Dutch Book Store Gets Smart

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."


Metro Group introduces Intermec's Gen 2 radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in its Cash & Carry wholesale stores throughout Germany. The company is using Intermec's Gen 2 IF5 UHF RFID reader coupled with IBM middleware€¦Canadian apparel retailer Ardene deploys the Sage Accpac ePOS point-of-sale system across its more than 300 registers located in its stores throughout major shopping malls. Ardene's ePOS deployment, combined with Sage Accpac ERP, provides a fully integrated business management system€¦Authentics, a UK designer and retailer of gifts and housewares, implements Radio Beacon WMS to help track its stock with better accuracy. The implementation reduces pick times by 50 percent...Free Record Shop, a Dutch retailer, upgrades 90 percent of its stores to SAP for Retail in order to integrate purchasing, logistics, sales and financial processes....The Bailian Group, China's largest retailer, plans for the second phase of the China Implementation Reference Project, a pilot program that seeks to expand usage of Electronic Product Codes (EPCs) and RFID. The retailer will use VeriSign's EPCglobal Network.