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Casino adopts InvoTech's RFID to track uniforms
Jan '12
Showmanship is a key ingredient for any casino resort's success. Employees' attire is a major part of a property's magical ambiance. The award-winning Rivers Casino Des Plaines, Illinois understands this. It fields more than 20,000 custom-designed staff uniforms to maintain the attractive look that casino guests enjoy and uses advanced UHF-RFID tracking technology to monitor each one.

“We have nearly 1,300 employees and 12 to 15 different uniform styles,” says Olga Pellecer, Rivers Casino wardrobe supervisor. “Each of our seven food and beverage outlets have unique themes and uniforms.” This many uniforms usually require labor-intensive procedures to hand sort and track garments. Rivers Casino wanted a more efficient process so it installed InvoTech's GIMS Uniform System with UHF-RFID technology.

GIMS tracks garments automatically

“RFID tracking technology enables us to run an effective garment operation with just four people,” says Pellecer. InvoTech provides Rivers Casino's uniform supplier with UHF-RFID tracking tags so new uniforms arrive with tags already sewn in. The GIMS real-time tracking system knows the location of each uniform once it arrives on property.

When employees come to work each day, they wave their ID card near a reader in the uniform room. This triggers an automated conveyer system that delivers the correct uniform in less than a minute. InvoTech's GIMS Uniform System automatically records which uniforms were picked up, and to whom the uniforms were issued.

UHF-RFID system counts hundreds of garments per minute without hand sorting
“Returning soiled uniforms is as easy as dropping clothing into a hamper,” Pellecer said. “A GIMS reader detects each item, logs it into the soiled bin and registers it for cleaning.” When moving soiled garments to and from the laundry pick up area, the staff pushes full carts past a GIMS UHF-RFID tracking station. GIMS automatically and instantly identifies, counts, and logs hundreds of uniforms per minute without hand sorting.

“When uniforms go out, we have one person pushing laundry carts,” says Pellecer. “When we receive deliveries from the laundry, one person can take delivery of 20 boxes with 1,000 pieces in a single operation. The GIMS system automatically cross-references our records against our vendor's invoice, and then we can send the garments to a storage area. Without GIMS, we would need two or three people to do a manual count. That would take much more time for a much less accurate accounting.”

Accurate reporting reduces losses, saves money and optimizes purchases
Just as important as speed and ease of operation is GIMS's accurate data and reporting, emphasizes Pellecer. “The system always knows who has each garment item. We've cut way back on losses. I know whether a garment is on our conveyor awaiting pickup, issued to staff, or out for cleaning or repair. If a piece goes missing, I know who's responsible.”

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