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2007 Apparel and Footwear Summit Report

Last month, almost 200 professionals gathered at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City to attend the second annual conference for apparel and footwear companies. View the presentations from the event.
Sep 17, 2007— Apparel and footwear companies around the world are using RFID technologies to improve the way they manufacture, ship and sell apparel and footwear products. RFID Journal's second annual Apparel and Footwear Summit, produced in partnership with the American Apparel & Footwear Association, showcased several recent success stories in that industry.

The summit was held Aug. 20-22, 2007, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. This followed the success of RFID Journal LIVE! 2007, held in Orlando this past April; RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2006, which took place in October in Amsterdam; and November's RFID Journal LIVE! Canada 2006, hosted in Toronto.

This year's summit was attended by nearly 200 professionals from retailers, distributors and manufacturers of apparel and footwear products, including end users and potential end users of radio frequency identification technology. Several end users presentated their findings at the summit so others could learn from their experiences using RFID in their operations. Those attending the presentations learned how to employ RFID technologies to boost sales and cut costs, as well as improve on-shelf availability; track work-in-process; improve shipping accuracy and delivery speed; and deter theft, diversion and counterfeiting of high-value apparel and footwear brands.

The conference opened with the RFID Journal University preconference seminar, designed for professionals in all industries looking to gain a basic introduction to the fundamentals of radio frequency identification. The seminar, offered at all RFID Journal conferences, provides an understanding of RFID hardware, as well as the latest developments and practical issues, and features a live demonstration of the technology. Topics include "RFID Basics," "The Physics Behind RFID," "RFID in the Real World," "Legalization and Standardization," "Real-World Considerations," "Building an RFID Business Case" and "Building on RFID With the EPCglobal Network."

The event featured an invitation-only Leadership Forum, a high-level roundtable meeting in which VIPs from the apparel and footwear industry came together to conduct a collaborative problem-solving discussion. Phil Calderbank, director of global marketing for RFID and security at Avery Dennison's information and brand-management division, addressed a number of criticial issues facing the apparel and footwear industry. These included reconciling SKU numbers with RFID codes; dealing with variable color codes and matching RFID codes with the correct tickets and labels; attaching and applying RFID tickets and labels; overcoming the need for carrying a large RFID base label inventory; coordinating item tagging at different manufacturing facilities; tying data into an 856 ASN; receiving and sending data from manufacturers to retail operations; and identifying the ROI for both vendors and suppliers.
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