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RFID im Blick

Migros Ostschweiz: In Real Time from the Production to the Supermarket

Use Cases | By PR RFID im Blick | 29 October 2015
Gebinde mit RFID-Technologie Gebinde mit RFID-Technologie Photo: Migros Ostschweiz

Migros Ostschweiz is rolling-out an RFID system to establish a seamless tracking from the meat production to the supermarket

Each day, around 400 pallets with meat containers leave the production facilities with having one of the 100 stores that belong to the Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz as their destination. Now, the cooperative Migros Ostschweiz is about to roll out an RFID-based data pool that allows a gap-less tracking of transport boxes from the meat production until the supermarket. “RFID im Blick” talked to Kai Porankiwitz, Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz.

Kai Porankiwitz, Head of Goods Flow, Migros Ostschweiz in an interview with “RFID im Blick”

Establish the technical requirements

Kai PorankiwitzKai Porankiwitz “We want to make our crates to be identifiable without gaps,” explains Kai Porankiwitz the decision for an combination of RFID and bar code technology, that is now allowing an optimisation in the processes of meat production logistics. An essential requirement for this plan was the creation of a centralized management system for the crate identification. Migros Ostschweiz therefore decided to deploy an EPCIS system which was initially tested in a pilot between February 2013 and February 2014. Another requirement for the gap-less identifiability is the process standardisation that was realised after founding a new expert team at the Migros head quarters in Zurich.

Success through sub projects

Apart from these basic requirements, Migros Ostschweiz put emphasis on the gradual realisation of sub projects as Kai Porankiwitz points out: “The plan of Migros Ostschweiz is not only one project but a full portfolio of projects and actions that we initiated in the past years.” This includes the mentioned central requirements but also individual sub projects of the Migros Ostschweiz such as the transparency of operational processes as well as the identifiability of individual crates during meat production, palletisation, or transport.

Seamless illustration in real time

When having finished all sub projects, the Migros Ostschweiz has established consistent goods tracking. This is already realised in the own meat production and logistics, where the shipments can already be transmitted to the SAP system at the production. Kai Porankiwitz substantiates this as follows: “After finishing one pallet, the system shows the information that it is ready for the shipping but is not yet in the transit phase. As soon as a pallet was loaded, the status is updated in the system with the help of RFID technology and the branch receives a note about the time window in which the goods will reach the supermarket.”

Migros Ostschweiz is rolling-out an RFID systemMigros Ostschweiz is rolling-out an RFID system.

More safety for meat products by using RFID

With the RFID-based goods tracking, Migros Ostschweiz also avoids differences between planed and actual delivery such as missing or wrong goods that is inter alia of high importance for the fresh product meat. Migros Ostschweiz avoids the dangers of a false delivery by multiple measures: Not only are the individual crates passing by 10 of the total number of 40 RFID identification points before being loaded but also the trucks themselves are equipped with transponders and identified by the loading gates. A truck loaded with the wrong goods would be shown in the system enabling correction in time.

Roll out already in November 2015

Concerning the imminent roll out of the RFID system, Porankiwitz says: “We want to ensure that the RFID system operates robustly.” By the time being, the team led by Porankiwitz is still optimising in order to ensure the system to run smoothly. Cleaning up truck master data as well as taking into account specific cases such as for example the correct illustration of consolidated transports that pick up goods from multiple locations are part of this process. A pilot project in which a branch could test the tracking of the entire production and delivery process was successfully concluded. After a second trial period, Migros Ostschweiz is now planning to changeover to the new RFID system in its around 100 supermarkets for November 2015. For the individual branches, this means a better, since more transparent, planning of the goods receipt.

Benefits for the whole Migros Group

The RFID new system does not only offer benefits for the customers but also for the Migros cooperatives as the Migros Group is planning an nationwide EPCIS and RFID system. On top of that, a dairy producer that belongs to the Migros Group is also working on an equivalent project for the implementation of RFID technology. “It is beneficial that the cooperative and their affiliated companies can use pre-existing know-how in order to be able to quicker implement a solution that is adapted to the individual use case.”

Conclusion: Consistently employ RFID to achieve your goal

Already since 2009, Migros Ostschweiz is evaluating the topic RFID as a solution for the seamless identification of transport containers. After a successful pilot project at the meat production in 2010, Migros Ostschweiz decided to gradually implement RFID labelling in order to establish a gap-less tracking from the meat production until the supermarket. Migros Ostschweiz is one of ten cooperatives of the Migros Group that supplies, amongst others, food markets. Regarding the sales figures, Migros Ostschweiz is one of the top 3 Migros cooperatives and has the largest economy area.

Last modified on Thursday, 29 October 2015 14:37