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Source Tagging & How Does it Benefit Retailers: EAS Tags

EAS Tags

“Find out all you need to know about Source Tagging & How it benefits retailers.”

EAS tagging is a very common practice in the retail industry. It is an affordable and effective method of maintaining item security inside the stores. However, many businesses have now shifted to include this technology well before the items reach retail establishments. This is known as source tagging. 

So, without wasting any time, let’s have an in-depth look into source tagging & how it benefits retailers.

What is Source Tagging?

The name is quite self-explanatory in itself; source tagging refers to applying electronic security tags on the items at the source. The “source” in this context refers to the facility where the item’s manufacturing and packaging takes place. Usually, the manufacturer produces, packages, and ships the item to retail stores. After receiving the said items, the store employees tag the items for safety reasons.

Source tagging involves the use of EAS Tags on products before packaging them and sending them off to the retailers.

What are EAS Tags?

The term EAS refers to Electronic Article Surveillance. These are secure-hard tags that prevent any item from leaving the store without permission. An EAS tag contains a small sensor inside it that can communicate with the RF security gates at the exits. Once an activated EAS tag enters the detection zone of the security gates, it sends a signal to the gate alerting them of the theft. The gates will then sound an alarm telling the security, that the tagged item has not been billed.

There are different types of EAS Tags that most retailers use to maintain the security of their items. Utilizing different principles to effectively communicate with the security gates. These are difficult to remove forcibly without damaging the products. EAS systems have consistently been shown to significantly reduce instances of theft and shrinkage.

The Benefits of Source Tagging for Retailers

The practice of source tagging is tried & tested, several times throughout many industries. And it has proven itself to show remarkable results & improvement in business operations. There are many benefits to adopting this practice for both the manufacturer/supplier and the retailer.

(A). Cost Reduction

By shifting the burden of tagging to the source organization, the cost of investing in the tagging shifts to them too. In addition, the labor at the source is also more skilled in applying these tags. Meaning, that there is a reduced chance of damaging the products during tagging.

(B). Increased Productivity

EAS Tagging can be a very time-consuming task, given a large volume of goods. With source tagging, the retail workers don’t have to engage in tagging the items. Meaning that they can skip this time-consuming process and increase their productivity. The workers can take the products directly from receiving to the sales floor.

(C). Resource Reallocation

Another benefit of removing a time-consuming unproductive task from your operations is the increase in available manpower. The retailers can use the freed-up employees and reallocate them towards some other productive process. This not only reduces costs but also improves productivity & profits. 

The freed-up workers can now focus on tasks like sales and helping customers.

(D). Recycling & Reusing

The retail workers will usually detach the tags at the POS (Point of Sale) during the billing. Then send the tags back to the source facility, where they will use them to tag their future shipments. This process keeps repeating, significantly reducing the cost of purchasing new tags.

(E). Supply Chain Security

Usually, these tags only operate within the retail facility (in operations where source tagging doesn’t happen). However, with source tagging, the supplier can ensure the safety of their shipment throughout the supply chain.

A Brief Introduction to Different Types of EAS Tags

There is more than one type of EAS system, based on the type of tags they use. There are three types of EAS tags that are used for security systems in the retail sector. So, let’s discuss in brief about them.

(A). Acousto-Magnetic

These tags use acoustics to communicate with the security gates. The security gate transmits a high-frequency signal. Once a tag enters this signal zone, it starts to vibrate at a specific frequency and creates a sound wave. These sounds are picked up by the receiver inside the security gate. If the acoustic is of the correct frequency as programmed in the gate, it will sound the alarm.

(B). Electro-Magnetic

EM (electromagnetic) tags are a bit more complex than AM tags. These tags consist of an amorphous metal strip and a layer of ferromagnetic material. When the tag enters the space between security gates, the signal from the gate will start vibrating the metal strip.

If the ferromagnetic layer is magnetized, it will stop the strip from vibrating, allowing the tag to pass. But, if the layer is magnetized, then, the strip will vibrate, creating an electromagnetic field of its own. The gates will detect this field and sound the alarm.

(C). Radio Frequency Identification

This is just a standard RFID tag that works with EAS gates. The tags consist of a small antenna and a microchip. Once, the tag enters the communication field of the gates, the radio signals coming from the gates hit the antenna of the tag. The antenna reflects the signal using radio backscattering. This signal carries the data on the tag and the gate receives the signal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How does source tagging work?

Source tagging refers to the process of tagging individual items with EAS tags at the manufacturing/warehousing point, instead of the retail facility. Basically, shifting the responsibility of EAS tagging from retailers to the suppliers.

This has several benefits like reducing the cost & time spent by retailers on tagging. And allowing the suppliers to keep their items safe throughout the supply chain.

Q2. What is the difference between EAS and RFID?

Both EAS and RFID are technologies used for item security inside retail stores, warehouses, and manufacturing plants. However, the difference lies in the way they work. EAS uses acoustic waves to alert the security gates of their presence. On the other hand, RFID tags communicate data with the gate/readers using radio signals.

Q3. What does EAS stand for in retail?

In the retail industry, EAS refers to Electronic Article Surveillance. These systems are used to secure the products/items inside a store and prevent theft.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Aug 17, 2023

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