Retailers not only need the right data capture technology to meet the requirements of their applications, they must also decide on what the optimum technology is from the different symbologies that have been developed over the years. Automatic identification systems (AIS) are a priority to decision makers as they attempt to obtain the best blend of equipment to ensure greater loss prevention and higher reliability in data capture. However there is a risk of having too simplistic a view of adopting AIS, since no one solution is applicable across an industry or business model. This problem is addressed through an exploratory, descriptive study, where the nature and value of AIS adoption by grocery retailers in the Johannesburg area is interrogated. Mixed empirical results indicate that, as retailers adopt AIS in order to improve their supply chain management systems, different types of applications are associated with various constraints and opportunities. Overall this study is in line with previous research that supports the notion that supply chain decisions are of a strategic nature even though efficient management of information is a day-to-day business operational decision
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