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Finnish Fashion Designer Begins Item-Level Tagging

Naisten Pukutehdas, maker of the NP Collection line of women's clothing, anticipates that RFID will increase the speed and accuracy of its shipments.
By Claire Swedberg
In the second phase of RFID deployment, expected to begin in January, the six retailers will employ RFID-enabled sales-floor shelves and fitting rooms with ADT RFID antennas to capture the location of the garments within each store, says Markus Rosendahl, RDN's CEO. In addition, the factories in China will begin tagging the clothes they make.

NP's long-term goal, Markus says, is to encourage its other retailers to deploy RFID handheld readers, as well as interrogators integrated with their point-of-sales (POS) system. "In the POS system," he explains, "the consumer privacy issues [will be] carefully considered. The RFID labels can be removed after the transaction."

According to Markus, the main benefit NP expects to derive from RFID is increasing the speed and accuracy of its shipping process. "One of the main problems in the logistic chain is shipping errors," he says, "so that was one of the main problems [being addressed by the RFID implementation]." NP Collection also hopes to expedite the shipping process by eliminating manual checks of inventory as it leaves the manufacturing or distribution site, as well as reducing the need for phone calls and other searches for products within the supply chain.

"The system is working well, currently," Markus says. He estimates that six months from now, NP will have recouped the cost of its RFID deployment—a calculation, he says, that is based on the cost savings that should result from reducing errors. "The mistakes are costing a lot of money," he notes. "Also, decreasing the out-of-stock and out-of-shelf situation has a major effect [on] the ROI."

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