GS1 Australia officially launched the new Apparel RFID Implementation Guidelines to provide retailers and suppliers in the Australian apparel, fashion and footwear industry with best practice guidance on RFID implementation based on global learnings.
The guidelines were launched at Ragtrader Live: Designed2Disrupt in Sydney with Sean Sloan, Manager – RFID & Omni-Channel from GS1 Australia in front of leading industry representatives, innovators and influencers attending Australia’s premier apparel industry event to explore strategies for successful retail.
The Apparel RFID Implementation Guidelines include Item Level Tagging and Format and Symbol Placing guidelines.
As one of the panel experts discussing digital disruption at Ragtrader Live, Sean Sloan said the guidelines provide some best practice guidance to assist retailers, manufacturers and suppliers with the successful and cost effective implementation of EPC-based RFID Item Level Tagging (ILT).
“The Australian retail sector continues to make an important contribution to the economy. The adoption of EPC RFID using GS1 standards will give the industry an opportunity to improve inventory accuracy throughout the supply chain, reduce out-of-stocks on the shop floor, boost sales, track individual items and deliver a faster check out experience for the customer at Point-of-Sale. When implemented correctly, RFID has the potential to significantly, and positively, disrupt an organisation’s business,” said Mr Sloan.
The guidelines also include instructions on the efficient identification, serialisation and placement of a GS1 EPC tag – an RFID swing tag carrying a serialised Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
Checkpoint System’s Vice-President Merchandise Availability Solutions Asia Pacific, Mark Gentle said suppliers are also discovering powerful benefits from RFID, shattering the common perception that RFID is only gaining traction with suppliers because of compliance requirements.
“Forty per cent of apparel brands are now source tagging with RFID labels and it has become a new requirement for Omni-channel. The conversations I’ve had with suppliers indicate that RFID is a win-win for both suppliers and retailers. One apparel supplier noted that his firm is now capturing mistakes before merchandise leaves the factory, reducing supply chain costs significantly because of fewer returns and increasing customer service because merchandise is available on store shelves,” added Mr Gentle.
Supply chain efficiency is paramount in the success of moving a product from the point of manufacture to the customer. The launch of the guidelines will be a game changer in the adoption of RFID across the retail sector.
The guidelines are based on the GS1 Germany RFID Implementation Guidelines for the Apparel, Fashion and Footwear Sector 2015 and the GS1 US EPC Based Guidelines for the Apparel Industry 2014, and have been localised for the Australian marketplace.
Both of these countries have very mature and successful RFID programmes in place with retailers including Gerry Weber, Adler Modemärkte, Marc O’Polo, C&A and Adidas NEO in Germany, and Macy’s, HBC Group (Hudson Bay, Lord & Taylor, Sak’s), Dillard’s, Target Corporation, Kohl’s, Sears Holdings, JC Penney and Walmart in the US.
Mr Sloan commented, “The major benefits of deploying EPC-based RFID ILT technology using open GS1 standards include keeping the costs down and increasing competition within the solution provider community.”
To learn more, download the Apparel RFID Implementation Guidelines