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Overview on the Business Operations of Oz

Discuss about the Effects of RFID Technology on Efficiency.

The most important strategy to the improvement of any kind of business is to achieve customer satisfaction. To achieve this goal various business houses adopt various methods, strategies and technologies. Some strive to increase the variety of products that can be offered to the customer while some try to improve the efficiency of the services offered to the customer to improve the experience of the same (Mathur, Mathur & Kenyon, 2012). Some organisations take up the strategy to provide the offered products at a cheaper rate in comparison to its competitors in the market to attract more customers whereas there are other business institutions that provide with lucrative promotional gifts to allure a large amount of customers (Pepe & Pepe, 2012). The report serves the purpose to introduce the business operations and the technologies implemented by Oz Supermarket, a new chain of supermarket that deals in stationery, domestic and indelible commodities. The organisation is seeking and implementing technologies to improve customer experience in shopping that will help to develop growth in the business. The methods implemented by the company are discussed in detail in the later part in the report. Some of the latest and sophisticated technologies are adopted by the organisation so that the customers can utilise their valuable time only for the purpose of shopping and do not have to waste a single moment in exit queues for payments of the commodities that they have taken form the market.

Oz Supermarket is an emerging retail chain of supermarkets that specifically caters for stationery, domestic and indelible goods. To improve its position in the market the organisation has adopted certain methods and technologies that will help to avoid exit queue for the customers. The goal of the company is to create a stress and rush free environment for the customers so that the customers can enter one of their stores, grab what they need and exit the store almost instantly without having to wait for the payment of the items taken. The technologies implemented by the company will help in automatic analysis and payment of the commodities taken by a customer and thus help the company to achieve their objective. The technologies that are implemented by the organisation are discussed below in detail.

The organisation has adopted PayWave technology completely as a primary step to achieving their goal. PayWave is a new and revolutionary technology in the field of electronic transactions. It enables a user of an electronic card like a Credit or Debit Card to wave the card in front of a contactless Point-of-Sales (PoS) terminal instead of swiping or dipping their card into a PoS terminal (Garg & Jain, 2015). The consumers enter any store of Oz Supermarket by waving their card at the entry terminal in front of a PoS machine where the details of the card are registered (Driver et al., 2015). The organisation has transformed to total cashless transactions, which saves a lot of time and expenditure for the maintenance of extra accounting and payments management personnel.

PayWave Technology

The trolleys to which the customers store their chosen commodities while browsing through the store are affixed with RFID readers. All the commodities offered by the organisation are also installed with RFID tags. Radio frequency identification (RFID) reader is a device that serves the purpose of acquiring data from an RFID tag that can be used to monitor each object separately (Jia et al., 2012). The technology utilises radio waves to transfer data from the tag to the reader.  Once a customer grabs a commodity from the Oz stores and drops it in the trolley, the RFID reader installed in the trolley gathers the data of the object via the RFID tag that is installed along with the object. The data gathered includes the object id, price and specifications of the object and other important data related to the object (Sun, 2012). The RFID reader tags the object to the customer’s registered card for payment at the time the customer finally exits the store (Yang et al., 2013). In case the customer puts the object back to the store from the trolley, the order is cancelled. Every store has shopping summary stations that are placed at strategic positions of the same to help customers to view the details of the items that are stored in their trolleys. A consumer simply exits the store without waiting for the payment of the shopped commodities as the goods registered for payment are automatically charged against the registered card of the customer. Therefore, no queues for payment are formed at the exit of any of the stores of Oz Supermarket.

The organisation has provisions for customers who do not have a PayWave card as well, especially for tourists and children. In such cases, the customer will have to deposit an amount of cash deposit at the front desk of the store where they will be issued with a store-issue PayWave card for shopping within the store (Jalkote et al., 2013). The customers can then shop freely and exit the store after completing shopping just like the PayWave cardholders without waiting for paying for the shopped goods. The payment for the bagged goods is deducted from the deposited cash and any outstanding balance either is returned to the shopper in cash or is stored for any future purchase. In case, the deposited cash is insufficient for the payment of the shopped goods, the customer is informed by ringing a warning alarm (Anyaegbunam, 2014).

RFID Technology

The process of installing RFID tags along with every goods for sell includes surcharge on the price of the goods, which the company absorbs from the customers in hurry (Piramuthu, Wochner & Grunow, 2014). The store claims car park charges per minute during the peak hours of shopping, while during lean hours the charges for car parking rates are low. Parking charges are free for disabled people. Therefore, it is evident that the company not only earns revenues by selling its commodities but it cleverly utilizes the car parking lot during the peak and lean shopping hours by charging the parked cars of the customers per minute.

Oz Supermarket has adopted some efficient technologies and strategies to improve the response from its customers that will help in furthering the growth of the company in terms of both reputation and competition in the market. However, it is recommended to follow certain measures that will help to achieve the goal of the company effectively.

The implementation of PayWave technology is undoubtedly a smart choice for attracting more customers. However, there are some risks associated with using this technology that is required to keep in mind. The use of a contactless card, where authorisation is obtained just by waving the card in front of a PoS terminal can raise serious security issues (Cocosila & Trabelsi, 2016). A hacker equipped with sophisticated pick-pocketing tool can obtain such authorisation easily by standing close enough to the customer during the process of authorisation. The hacker can then use the obtained data from the card to retrieve cash or perform illegal transactions that can cause financial or reputational damage to the customer (Bodhani, 2013). Lack of transaction receipt in such kind of transaction renders the cardholder helpless to track such unauthorised transactions.  Therefore, it is recommended to install anti hacking devices like the Anti-Hacker Toolkit within the store that will be able to detect such unauthorised activities and block it instantly. The implementation of electronic transaction receipts will also help a cardholder to track any unauthorised transactions that may have been done using the credentials of the card used by the cardholder (Fiedler, Keppler & Ozturen, 2012).

The company uses RFID reader in the shopping trolleys and RFID tags in every commodity offered to the customers to maintain a hassle free shopping experience for the customer. However, the use of RFID technology can raise certain issues that may cause problems for both the company as well as its customers. The RFID devices use a specific frequency of radio wave to communicate among each other, which can be easily disrupted by countering the signal with another rogue signal of the same frequency thereby causing harassment for customers in the store at the time of checking out (Shin & Eksioglu, 2014). Presence of two or more RFID reader, emitting signal at the same time can cause RFID reader collision that can cause problem in the functionality of the readers (Yoon & Vaidya, 2012). The tag fails to respond to simultaneous queries. It is recommended to implement an anti-collision protocol also known as a singulation protocol to the system that will allow the tags to take turns in transmitting the data to a reader. The RFID tags can also face the problem of collision if many tags are present within a small area. To avoid such eventualities, it is recommended to implement systems that will allow the tags to respond one at a time.

Recommendations

Apart from the technical issues regarding the use of RFID technology in the organization, there are many security implications as well that needs attention to prevent problems. RFID tags do not have the facility to differentiate between different readers. Moreover, the tags can be read from a distance of a few yards, which enables a hacker to detect the contents a customer is carrying in the bag without alarming the same. Sophisticated software is recommended to be used that will help to protect the contents of a consumer of a tagged product from unauthorised breach of their privacy (Shin & Eksioglu, 2014).

Apart from the technologies that the company has already implemented to improve customer service, another option is suggested in the report that can help in the improvement of the same. To allow the customer to reach the desired product quickly, the company can arrange the products in the supermarket alphabetically or according to the type of use. This will help the customer to obtain the desired commodity without losing valuable time shuffling through the huge stock of goods that is displayed by the organisational stores. Pictorial descriptions of each product can be attached to the shelf where the product is kept. This will help customers to receive information regarding the commodity and may inspire them to buy it, which will improve the rate of sell for the company (Jahanshani et al., 2014).

This part of the report provides some suggestions that will boost the business operations of Oz Supermarket.

The company can consider implementing customer feedback system that will help the organisation to understand the requirements of the customers and improve their business strategies accordingly (Jaakkola & Alexander, 2014). The feedback system will help the organisation to recognise its operational flaws that needs to be sorted for providing better service to the customers thereby adding to the growth of the company.

A product-quality-review-system can also be incorporated within the organisation where the customers will provide reviews regarding the products they have purchased from their store and used. This will help the company to identify the commodities that are higher in demand than the other goods, which will allow the organisation to decide their plan of action regarding the storing of goods that will attract more customer attention (Trentin, Perin & Forza, 2012).

Finally, the company can also consider the idea to implement an internal feedback system for the employees of the stores that will provide feedback to each employee by the management of the company depending on their daily, weekly and monthly performance. This will permit the employees to identify the drawbacks in their mode of service, which will help them to learn from their mistakes and provide the scope to improve in future. Such a system will aid in the improvement of the business operations of Oz Supermarket.

Conclusion

The report concludes with the insight that Oz Supermarket has undertaken some excellent strategies that will surely help it to further its business. However, some precautions need to be taken regarding the use of the technologies, which they have implemented to avoid harassment and inconvenience of the customer. The recommendations and suggestions provided in the report can also help in the growth of their business.

References

Anyaegbunam, F. N. C. (2014). Electronic Alternatives to Raw Cash: The Advent of Cashless Society. International Journal of Engineering, 3(2).

Bodhani, A. (2013). New ways to pay. Engineering & Technology, 8(7), 32-35.

Cocosila, M., & Trabelsi, H. (2016). An integrated value-risk investigation of contactless mobile payments adoption. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 20, 159-170.

Driver, T., Saunders, C., Guenther, M., Dalziel, P., & Rutherford, P. (2015). Maximising export returns: the use of digital media and smart technology in shopping and information gathering for food and beverages in markets relevant to New Zealand. Lincoln University, AERU.

Fiedler, M., Keppler, T., & Öztüren, A. (2012). CONTACTLESS PAYMENT, A RFID DOMAIN AND ITS ACCEPTANCE BY CARD HOLDERS. VIII. ?nterdisciplinary Management Research (IMR) Conference.

Garg, R., & Jain, S. (2015, May). Requirements Analysis on Pay Wave. In Advances in Computing and Communication Engineering (ICACCE), 2015 Second International Conference on (pp. 573-576). IEEE.

Jaakkola, E., & Alexander, M. (2014). The role of customer engagement behavior in value co-creation: a service system perspective. Journal of Service Research, 17(3), 247-261.

Jahanshani, A. A., Hajizadeh, G. M. A., Mirdhamadi, S. A., Nawaser, K., & Khaksar, S. M. S. (2014). Study the effects of customer service and product quality on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Jalkote, V., Patel, A., Gawande, V., Bharadia, M., Shinde, G. R., & Deshmukh, A. A. (2013, February). Futuristic Trolley for Intelligent Billing with Amalgamation of RFID and ZIGBEE. In IJCA Proceedings on International Conference on Recent Trends in Engineering and Technology 2013 (No. 5, pp. 13-17). Foundation of Computer Science (FCS).

Jia, X., Feng, Q., Fan, T., & Lei, Q. (2012, April). RFID technology and its applications in Internet of Things (IoT). In Consumer Electronics, Communications and Networks (CECNet), 2012 2nd International Conference on (pp. 1282-1285). IEEE.

Mathur, S. S., Mathur, S., & Kenyon, A. (2012). Creating value: successful business strategies. Routledge.

Pepe, M. R., & Pepe, M. S. (2012). Using point of sale (POS) data to deliver customer value in the supermarket industry through category management practices. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 6(1), 69.

Piramuthu, S., Wochner, S., & Grunow, M. (2014). Should retail stores also RFID-tag ‘cheap’items?. European Journal of Operational Research, 233(1), 281-291.

Shin, S., & Eksioglu, B. (2014). Effects of RFID technology on efficiency and profitability in retail supply chains. Journal of Applied Business Research, 30(3), 633.

Sun, C. (2012). Application of RFID technology for logistics on internet of things. AASRI Procedia, 1, 106-111.

Trentin, A., Perin, E., & Forza, C. (2012). Product configurator impact on product quality. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(2), 850-859.

Yang, P., Wu, W., Moniri, M., & Chibelushi, C. C. (2013). Efficient object localization using sparsely distributed passive RFID tags. IEEE transactions on industrial electronics, 60(12), 5914-5924.

Yoon, W., & Vaidya, N. H. (2012). RFID reader collision problem: performance analysis and medium access. Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, 12(5), 420-430.

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