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Checkpoint helps expand METRO "Tag It Easy!" program
Jul '09
Checkpoint Systems Inc, a global leader in shrink management, merchandise visibility and apparel labeling solutions, announced the expansion of METRO Group's RFID “Tag It Easy!" program.

This third phase of the program will involve more than 75 Chinese and Indian consumer goods suppliers, in addition to the 100 manufacturers already in the program from Hong Kong, China and Vietnam. “Tag It Easy!” participants apply RFID labels on shipments bound for METRO Group's facilities in Germany.

The "Tag It Easy!" program is part of METRO Group's Advanced Logistics Asia (ALA) initiative to improve logistics processes with its Asian suppliers, using RFID to track merchandise throughout the supply chain. METRO Group developed the "Tag It Easy!" program with Checkpoint, a strategic partner of METRO Group's Future Store Initiative, to assist suppliers in using RFID within their operations. As an exclusive third-party solutions provider Checkpoint continues to supply pre-printed RFID labels and services to suppliers in the region.

By using RFID to provide real-time visibility, METRO Group is increasing the efficiency of its supply chain, with the aim of improving the customer shopping experience. Suppliers benefit by eliminating manual counting and checking of export packages, enhanced proof-of-delivery information and more accurate shipping data, and also position themselves as reliable business partners in the highly competitive consumer goods market.

“Since the program's inception, the processing of incoming goods at warehouses and stores has been accelerated considerably and read rates using UHF EPC Gen 2 tags have been highly satisfactory,” said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, head of CIO-Office, METRO Group. “Time-consuming manual counts are no longer necessary, and that means goods get to the individual stores much faster and easier. Our ultimate goal is to optimize both the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chain management. The key to achieving this lies in maximizing transparency in the flow of products and information upstream and downstream throughout the supply chain. This project has the capability of achieving such a transparency.”

"I am impressed at how METRO Group continues to show market leadership in using RFID technology in its global supply chain," said Rob van der Merwe, president and CEO, Checkpoint Systems. "The success of the 'Tag It Easy!' program in multiple countries demonstrates the scalability and effectiveness of using RFID for enhancing supply chain visibility."

With the advent of the third phase, METRO Group enjoys end-to-end visibility for an increasing volume of products, which is the basis for supply chain optimization. The “Tag it Easy!” project provides a scalable infrastructure supporting the tracking of high volumes of shipments of different varieties.

Dr. Wolfram added, “Our partnership with Checkpoint is a significant step in introducing RFID into our supply chain. The local support and onsite training Checkpoint provides to the Asian suppliers, paired with the company's Check-Net services, which include local label printing and encoding, are key enablers that help accelerate the adoption of new supply chain technologies in the APAC region. With this approach, Asian suppliers do not have to worry about the technology or making huge investments. In addition, the use of global standards such as EPC global Gen 2, have formed the basis for a global and cost- effective adoption of RFID technology.”

The RFID labels provided by Checkpoint store the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), which is read at several points along the supply chain between the region and Germany. METRO Group receives an electronic advance shipping notice detailing the contents of each shipment (EDI), and the suppliers receive automatic proof-of-delivery notifications. Suppliers order the RFID labels through the company's global supplier portal, Metro Link.

Checkpoint Systems Inc

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