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    Germany's Metro Group Expands RFID Program

    DUSSELDORF, Germany -- The METRO Group said it is planning to expand the use of RFID communications to bring its suppliers closer to the frontlines in the supply chain.

    DUSSELDORF, Germany -- The METRO Group said it is planning to expand the use of RFID communications to bring its suppliers closer to the frontlines in the supply chain.

    The retailer said it will integrate its data warehouse with the supplier portal Metro Link, which will enable integrated access to different types of data from several processes and systems. The synchronized processing and evaluation of routine data gathered via RFID, -- using data warehouse technology from Teradata -- will play a key role in this synchronization. Metro Group has been using analytical applications from Teradata for the past eight years.

    Currently, Metro uses RFID to electronically identify, locate, and inventory merchandise, which has helped lower logistical expenditures at all points along the supply chain. Metro said manufacturers can precisely plan production and transportation, and the retailer has a comprehensive overview of stock on hand at all times.

    Metro also said the use of RFID allows it to maintain a continuous inventory of merchandise in the warehouse and on the shelves, and order new stock based on precise, up-to-date information

    The. The Metro Group is giving increasing numbers of suppliers access to its data warehouse as a means of optimizing demand chain management. This access enables manufacturers to track stock and sales data based on the periodic updates of their choosing.

    Using information transmitted via RFID from Metro Group's data warehouse, which has grown from 20 to 139 terabytes, manufacturers can check Metro Group's merchandise warehouse to verify current stock levels, and to see whether a sufficient quantity of their products is on the shelf. More transparent stock movements will also help prevent loss in transit and simplify product recalls.

    The Metro Group has set up its own training center and test lab, called the RFID Innovation Center, in Neuss, Germany, to support RFID integration by suppliers.

    Metro Group had had 2005 sales of EUR 55.7 billion, according to preliminary figures. The company operates more than 2,100 outlets in 30 countries, under the banners Metro/Makro Cash & Carry, Real hypermarkets, Extra supermarkets, Media Markt, Saturn, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

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