RFID Talk Blog

White paper identifies use cases for item level RFID in apparel supply chain

The Information Technology Research Institute at the University of Arkansas has released a white paper designed to show the value of RFID to apparel suppliers. Unveiled at Tuesday’s meeting of the Item Level RFID Initiative at NRF, the white paper identifies more than 60 item level use cases for apparel suppliers.

The Phase I findings reveal that the potential benefits of item level RFID in the apparel supply chain reach beyond the retailer and include apparel manufacturers. For example, improved backroom-to-shelf replenishment and greater perpetual inventory (PI) accuracy, both possible from RFID, can offer manufacturers the opportunity to increase top-line sales, due to higher product availability at the retail shelf.

“The suppler side is a little more complicated,” says Cynthia DiPietrantonio, chief operations officer for Jones Apparel, which operates 750 retail stores and is also a manufactuer of apparel gods sold at retialers like Macy’s. “A review of your supply chain is very critical because there are a lot of different components that you need to take a hard look at. As a supplier, if you sell fashion products to several different retailers, you really need critical mass adoption in order for this to work because it’s very difficult to segregate you inventory.”

The white paper found that RFID offers manufacturers the opportunity to improve inbound and outbound operations at many levels. By implementing RFID, the supply chain can undertake scanning as each carton crosses the dock door at any location, which should substantially decrease the number of touches per carton. Because labor accounts for the largest portion of variable costs in an apparel distribution network, RFID is very promising in terms of labor cost reduction.

Click here to read the executive summary and download the report.

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