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Patrizia Pepe Brings Efficiency to Its Supply Chain
The Italian fashion designer has doubled the efficiency of the intake and shipping of its apparel as the garments are processed at the company's distribution centers, while its tagged clothing can also be read at some stores by customers looking to learn more about the products.
Jan 06, 2012—Since installing radio frequency identification systems at its three distribution centers and attaching an EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag to every garment that it sells, Patrizia Pepe—an Italian fashion designer of clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry for men, women and children—has more than doubled the amount of products that each DC can handle per hour as they are received from factories or shipped to stores, according to Lorenzo Tazzi, the company's information technology manager. Patrizia Pepe has also installed a video "totem" at four of its stores, in order to capture the tag ID numbers of garments carried by customers, and display product information.
Therefore, in August 2009, Patrizia Pepe launched a pilot of RFID technology, under the guidance of researchers at the University of Florence. The five-month pilot took place at the company's largest warehouse, in Mezzana, and included tagging 60,000 items as they were received at the DC, and then tracking them until they were shipped to stores.
Systems integrator Solos Identificazione e Protezione provided the integration of RFID data from hardware supplied by IDNova, which selected Impinj Speedway Revolution readers for the deployment. Patrizia Pepe, working with IDNova and Solos, decided to attach an RFID tag to the back of every item's bar-coded brand label, explains Fabrizio Innocenti, IDNova's managing director, so that the RFID tags could be encoded at the same time that the bar codes were printed. The partners used two types of RFID tags—one measuring 64 centimeters by 32 centimeters (25.2 inches by 12.6 inches) in size, the other 37 centimeters by 14 centimeters (14.6 inches by 5.5 inches)—each made with Impinj Monza 4D chips.
During the pilot, Patrizia Pepe sent bar-coded labels with pre-encoded RFID tags to the apparel manufacturers, which then placed a label on each item as it was packaged.
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