3 Questions to...
In this edition of our ‘3 Questions to…’ series, Dr. Stefan Rassau, SVP Intelligent Things Business Division at SMARTRAC, gives some insights into the untapped opportunities in businesses. He highlights how SMARTRAC can help retailers and brands to get to the next level of digitization, and describes what makes SMARTRAC's Internet of Things approach so unique.
Where do you see the biggest untapped business opportunity for the industry?
In my view, there’s a tremendous opportunity for retailers and brands to go super-digital. So, what does “super-digital” mean? Many companies and industries have digitized their business processes to a certain extent, but the majority of them haven’t taken the full path of digitization to the very end. Today, manufacturers of branded products are not managing their value chain holistically, on a per single individual item basis, from raw goods to manufacturing, distribution, point of sale, consumer interaction and recycling. Imagine a world where all players in the value chain could access through an “Internet of Simple Things” all the relevant data needed to improve their specific part of the value chain, and provide data to the other players along the chain to improve their parts, too.
So far, we at SMARTRAC have worked very successfully with brands and retailers to “digitize things” for specific parts of the value chain, and have seen the creation of tangible benefits and significant improvements in key performance indicators. The next step for us is to continue working with our customers and take a broader end-to-end perspective to unleash even broader optimization potential.
How could SMARTRAC help retailers and brands to get to the next level of digitization?
Typically, we come in to help companies embed or attach RFID tags into their specific branded products. This may sound simple, but thanks to our extensive transponder experience across a large number of different applications, we have learned that it just isn't as simple as it sounds.
As each transponder contains a unique identity, it can then be used to connect the individual branded product to the relevant product data (e.g. color, size, manufacturing date, material, etc.) or other related data sets, for example from the point of sale, or ownership registration. All these data sets can be stored securely in our Internet of Things platform SMART COSMOS, and are accessible in a secure and controlled manner by authorized parties. We can even provide special “enablement kiosks” for factories to help them create the first data connection between the RFID tag, the individual product, and SMART COSMOS.
Last but not least, we work closely with retailers and brands to implement specific solutions on top of SMART COSMOS. One example is our EXPERIENCES solution, which runs on SMART COSMOS and can be used to add digital consumer experiences to a branded product along the entire product lifecycle.
What make SMARTRAC’s Internet of Things solution approach unique?
Firstly, our unique position as the global leader in RFID transponder manufacturing. Only SMARTRAC can provide the high quality, reliability and high-volume availability required, when it comes to delivering transponders that stay embedded in branded products and have to remain functional until the product’s end of life.
Secondly, only SMARTRAC brings a robust, highly scalable Internet of Things platform to the table that has the RFID tag data preloaded, and is designed for easy integration into existing IT systems and quick solution delivery. As the platform is technology-agnostic and supports not only RFID transponders but also other identifiers such as QR codes or VIN numbers, to date we have been able to cover all existing data models that are being deployed across a variety of different industries.
Thirdly, only SMARTRAC has spent many years building and establishing a very comprehensive and strong global partner network of converters and system integrators, who can help to embed RFID transponders in the most demanding applications, as well as helping to implement new solutions within challenging physical and IT environments.