A leading global retailer in the UK serves 80 million shopping trips per week.
A multi-billion dollar apparel brand was working hard to build an efficient supply chain system that could improve operational flow. Specifically, this brand wanted an automated supply chain solution that would reduce human error in packing and resolve mispacked carton shipments from the distribution center. The brand owner ultimately hoped to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and promote their brand image by creating a strategic plan with a RFID solution provider.
SML IIS, a member of SML Group, was chosen for its leadership and excellence in RFID products and solutions after winning the business from a competitor that was unable to deliver the required results.
The brand was using a standard process of auditing 1 in every 100 cartons, which generated many inaccurate carton shipments. Mispacked shipments were negatively impacting the brand financially, while their ineffective supply chain system was damaging their reputation as a top supplier.
Facing the above business challenge, the large brand employed its first RFID solution provider, hoping to resolve carton shipment problems while reducing cost and improving efficiency. However, the first provider did not perform accurate audits, could not serve the brand well, and was unable to deliver on its business objectives.
The apparel brand switched to SML IIS’s Clarity™ Inventory RFID Item-Level product to facilitate carton-level auditing on shipments to customers.
This brand now uses Clarity™, a proprietary RFID item-level inventory management solution, to quickly confirm that all items are present and accounted for without having to open cases, pallets, or boxes. The implementation utilizes a fully automated conveyor environment operating at over 250 ft/minute. Clarity™ receives a carton level shipment manifest from the warehouse management system and then monitors and audits every carton on the conveyor to ensure 100% packing accuracy. If a packing error is present, Clarity™ notifies the material handling system and the carton is diverted for manual rework. The simple and intuitive Clarity™ graphical user interface allows this brand’s line workers to easily identify which items have been correctly included as part of the shipment, and which remain missing or overpacked.
Clarity™ tailored RSSI filtering on readers to achieve the desired read zones without requiring excessive shielding on conveyors, helping to reduce the cost and complexity of deployment and maximising ROI to the brand owner.
The solution went live in 2011 at a single distribution center for all of North America and has processed tens-of-thousands of cartons carrying large quantities of itemlevel garments to retailers.
The program essentially paid for itself in less than 12 months. After installing Clarity™ the brand improved from 1.2% to effectively a 0% error rate—achieving 100% elimination of all incorrectly packed shipments with no more claims from customers, and extending its own reputation as a top-tier, reliable supplier.
Supply Chain Business Comparison
AboutSML IIS (A member of the SML Group)
SML Intelligent Inventory Solutions (previously Xterprise) is a developer of marketleading integrated RFID solutions focused on apparel brand owners and specialty retailers. SML IIS’s Clarity™ application platform is built around best-in-class features and functionalities combined with a deep understanding of the processes required to execute RFID inventory management in the retail supply chain, giving apparel retailers and brand owners a powerful solution while minimizing the complexity of deployment. Clarity™ is used by the world’s largest and finest retailers around the world, and supported by SML IIS’s global team of highly trained support personnel. As a member of SML Group, SML IIS can deliver any part of a complete RFID solution, including software, hardware, RFID-enabled woven labels, printed fabric labels, EAS, trim, printed paper tags, and more. SML IIS also manages encoding, serialization and tag management.