Retailer transforms supply chain with RFID

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International apparel retailer Charles Vögele has implemented a Merchandise Visibility system in a move to RFID-enable its whole supply chain. 

The system, which was supplied by Checkpoint Systems, will cover point-of-manufacture to point-of-sale, using standard EPC Gen 2 labels.

It is the first standards-based system to RFID-enable a retailer’s entire supply chain.

The system is designed to help retailers to streamline their supply chains by applying smart tags to apparel merchandise at point-of-manufacture, and reading the tags throughout the logistics operations and into the store.

Once at the store, retailers can improve operations and increase shelf availability by tracking item-level merchandise throughout the facility into the back room, on the shop floor, in fitting rooms, and at point-of-sale.

This visibility will help retailers improve inventory replenishment, and reduce out-of-stocks and on-hand inventory.

For the Swiss-based retailer, this means the right merchandise reaches the right store shelves at the right time.

The retailer’s supply chain operations are a “logistical challenge”, haveing to deal with some 70 million garments sourced annually from more than 400 suppliers and distributed to 34 consolidation hubs throughout Asia and Europe.

The company’s vice president of supply chain Thomas Beckmann, said: “Our adoption of RFID has transformed and improved our operations from source to store.

“We have begun streamlining our operations and supporting our sales in ways that simply were not possible before; in many ways this marks the beginning of a retail revolution.”

Charles Vögele can now track and trace individual garments along its entire supply chain. This capability enables retailers to reduce logistics errors automatically.

Now, it can ensure that its most popular lines are always in stock and on display, available for customers to view, try on, and purchase. 

“Our adoption of RFID is transforming our business and ensuring that our customers find what they are looking for. In the fast-moving fashion industry, responding to the expectations of customers is the difference between success and failure,” said Beckmann.

The retailer is now planning to implement the solution more broadly across its global supply chain and stores throughout Europe. 

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