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French grocer Auchan Group deploys RFID

Retailers continue to rush to adopt RFID technology. Last week it was Macy’s announcing its accelerated deployment. (Read RFID 24-7’s coverage here).

This week French grocery chain Auchan Group, the 12th largest food retailer in the world, has deployed a real-time tracking solution to monitor the plastic crates that transport fruits and vegetables to its supermarket chains.

Auchan will be able to track its produce throughout the entire distribution chain – from the truck farm to the logistics platform, to the stores and through the washing station. The platform application developed by Orange Business Services enables 24/7 access in a cloud mode through an ergonomic and secure Web interface. Using this application, both the Auchan produce distribution chain manager and the plastic crate renter can see in real time the entire route of the containers and anticipate when they will arrive and when they are not following the intended distribution pattern.

“Thanks to this solution, we now have the possibility of ensuring real-time supervision of the entire produce distribution chain,” said François Laveissière, Director of IT Innovation for the Hypermarkets Division of Auchan. “Our improved logistics chain allows us to simultaneously achieve savings and protect the environment, which is a strong focus in the group’s policy.”

In addition to optimizing the logistics chain by increasing container rotation and monitoring the crates, the solution enables Auchan to reap additional business benefits including greater security for the warehouse employees by reducing accident risk connected with handling wooden crates; a reduction in crate loss thanks to geolocalization; and a quick win in sustainable development by saving more than 150 tons of waste by reusing plastic RFID containers, representing a 30 percent decrease in carbon emissions.

In addition, Auchan retail outlets gain from more consistent presentation of the products in stores leading to better success with consumers, and by the fact that the solution is fully compliant with European regulations for fresh produce food hygiene.

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