SML, A Global Item-level RFID Provider, has launched Its New Retail Ideation Space (RIS) in Plano, Texas


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Accelerating market demands for item-level RFID and other advanced technologies that are driving a new era in retailing has created the need for a real-world collaboration space. Retailers can utilize the RIS to learn about and test some of the latest developments that are at the convergence of operations, inventory and customer service.    

The Plano facility houses the headquarters for SML’s RFID software development and will also be the primary location for RFID development. In addition, the center will also hold ‘academy’ workshops to help retailers and brand owners work through the tailoring of technologies, processes and integrations required for scalable value-creating solutions. SML has evidenced that this collaborative approach to work through requirements, training and integrations can greatly speed up time to market and therefore maximize ROIs. 

The Plano retail ideation space includes numerous item-level inventory management and customer experience technologies including SML’s range of RFID-enabled Inspire tags and its enterprise-grade Clarity software. The center will have thousands of tagged items for testing across a wide spectrum of distribution center and store use-cases. It also includes a packaging and trim ideation studio to support direct hands-on collaboration around the design options and tradeoffs of packaging and trim offerings.   

According to Dean Frew, CTO and SVP of RFID Solutions at SML: ‘By deploying software solutions to thousands of retail stores and delivering billions of encoded RFID tags to retailers, we have learned that if we can assist in an agile engagement process with these retailers we can help them achieve ROIs faster and with less risk. In the RIS retailers will experience complete immersion in various technologies, directly aiding their digital transformation and will be able to accurately assess how adopting these technologies can be simply applied to their business.’ 

The ideation space will include technology from SML’s partner ecosystem including Microsoft, Bluebird, Impinj, NXP, Zebra and others.

‘Our team has worked closely with some of the largest most innovative retailers in the world to develop and deploy solutions that support remarkable ROIs,’ Frew said. ‘We are always innovating and will highlight and demonstrate our latest developments and test them with retailers across a spectrum of use cases in the RIS.’ 

In addition to this facility, SML plans to open two additional ideation spaces this year in the UK and in China to further support retail customers around the globe.