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Radio frequency identification (RFID). Hudson Bay Company’s next great competitive advantage

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  1. Executive summary.
  2. Introduction.
  3. Technology definition.
  4. Industry analysis.
  5. HBC analysis.
  6. Decision criteria.
  7. Alternatives.
  8. Analysis of current system.
    1. Company-level feasibility analysis.
    2. Benefits and limitations of RFID technology at HBC.
    3. Analytics-driven retail operations management.
    4. Better inventory management.
    5. Limitations.
  9. HBC supply chain analysis.
  10. Strategic analysis of RFID's application to designer depot.
  11. Strategic analysis of RFID's application to zellers.
    1. Strategic analysis of RFID's application to The Bay.
    2. Strategic analysis of RFID's application to home outfitters.
    3. Technology implementation.
  12. Conclusion.
  13. Bibliography.

The hype around Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology ? a revolutionary information-gathering method whereby information in a tag can be read from up to 300 feet away ? has caught the attention of many retailers in North America. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and Tesco (in the U.K) have begun piloting the technology: in 2006, Wal-Mart's RFID trial lead to a 16% reduction in product stock-outs (Sullivan, Online). The Canadian retail environment is constantly changing: factors such as the growth in the relative purchasing power of the Canadian dollar, increasing competition from discount rivals and shifting consumer trends provide Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) with new challenges as well as opportunities for growth. In order to deal effectively with constant change, HBC has developed five strategic initiatives through which it hopes to achieve an additional $1.5 billion in incremental sales from existing operations. HBC's overall strategic direction is to provide consumers with a more augmented shopping experience; the implementation of RFID technology can be instrumental in achieving this objective.

[...] Introduction The gradual evolution of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in recent years has been extremely promising, and has made the successful implementation of this technology one of the next great opportunities for the retailing industry. Although this technology was first discovered in the early 20th century, the production costs of each tag have decreased exponentially in recent years. Furthermore, the size of each tag has been reduced to the point where it can be easily implanted on retailed items and still store a significant amount of information. [...]


[...] ?Hudson's Bay Company Overview?. DataMonitor Online. Accessed October Available at http://www.computerwire.com/companies/company/?pid=3010875C-61C5-4453-BBCE- 1B22B0CC9CBD. ?Privacy Best Practices for Deployment of RFID Technology?. Center for Democracy & Technology. May Online. Accessed November Available at http://www.cdt.org/privacy/20060501rfid-best-practices.php. ?Study: Retail Trade Since the Turn of the Millennium?. Statistics Canada. October Online. Accessed October Available at http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/051017/d051017a.htm. Adams, David. RFID Will Work in Metal Environments?. UsingRFID.com. April 2005. Online. Accessed November Available at http://trenstar.com/pdfs/How%20RFID%20will%20work%20in%20metal%20environment s.pdf. Birchall, Jonathan. ?Wal-Mart Pushes On With Product ID Tags'. Financial Times. February Online. [...]


[...] HBC Supply Chain Analysis Given Hudson Bay Company's position as Canada's oldest corporation and most diversified department store retailer, it isn't surprising that it has more than 3,500 trading partners. HBC's suppliers range from manufacturing and raw materials suppliers to private-label suppliers. The company operates a very complex supply chain, which varies based on commodity, such as major home fashions, according to Mark Warren, HBC's Information Systems General Manager for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Efficient supply chain management is therefore critical to HBC competitiveness in the long-term. [...]

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