Fashion merchandiser

NFC in retail fashion merchandising

Sector

High-end clothing

Background

A high-end fashion clothing company employs numerous fashion merchandisers that visit different retail outlets on a daily basis. Keeping track of who visited which store for which task and how often was a challenge for management. Contracts with retailers often meant that a fashion merchandiser was contractually obliged to visit large-scale locations to ensure that valuable floor space was dedicated to the brand.

Problem

Employees had been manually writing down their work hours, locations, and tasks on paper logbooks. Management had noticed that some workers would log more hours than others, wrote down incorrect hours, and had incomplete tasks. It would be extremely inefficient for management to micro-manage these employees as there were many of them working remotely in various different locations.

Solution

Every mobile worker was given an Android smartphone with NFC capability. When a worker visited a certain retailer, the NFC-TAG embedded in the stockroom of every store was swiped to verify the visit. Each location that needed to be visited had an NFC-TAG with specific task instructions. Swiping the NFC-TAG indicated that the worker had gone to that location and completed the task. The employee could then send a photo of the display to management from the sales floor. Since each employee has a unique ID number, management is now able to monitor the tasks in real time as well as keep track of their contractual obligations.

Conclusion

Having accurate records of employee activity has significantly improved work efficiency, employee performance, and employee monitoring. Considerable savings were achieved by reducing the administrative staff needed to track the fashion merchandisers. The fashion merchandisers' work efficiency increased through regular visits of top retailers, compliance of contractual obligations, and display on top floor space at large retailers. As a result, sales of the brand increased across the board. The company was able to increase their sales, decrease the administrative staff needed, and maintain good working relationships with the large retailers who carried their brand. The investment in NFC technology proved to be a solid business investment for the company.

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