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Proview Deploys RFID System

The monitor and TV manufacturer has launched an RFID system at its manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, to tag shipments to retailers and issue advance shipping notices.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 18, 2006Proview International Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based manufacturer of computer monitors and televisions, has launched an RFID system at its manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. The new system will tag and track cases and pallets of products Proview ships to Best Buy and other customers. Best Buy requires its suppliers to apply Electronic Product Code RFID tags to shipments sent to the retailer. The system uses Manhattan Associates' software integrated with Proview's existing in-house data system.

Proview came to Manhattan Associates in search of a solution that would allow the Chinese company to continue using its legacy material requirements planning (MRP) data and tracking system. "The questions they asked were very much focused on integration," says Manhattan Associates' director of product management, Greg Gilbert.

What Manhattan Associates provided was its EPC Manager application, which acts as an interface between the tag's EPC number and the company's existing MRP system. EPC Manager accesses information from the MRP system, such as the type and quantity of items in a case and each item's serial number. The software then encodes and prints out RFID smart labels with EPC numbers corresponding to the company's serial numbers. Proview employees apply the labels to cases at the production line. Once the cases are tagged, have passed quality assurance and are loaded on pallets, the EPC Manager captures all the case tags at the manufacturing line and prints out a smart label for application to the pallet.

Manhattan Associates also provided RFID integration to manage reader communication with Proview's legacy MRP system and filter tag data. In that way, Gilbert says, the system allows Proview to maintain its existing tracking system with its own in-house serial numbers. Proview uses these serial numbers for such functions as issuing advance shipment notices, (ASNs). These serial numbers and EPC numbers are both stored in the Proview system, allowing users to cross-reference a serial number to the corresponding EPC number. The data is also integrated back to the company's existing system to generate reports for internal use, to track inventory and to issue ASNs to Best Buy. "They are used to performing with their own ID numbers," Gilbert says, adding that with the new software, Proview can "to maintain a cross-reference between the data on the tag and the data in their system."

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