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RFID at the METRO Group Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2859 1787 Words (6 Pages) Zeynep Ton, Vincent Dessain, Monika Stachowiak-Joulain Harvard Business School : 606053
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The case discusses how the leading retail company implemented the RFID technology to revolutionise its supply chain process. Reliability of manual stock data and verifications while taking/delivering or implementing any order was creating error chances. By implementing RFID tags in its products, the Group is aware of stocks level to avoid any under/over stockings and has better forecasting and order system. RFID also facilitated the Group for much faster and more accurate product recalls to avoid any dissatisfaction from the customers. The case also highlights how embracing RFID technology has created a more seamless shopping experience for consumers and will help the Group to save money and experience value in the long run. However, the management is now focusing on further expanding the technology and investing in it, for which they have to convince the committee as few members believe that Metro groups like Toyota should invest more in human resources so they can handle a better supply chain system.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. What is the primary issue in the case (What problem is the author(s) trying to resolve)?

  2. What factors contribute to in-store logistics problems in grocery retailing? How would pallet and case-level RFID reduce these problems

  3. Examine the process flow in Metro’s grocery supply chain and identify how these processes would improve with the implementation of RFID at the pallet level and at the case level

  4. Is RFID a good investment for Metro? In your analysis, use the benefits listed in Exhibit 8 of the case and any other benefits mentioned in the case. 

  5. Which of the three options do you recommend that Mierdorf and Wolfram propose to the RFID steering committee on December 13?

    a. Expand the scope of the current pallet-level RFID rollout.

    b. Move to case-level RFID with the manufacturers currently engaged in the pallet level rollout c. Stop the expansion of RFID efforts and focus on traditional process improvement opportunities.

Case Study Questions Answers

1. What is the primary issue in the case (What problem is the author(s) trying to resolve)?

The main issue in the case that the authors are trying to resolve is whether or not to invest further in RFID technology. Since Metro is one of the leading and big-scale retailing businesses, it is crucial for them as retailers to suppliers and customers to have a smooth inventory experience for their clients.

The management is trying to resolve and minimize issues like over. Stocking, high cost etc., with the help of (RFID) radio frequency identification technology. Before the discussion and implementation of RFID, Metro faced inventory issues which ultimately led to incorrect forecasting of demands resulting in a waste of resources. Other issues like a product recall, which are again very expensive and inefficient, would also result and need immediate attention. 

The case discusses, and the management is trying to resolve these issues by implementing RFID, which will provide METRO to come out of difficult situations and issues. These RFID will provide real-time tracking of products and inventory, enough data to make accurate forecasts of demands and supply and improve the flow of the supply chain.

The monitoring and tracking from these RFID trackers would help Metro to fix these issues and give the company a chance to revolutionize itself in the retailing companies as many well-renowned companies like Wal-Mart also believed it to be a true and cost-effective and efficient inventory and management tool.  

2. What factors contribute to in-store logistics problems in grocery retailing? How would pallet and case-level RFID reduce these problems?

As Metro Group is one of the largest and leading retail and grocery retailers, hence many factors contribute to the diverse nature of the products it offers. Such factors may include the different life cycles of the products it offers, their shelf lives of the items, frequent changes in the trends and the need to replace the perishable items. All these factors contributed to the in-store logistics problems.

RFID would definitely help address these issues, as one of the biggest challenges in the retail industry is to manage stock and inventory effectively and efficiently. Over and under-management of stock would both lead to dissatisfied customers of stock situations for the Metro Group and its clientele, which would ultimately harm the brand name. These situations can lead to missed opportunities on big orders, or Metro Group can lose orders and clients to their competitors.

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