By embedding data in a RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tag, Wal-Mart is able to retrieve this data using a transceiver with a decoder without any human involvement. They are able to collect this raw data into useful information which then can be used to order low inventory, organize the unloading of trucks and prioritizing which crates need to be put on the store floor.
Using RFID technology, Wal-Mart can track each package as it leaves the supplier and begins its transit. Once it reaches a Wal-Mart distribution center it is automatically read into the inventory management system. Inventory is instantly updated. Orders are placed on stock that is low.
Wal-Mart places RFID readers throughout its stores to track the location of every package in its inventory. When a package arrives at the receiving doors it is read. Backroom storage is constantly updated as inventory is moved to the sales floor and replenished. As inventory is moved to the sales floor there is a reader that updates stock on the shelves eliminating the need for a stock person to check for any missing items. There is even a reader located at the box crushers.
E-commerce using RFID technology eliminates some of the steps required in purchasing goods. The traditional process for placing a purchase order required many steps. After tracking that inventory was low someone had to physically prepare a purchase requisition and obtain approval from the controller. The requisition is then sent over to the purchasing department where it is then mailed to the supplier. Wal-Mart has automated this process using RFID. Now when a purchase is needed the order requisition is delivered to the supplier electronically whenever inventory reaches a pre-determined level. The information system is set up in a way that there is no longer a need for personal to approve an order and because the order is placed electronically the supplier would receive it within seconds rather than within days.