MPL Group Manages Inventory at More Than 99 Percent Efficiency

By Edson Perin

Last year, the clothing retailer and manufacturer sold two million apparel items representing 36,000 SKUs, a volume that demands greater visibility of inventory throughout the entire supply chain.

Grupo MPL, a company that produces men's clothing, knitwear, jeans and flat fabric apparel made from materials such as tricoline or twill, has implemented a radio frequency identification system to control 100 percent of its goods. Responsible for the production of the brands M.Pollo and Paco, the company is headquartered in the Brazilian city of Aparecida de Goiânia. In addition to its factory, the firm operates three stores in the metropolitan region of Goiânia.

According to Marcus Antonio Bezerra, MPL's head of strategy and innovation, stock accuracy with RFID is more than 99 percent reliable. "We can make inventory counts more frequently," he says, "ensuring greater control of goods, because counting can be accomplished in less time, with fewer people and in a much more agile way than with bar codes." The company's products are sold throughout the country, mainly in Brazil's Southeast and Northeast markets, at more than 5,000 stores.

"Annually, we launch 36,000 new SKUs [stock-keeping units]—that is, 36,000 pieces in different colors and sizes from our collections," Bezerra says. "In 2019, we invoiced two million pieces. For the entirety of Brazil, we managed all of our stock via RFID portals. We have greatly increased the productivity of our logistics employees and have greatly reduced overtime in the sector, thereby providing greater dignity to our greatest assets: our people."

With an RFID system from iTag Etiquetas Inteligentes, as well as readers provided by BlueBird, Bezerra says, "We improved our delivery performance and we supplied the entire retail chain in the agreed-upon terms. The visibility of inventory and logistics gained a much higher level of accuracy and efficiency, allowing us to control the volume produced, the goods in stock and our customer service with total precision, with a much greater frequency than before, since we adopted the RFID system."

Before the RFID deployment, MPL Group performed all inventory counts using barcodes, which was a time-consuming manual process prone to errors. According to a study conducted by the University of Auburn's RFID Lab, barcode counts reach an average of 86 percent in terms of accuracy, whereas with RFID, the same task can achieve an accuracy greater than 99.99 percent. In a recent interview with IoP Journal, Bezerra explained how RFID improved the company's processes and performance; the video (which is in Portuguese) can be viewed here.