With the advancements of living standards and the continuous evolution of lifestyles towards leisure and comfort, open-shelf sales have become the primary means for people to shop in most retail stores. This approach improves service quality and efficiency, but the resulting loss of goods has become a headache for business owners. How to prevent theft of goods and protect the business has long become a topic of interest to retailers. Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) and RFID technologies are currently two technologies used separately to reduce theft of retail goods and track retail goods. In this article, we would explore electronic surveillance systems and spotlight the benefits of RFID as an effective EAS technology.
Electronic Article Surveillance or EAS is a term used for a high-tech anti-theft system used commonly in libraries and the retail industry. EAS gives retailers a defense ability and prevention from goods getting stolen. For the traditional EAS security model, a security tag gets affixed to an item. The said item is authorized to leave the store when the EAS tag is removed from the store item or deactivated by the sales associate. In a situation where the tagged item did not pass an approved sales procedure, an alarm gets sounded at the exit.
The typical EAS system generally consists of the below processes
1. At the exit of each store, install an electronic sensor so that the authorized product can exit securely.
2. Attach an electronic sensor to the product
3. All authorized product is demagnetized to allow for exit
4. When authorized products attempt to go through the exit, the access control detector detects and issues an alarm to intercept the goods’ exit.
RFID systems can be used for security against theft prevention like the EAS systems. RFID is an acronym for “radio-frequency identification” With RFID, digital data encoded in RFID tags gets captured by a reader via radio waves. You can read all about RFID and how it works here. The advantage of the RFID technology is that missing items get quickly identified, and taking inventory becomes more efficient as you can easily account for every missing item. Real-time data collection is also useful for studying trends of thefts so that weak security points get reinforced.
While EAS are deployed solely to trigger alarms during thefts and have no memory or identification number in its tag, RFID tags contain a unique identifying number that allows RFID tagged items distinguishable from one another. With RFID, when any item gets picked, the store attendant can quickly tell which exact RFID tag left from the store. While identifying the missing/stolen items does not necessarily help after the theft may have happened, collected information provides insights about the stolen item, and policies to prevent future reoccurrence can get sketched.
The ability to know what went missing. With RFID tags, retail systems can tell what went missing, and this makes it easier for retailers to replenish stolen goods faster and prevent loss of sales caused by inventory disappearance.
For cases where thefts occur amongst staff, the traditional EAS may not detect this because the shop staff knows to avoid detection. But with RFID as an EAS, an auditable trail of asset movement is provided, and with this, retailers can differentiate between internal and external thefts.
Lastly, RFID as EAS enables the retailer to introduce Smart Alarming. Not every item requires the activation of an audible alarm. For example, goods with low prices will not require furious and audible alarm perhaps a notification to the sales attendant will do. With RFID as EAS, higher-priced items can get set up to trigger a camera or alarm, while those items that are lower-priced get set up to send a notification. With RFID, you make the rules for the alarm system you prefer.
In the not-so-distant future, traditional EAS security systems and passive security tags will become obsolete. They will become overshadowed by RFID tags and readers that contain all the components necessary for security, shipment tracking, supply chain management, inventory management, and much more.
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