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Suppliers to METRO Group looking to expand their use of RFID technology can now take advantage of a new EPC-Metro-Compliance-Package being offered jointly by Oracle, Intermec, SATO, and Schreiner LogiData. The integrated solution consisting of software, hardware and a service and support package enables RFID technology to be rapidly and securely deployed in companies today and expanded in the future. Oracle and its partners can implement the entire solution in just five days.
The METRO Group has been gradually introducing RFID technology into its supply chain in line with its detailed guidelines since November 2004. In the first phase the group's suppliers equip shipping units with RFID transponders. In the future the transponders will also be attached to retail units such as cartons, and additional warehouses, markets and branches will be included in the project. METRO Group suppliers need automated system support to help them implement this expansion.
RFID technology and the use of EPC (electronic product codes) enable the path a product takes to be tracked and managed efficiently and effectively at every stage along the whole supply chain. The EPC-Metro- Compliance-Package allows data to be imported from different ERP systems, generates EPCs, prints and reads RFID labels, checks pallets and exports data for delivery notes. The solution operates on a standalone basis, and can be integrated into existing ERP systems and hardware.
Additional advantages of the EPC-Metro-Compliance-Package include:
Accelerated processes. The EPC-Metro-Compliance-Package enables the potential of RFID technology to be exploited to the full. The entire processing sequence becomes largely automated and thus more efficient.
Open and flexible platform. Oracle is providing a future-proof architecture that is able to grow as RFID use expands.
Rapid RFID compliance. RFID technology can be introduced and integrated into the existing system infrastructure with a minimum of technical changes required.
Return on investment (ROI). RFID delivers efficiency improvements that result in a faster return on investment.
Obtaining new information. RFID enables valuable data to be obtained that can then be used immediately to visualise, evaluate, develop and archive business processes.
Standards-compliant solution. The RFID compliance package supports all the required EPCglobal standards.
The package includes the following Oracle software components: Oracle EPC Compliance Enabler (Oracle Consulting Resellable Asset), Oracle Application Server and Oracle Database (10g Standard Edition or 10g Standard Edition One) and drivers for connecting hardware. It also includes all the hardware required: a standard IF5 RFID reader from Intermec and a standard RFID UHF printer from SATO. The printer enables RFID labels to be created and the electronic product code be written (EPC) to the RFID transponders. The EPC is generated from EAN data based on Metro-specific rules. This data is transferred from the SKU (stock keeping unit) of the existing merchandise management system. Oracle standard tools are used to connect to the merchandise management system. Schreiner LogiData is handling project management, installation of the hardware components and technical support.