Tracking tech cuts it for jewellers

Ngee Soon Jewellery executive director Jan Ho, whose shop is one of the earliest adopters of the RFID technology. Above right: The system uses a scanner to process the jewellery pieces for stock-taking.
Ngee Soon Jewellery executive director Jan Ho, whose shop is one of the earliest adopters of the RFID technology. ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO
Ngee Soon Jewellery executive director Jan Ho, whose shop is one of the earliest adopters of the RFID technology. Above right: The system uses a scanner to process the jewellery pieces for stock-taking.
The system uses a scanner to process the jewellery pieces for stock-taking.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO

Jewellers are taking a shine to RFID (radio frequency identification) technology that enables their staff to be more productive.

About 15 of them here use it to cut the time taken to track and account for missing or stolen items, andto reduce the time for stock-taking.

Ms Jan Ho, executive director of Ngee Soon Jewellery, one of the earliest adopters of the technology, said: "Today, it takes less than an hour to locate lost items, compared to a full day before the RFID system was implemented.

" This frees up more time for customer engagement and the selling of products."

The RFID system at Ngee Soon's Yishun outlet was showcased yesterday as part of efforts by the Singapore Jewellers Association (SJA), which has close to 300 members, to get more jewellers to adopt it.

The technology uses tags with chips which can be detected by a scanner. A program accounts for the jewellery pieces against the total stock. With it, it takes one person to do stock-taking, instead of two employees doing so by hand.

Ms Ho said Ngee Soon took about a year and spent about $50,000 to set up the system.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann, the guest of honour at the event, said: "The implementation of this technology can help businesses to ensure overall increase in productivity and improve the working environment for employees."

Jewellers at the event expressed interest in the technology. Boon Lay Gems managing director Teo Kian Yeong said: "It will be very helpful to cut the three to four hours every day just taking stock."

Ms Jun Ang, 53, a supervisor at Ngee Soon, said: "It was difficult to learn, but the technology has really helped to save time."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Tracking tech cuts it for jewellers'. Print Edition | Subscribe