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Since installing radio frequency identification systems at its three distribution centers and attaching an EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag to every garment that it sells, Patrizia Pepe-an Italian fashion designer of clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry for men, women and children-has more than doubled the amount of products that each DC can handle per hour as they are received from factories or shipped to stores, according to Lorenzo Tazzi, the company's information technology manager. Patrizia Pepe has also installed a video "totem" at four of its stores, in order to capture the tag ID numbers of garments carried by customers, and display product information.
Beginning in 2009, Patrizia Pepe-a fashion brand of Tessilform S.p.A.-began seeking a technology solution that would enable it to improve the visibility of the supply chain at its DCs located in the Italian cities of Capalle, Mezzana and Vaiano. The company sought to know when goods were accepted into the distribution centers from production sites, when the products moved throughout the DCs and when they were sent to stores. Patrizia Pepe moves approximately 2.5 million items per year, divided into two main seasons: fall-winter and spring-summer. The firm had tried scanning a bar-coded label attached to each garment every time products were received, moved or shipped, but scanning all bar codes was time-consuming, the company reports. When tracking goods via bar codes, warehouse workers were able to handle between 180 and 200 items per hour, according to Tazzi, adding that the firm wanted to improve this speed.
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