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Sandro Ferrone to Expand RFID Deployment

Already using Tageos passive UHF RFID tags to track its merchandise at its factory and primary distribution center, the Italian clothing company is preparing to deploy the technology at a second DC and its stores.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 10, 2014

For the past three years, Italian women's fashion brand and retailer Sandro Ferrone has been tracking goods tagged from the point of manufacture through to its primary distribution center. During the coming months, that deployment will be expanded to a second DC, as well as to some of its more than 200 store locations, most of which are in Italy. Since the system was taken live at its DC in Rome, the retailer reports that it was able to reduce the amount of labor required to pick products for store orders from 18 full-time employees down to six, while achieving 99 percent inventory accuracy.

Sandro Ferrone specializes in women's "fast fashion"—a trend that keeps newly designed apparel coming to consumers at a pace more rapid than that of the traditional retail model. The clothing brand and retailer releases five collections each year, as compared with the traditional model of two annual collections. Each year, Sandro Ferrone offers 800 unique garments or accessories and sells a total of two million items. To accomplish the fast-fashion supply needed in stores, the company must be able to move a limited volume of specific products very quickly, in order to ensure that the latest garments are available at the shops while there is low risk of merchandise remaining unsold.

Sandro Ferrone plans to leverage the RFID tags attached to its merchandise by installing RFID-enabled anti-theft technology within its stores.
In 2011, the company piloted an item-level RFID system to track each garment from its factories to its distribution center in Rome, and on to shipment to stores. Following that trial, Italian systems integrator Maestrale Information Technology, with support from RFID Global by Softwork, permanently installed the technology at the Rome DC (the company's main warehouse). Sandro Ferrone now plans to expand the deployment to a second DC, as well as to stores, throughout the next few months.

Tageos' Nicolas Jacquemin
The solution employs EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID labels provided by Tageos. According to Nicolas Jacquemin, Tageos' VP of sales and marketing, Sandro Ferrone's suppliers use an RFID-enabled version of Toshiba's BSX4T printer to generate an RFID label for every garment. The unique ID number encoded to each label's RFID chip is linked to the specific garment's stock-keeping unit (SKU) and other information, such as the date and location of manufacture, in software provided to Sandro Ferrone by Italian software firm Zucchetti.

The label itself—the EOS-300, made with a paper-only substrate with a printed antenna—is inexpensive, Jacquemin says. Sandro Ferrone selected that label not only for its low cost and ability to be easily printed with product information, he notes, but also for its dimensions—54 millimeters by 34 millimeters (2.1 inches by 1.3 inches)—which matched those of the price tags already being attached to the products.


Joseph Andraski 2014-09-13 07:10:42 PM
hi this is a wonderful case of the use of RFID, with substantial benefits. thanks for sharing and hopefully they will share their experience when RFID is used throughout the company. so exciting. cheers, joe

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