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Retail Uses RFID to Enable Cold Chain Monitoring

Like most grocery retailers, Hy-Vee is faced with the challenge of providing the highest quality products to its shoppers. Shoppers want the longest possible shelf life from perishable products and expect a consistent product experience each time they shop. Controlling the quality of products sold leads to shopper loyalty, which is of paramount importance to the success of Hy-Vee. Before products arrive in stores, Hy-Vee's distribution centers (DCs) handle items including dairy products, fresh meats, seafood, deli items, produce and frozen goods, all of which have different temperature needs and sensitivities. During transit from suppliers to DCs, Hy-Vee has limited visibility and temperature management abilities due to large amount of supplier managed transportation. For instance, during a week-long transit, a supplier's carrier equipment may malfunction, causing an item to thaw and then refreeze once repairs are made. Hy-Vee sought help from TempTRIP, an RFID solution provider that focuses on shipping, storage, receiving, and temperature control. TempTRIP's EPC RFID tags use Impinj chips to monitor and report temperature readings throughout the shipping and receiving process. The tags can also be re-configured and re-used, a unique feature within the current market of temperature monitoring devices.

  • Impinj
    Impinj wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, and automobile parts to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, and asset Tracking. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely information about these items to the digital world, thereby enabling the Internet of ThingsImpinj, Inc. provides ultra high frequency Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solutions for identifying, locating, and authenticating items. The company’s products include Indy Reader Chips that include integrated radio chips and supporting SDKs; Monza Tag Chips, which deliver memory options and extended features to RFID tags; and Speedway fixed RFID readers and antennas for RFID-based information. It also provides STP Source Tagging Platform, a platform for the creation of high-performance encoding and verification systems. The company serves retail, asset management, consumer electronics, entertainment, healthcare, Internet of Things, and logistics markets.
  • Transportation
  • Logistics & Warehousing
  • Supply Chain Visibility
    Supply chain visibility solutions provide visibility into the movement of raw materials, components, and finished goods from suppliers to manufacturers to the final buyer. Solutions are typically built on a centralized cloud-based platform that integrates data from multiple systems, including those those of partners. Technologies such as Smart Sensors, RFID, and digital ledger protocols can enable additional functionality. For example, digital ledger technology can keep logs of all transactions occurring on the network in a secure way, while providing supply chain partners with access to specific data. Visibility solutions can enhance the efficiency and transparency of supply chains, record the quantity and transfer of products as they change hands between supply chain nodes, track change orders and buy orders, process shipment notifications, manage trade documents and receipts, link physical products to Bar Codes, and share information about processing or manufacturing processes with suppliers, logistics providers, and customers.
  • Hy-Vee - FMCG Retailer

  • Hy-Vee requires suppliers to include TempTRIP UHF Gen2 RFID tags powered by Impinj Monza X-8K chips with every order. The TempTRIP tags record time and temperature readings on pre-set intervals throughout the shipping and receiving process. When items arrive at the DCs, tags are passed by Impinj Speedway Revolution readers placed between dock doors. Each reader is connected to 11 antennas using Impinj Speedway Antenna Hubs. The readers collect and send data to TempTRIP's servers. Algorithms are applied to the data on a per-product basis, allowing each product to be evaluated based on specific temperature guidelines. After the data is analyzed, results are sent to a Hy-Vee website. Hy-Vee uses this data to refuse product, investigate product, measure performance, provide feedback to drivers, carriers and suppliers, and determine if an item should be discounted based on a shorter expected shelf-life. Once data is collected, the tag is cleared and configured for reuse. This system gives Hy-Vee 100% cold chain monitoring and management capabilities both inbound and outbound, from multiple suppliers, subsidiaries, distribution centers, transport carriers, and retail store locations.

  • Labor Costs, Logistics Cost, Shipping Time, Supply Chain Optimization, Temperature
  • Mature (technology has been on the market for > 5 years)
  • Impact #1
    [Cost Reduction - Labor]
    Labor cost savings
    Impact #2
    [Efficiency Improvement - Quality Assurance]
    Increased product shelf-life
    Impact #3
  • Benefit #1

    22% reduction in supplier costs

    Benefit #2

    97% reduction in data evaluation times

    Benefit #3

    five minutes to eight seconds

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