Their goals for RFID initially were to improve visibility and inventory accuracy within their DCs and stores, in order to make smarter and timelier store replenishment decisions. Based on the success of pilots run in early 2012, they decided to roll out RFID to all stores in the chain, tagging 100 percent of merchandise sold.
Tags are applied by their suppliers at the source. Products received at any of their distribution centers are read by a tunnel reader on the conveyor belt at the receiving operation. This automatically reads all of the items in all of the cases and compares it against the ASN sent by the supplier. If there are any discrepancies, then the items are put aside for rework and investigation. They found that this alone improved their supplier quality levels tremendously. And it actually saved time in the receiving process since there was no need to read barcodes anymore.
This is a true multi-enterprise implementation. This high-end fashion retailer's distribution centers are run by two different 3PLs, each with their own warehouse management system. This required integration with their two different WMS systems (one of them proprietary), as well as the various ERP systems, suppliers, and their own store operations and other systems. Thus the ability to integrate across many different platforms, third parties, and trading partners was an important solution selection criterion for this fashion retailer's company.
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Keywords: RFID, apparel supply chain, warehouse management, WMS, enterprise resource planning system, ERP, RFID implementation
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