. Importantly, these labels maintain the visual identity of merchandise as they are placed in a predetermined place on the packaging without impacting on the overall aesthetics of the bottle.
What benefits does RFID source tagging provide?
RFID source tagging’s main benefit is to minimise the cost of retail crime. It helps retailers achieve this by preventing loss and theft. However, it also reduces costs elsewhere by optimising the entire logistics process. The technology also provides a range of other benefits:
- Greater product exposure at the POS: with RFID technology integrated into a label, retailers can display products more securely on shelves. This brings the consumer closer to the product, since merchandise is better protected and stores do not need to restrict access by placing items behind glass screens or in other invasive loss prevention tactics
- Automation without contact: the reading of the labels is automatic and doesn't depend on a manual action or contact with the item. The tag’s encoded data can also be read over long distances and in extreme climates using handheld readers
- Speed: reading is done in batches in an instant, automated way
- Stock level accuracy: with so much data available immediately, a retailer’s stock count is more reliable and can be managed with greater agility
- Logistics control: with RFID technology, retailers achieve complete traceability, from the point of manufacture to distribution centres, and even in the final customer's purchase. During each of these steps, stores can identify possible deviations and thefts quickly, enabling them to make adjustments to loss prevention measures or inventory levels
- BI or Business Intelligence: with this manufacturing, traceability and consumption data, Business Intelligence is taken to the next level. Purchasing receives reports in real time and marketing can test business strategies, for example
With Checkpoint RFID source tagging, the next generation of loss prevention and logistics management is here. Through this technology, the beverage industry can ensure loss prevention compliance and reduce losses, while supply chains can be nimbler and more agile to meet the ever-changing needs of the consumer.
To discuss how we can help you achieve your business goals through RFID, please get in touch with the team today.