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The wireless way to track stock


In the early 1990s, Nordic ID had its first contact with the retail sector and developed a solution based on barcodes to assist in monitoring inventory. For a decade, barcode technology was the core of the Finnish company’s business. This field remains a significant part of Nordic ID’s portfolio as the company continues to serve its long-standing customers.

“We also offer new products in the barcode sector, so it is still an area of activity for us,” says Mirva Saarijärvi, Head of Marketing. “RFID has taken over as our primary focus, however.”

Nordic ID cooperates with partners, who supply the middleware or hardware, to complete projects according to customers’ needs. However, service does not end with the sale: The company has manufacturer support that services all clients.

All cases are handled in this way and not through call centres. “It doesn’t matter how big the customer is,” Ms. Saarijärvi adds. “We assist them all.”

The food retail sector has been one of the company’s primary target groups and is still a major customer for barcodes. For Nordic ID’s RFID solutions, the target markets are clothing and fashion retailing, logistics and RTI (returnable transport item) management, the automotive sector, tool rental, textile rental and healthcare.

In the healthcare market, Nordic ID has developed solutions for blood banks and medical institutions. The supply chain and logistics companies benefit from the RFID expert’s competence, particularly regarding RTI (returnable transfer items).

The company also offers a special solution for the construction industry. “Customers attach our products to tools and consumables,” Ms. Saarijärvi says. “It allows workers to find the tools at all times, and the owners have a constant inventory of their tools.”

Another example of Nordic ID’s technology in use lies in rented clothing, such as workwear. “These clothes have to be cleaned after they’re worn,” Ms. Saarijärvi explains. “We have a solution that ensures that the right clothing then gets to the right location afterwards.”

Nordic ID was founded by Jorma Lalla, today’s majority shareholder, in 1986. Mr. Lalla was team leader at Mobira, which later became Nokia, and worked on the Mobira Talkman, the first mobile phone in the world.

In its early years, Nordic ID focused on engineering for wireless data transfer. The company was able to initiate activities abroad early on, establishing itself in Germany and the UK, which continue to be key markets. In order to support these activities, subsidiaries have been established in both countries with a further office soon to open in the UK.

Another market with huge potential is the US which Nordic ID is just beginning to target. Exports throughout Europe and to the US are a crucial part of the company’s business, accounting for 80% of annual sales.

The company employs a staff of 40 and generates annual turnover of ten million EUR. Nordic ID has a number of new products in the pipeline. Among its latest innovations is the recently-launched area reader.

“It is a real revolution for us,” Ms. Saarijärvi says. “It is usually mounted to the ceiling and continuously collects and transfers data. Its key features are location monitoring and motion detection. This is very valuable in tracking incoming and outgoing stock.”

The company has also updated some of its mobile readers. The Nordic ID Medea product family has grown with one more device which features a touchscreen for improved ease of use.

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