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Oxford Reaches RFID ROI Within 12 Months

The largest ceramic and porcelain maker in the Americas reports that it has achieved a return on its first investment in the technology, eliminating errors in its product-delivery process.
By Edson Perin
Nov 18, 2016

Brazilian firm Oxford, the largest ceramic and porcelain manufacturer in the Americas, is owned by the three founding families of WEG, another Brazilian company and one of the largest electrical equipment manufacturers in the world. Oxford has announced that it has achieved a return on investment (ROI) in radio frequency identification following 12 months of use, thanks to a reduction to zero of errors in shipments and deliveries of goods to its customers. Marcelo Correa, Oxford's logistics and RFID project manager, officially announced this result to the company's Board of Directors this month.

Located in the small, quiet city of São Bento do Sul, in the state of Santa Catarina, Oxford has 2,500 stock-keeping units (SKUs) and manufactures six million units monthly at all of its three manufacturing plants—one of which opened in July 2016 in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo. Once produced, the products are packed every month into 300,000 boxes, which must then be separated and delivered correctly according to each customer's request.

Oxford's Marcelo Correa
Oxford supplies dining appliances (plates, cups, mugs and sets of pans) throughout Brazil and abroad, and also exports its products to China. Among its customers are gift, decor and retail stores that sell ceramics and porcelain under the brand name Oxford, as well as companies that submit orders for promotional chinaware with their own brands—for example, porcelain mugs under the Starbucks Coffee brand.

Upon leaving the factory, the goods are packed according to customers' requests, in standard boxes to fit the ordered packages. There are collections that, for example, have in a single box 12 shallow dishes, 12 soup bowls, 12 dessert plates and so on. This is where the first step of RFID deployment comes in, as orders are routed to the packaging area with cartons and smart labels already printed on a roll.

Each box receives the label that identifies it according to its content, the number of units ordered and so forth. The packages are then forwarded to Oxford's stock area, where they are stacked in an organized and identified manner. In the passage from the packing area to the inventory area, there is an RFID portal that reads the tags, identifying the goods contained within each box. "Products can be transported by trolleys or by forklifts," Correa explains, "and are easily locatable, because the storage location is recorded by inventory employees in the ERP [enterprise resource planning system]."

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