The "ebiz egovernment award" is a business award, which was granted for the fourth time already this year for the most sustainable and creative IT solutions in business and administration.
The Federal Chancellery of Austria, the platform "Digital Austria" and a number of well-known sponsors such as Siemens, Samsung and Telekom Austria support the award for Austrian benchmark solutions.
"To us, the award is an important signal that we are not only a pioneer in the fashion industry with our RFID activities, but that we can also make a difference in Austria's IT and business world", Otto Url, responsible for the RFID project for Northland GmbH, is pleased about the award.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is already being used successfully in anti-theft devices in different industries, ranging from immobilizers in vehicles to DVDs in retail. Northland, an expert for outdoor clothing and equipment, has recently also started to focus on RFID to secure merchandise. The manufacturer of textiles for extreme sports has shown at its shop in Graz that the technology surpasses conventional applications by far in terms of efficiency and transparency and not only opens up theoretical solution potential, but also provides tangible economic advantages. This is why the company, together with its project partners NXP Semiconductors and RF-iT Solutions, was awarded first place of the "ebiz egovernment award 2008" in the Federal State of Styria. The solution by the three Styrian companies, which is "prizeworthy" in many ways, represents a worldwide innovation: for the first time, the RFID-UHF technology was combined with an anti-theft device in a price tag that can be used directly in retail.
?The objective must be to determine an accurate stock of articles in the sales area as often as possible, which requires a lot of work and manual counting today. A direct impact on the availability of merchandise for the customer and subsequently on the company's turnover were confirmed by the project", explains Alexander Gauby from RF-iT Solutions. Compared to a manual stock-take, which takes about 1.5 hours at the reference shop, the same stock-take was performed in just under 5 minutes using RFID.
Some 1,300 different outdoor products such as jacket, pants, sweaters, backpacks and thermos flasks have since been fitted with such RFID tags, storage media which not only contain information on the respective article but also an anti-theft device. Any theft is displayed on the cashier monitor. This may be complemented by an optical or acoustic alarm. "The RFID anti-theft device shows not only that a product has been stolen, but also which product and when. This information enables us to pay special attention to product groups and times particularly susceptible to theft", Url explains. At the same time, stolen products can be re-ordered immediately in order to ensure availability in the shop.
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