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RFID: Solution to logistic delays in apparels
14
Mar '09
In logistics everything depends on timing and availability. The right goods, at the right time, at the right location, in the ordered quantity and number of units and of course, suitably packaged — providers of logistics services have to solve this task from day to day and, if necessary, several times a day. In demand are intelligent solutions offering maximum efficiency and the highest degree of environmental friendliness, a factor that is becoming increasingly important.

The ever shorter time frames for fashion in the trade and vertical integration of many processes in the interplay between clothing manufacturers and trading firms require logistics that are highly flexible and entirely oriented to the partner companies' needs. The structures of procurement, manufacturing, and distribution have to be disclosed if the logistics are to function.

This is why unrestricted trust and transparent processing and data are important prerequisites for efficient processes. “Time is money” remains the credo, because badly used time frames, or even down times, increase the cost of the end product and affect its marketability.

To speak of a no-error option for logistics is probably going overboard. The sooner an emerging problem is recognized, however, and the sooner it can be rectified, the more money it saves and the more effective the service packages on offer are. This is especially true in the global business of the fashion industry. The control of worldwide decentralized processes is therefore a key focus of the highly specialized logistics exhibitors at IMB 2009.

Providing the right mix in terms of transport options, one that takes into account economical and environmental aspects, is only one of the factors taken into account when selecting the right logistics partner. Generally it is more important to avoid unnecessary processing times and costs in the distribution centers.

One key focal point here is transport of hanging garments that protects the goods; another is delivery to stores before opening times, which does not disturb business, is department-specific and avoids unnecessary transfers of goods from store to store. Recyclable containers and outer packaging are environmentally friendly and solve the problem of waste disposal for the trade.

The risk of products being sold out can be avoided with special transport, and goods can be promptly dispatched for the return trip. Disorganized store warehouses are nowadays a thing of the past. To avoid unnecessary surprises when goods are being delivered from distant locations, the commissioning and control of a delivered shipment is relocated to the countries of production.

With the broad-based introduction of RFID technology in the worldwide flow of goods, it will not only be much easier to manage and monitor the one-to-one identification of individual products; it also will be easier to detect brand piracy. The fashion market andretail trade alike can profit from the precise counting and control of quantities and types of articles, as well as the early labeling of goods with RFID, as it enables them to intensively concentrate once again on their core areas of competence.

The logistics sector is especially concerned with sustainability issues, as it is being affected by rising energy costs and legislation. The exhibitors at IMB 2009 are already addressing this future topic and are offering a wide variety of solutions.

Koelnmesse GmbH

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