Publication Details

This article was originally published as Hamilton, D, Michael, K & Wamba, SF, Overcoming Visibility Issues in a Small-to-Medium Retailer Using Automatic Identification and Data Capture Technology: An Evolutionary Approach, International Journal of E-Business Research, 5, 2009, 2-20. Original journal information available here


The aim of this paper is to review the inventory control practices of a small-to-medium retailer, in order to identify common challenges these organizations experience with respect to automated data capture (ADC) and the implementation of an enterprise wide information system. The study explores a single case of a hardware store in a regional town of NSW, Australia. Four semistructured interviews were conducted with employees of a small-to-medium retailer focusing on issues related to inventory control including: delivery discrepancies, the checking and sorting of orders, locating stock and goods, loss prevention, customer purchasing and point of sale processing and replenishment. Flowcharts have been used to illustrate the current processes of the retailer with a view to understanding how ADC technologies like bar code and radio-frequency identification (RFID) may impact the retailer in a future mode of operation. The findings of the study promote an evolutionary approach towards the use of automated data capture technology by adopting barcode technology first, and then introducing the complementary RFID technology once basic benefits have been achieved. The study concludes that automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies can only be effective if an enterprise is committed to some form of enterprise resource planning which then allows for intra enterprise integration and internal transparency.



Link to publisher version (DOI)