Dutch Book Store Gets Smart

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Dutch Book Store Gets Smart

By Carly Bohach - 07/01/2006
The Boekhandles Groep Nederland (BGN), a leading book retailer in the Netherlands, implemented integrated systems combining item-level RFID tagging and SOA, and saved approximately $640,650 in man hours. "We started looking at RFID a year ago," says Jan Vink, IT director of BGN. "By looking at our 20 biggest stores, we estimated that with integrated systems we could gain $1.5 million in revenue."

BGN's retail stores handle more than seven million titles and 11 million customer visits per year. The retailer offers a large, fast-turning stock, which is constantly altered on-shelf due to consumers replacing books in the wrong place.

In April 2006, after three months of testing, BGN launched a "smart-store" in Almere, Netherlands. The store combines item-level RFID tagging and SOA, which tracks the movement of individual books, allowing the company to see both the store inventory and the overall supply chain. "We thought we might be a little over-optimistic with our RFID goals, but it's all working elegantly and without as many errors," says Vink. He estimates that by year-end another five stores will be up and running with the advanced RFID system. The "smart-store" utilizes a variety of integrated software from Progress.

"The key to our success is our ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience," says Vink. "With infrastructure software, SOA and intelligent search applications from Progress, we have accomplished all of our business goals for this deployment. On top of that, we have built the first, fully- automated item-level RFID tagged store. This pioneering set of applications will go far to enhance the strength of the BGN brand with book buyers."


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