Inventory management is another area in which retailers need to improve efficiency. Manual processes have traditionally made tracking inventory through warehouses, distribution centers, and stores very difficult. Retailers have been unable to locate inventory and match customer demand for a given item, regardless of channel and inventory location because of this lack of item visibility. They also lose revenue whenever an item is out of stock and theft is a problem. IBM addresses these issues by providing better item visibility. The Middleware Solution for Retail Inventory Management integrates the current use of barcodes to track individual stock-keeping units (SKUs) with new radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, to track items at the pallet and case level, and to automate manual shipping and receiving processes, such as matching the purchase order, invoice, and shipping documents when goods are received. These new capabilities improve supply chain efficiency and automate document-matching.
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