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Swiss Retailer Tracks Items From Production to Point of Sale

Charles Vogele Group, a European fashion retail chain and 2009 RFID Journal Award winner for Best RFID Implementation, has deployed an end-to-end item-level supply chain tracking solutions. In this PowerPoint presentation with audio, Thomas Beckmann, head of supply chain for Charles Vögele Group, explains why the company deployed the technology, how the data captured is being used and the benefits the retailer is achieving.
May 09, 2009—Charles Vögele Group, the largest clothing retailer in Switzerland, finds that using RFID technology has helped it illuminate what it calls the "black holes" in its supply chain, while also reducing stock-outs and the amount of time spent counting inventory by 50 percent, according to Thomas Beckmann, the company's head of supply chain. At RFID Journal LIVE! 2009, Beckmann described the retailer's progress with RFID to track its products from factory to store. Despite the economic recession, he indicated, the best time for an investment in RFID technology by retailers or other members of the supply chain could be now.

Charles Vögele sells fashion products at 851 stores throughout Europe, including Switzerland, as well as Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic, with 7,800 employees, and reported annual earnings of 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.3 billion). Because it has a relatively complex supply chain—with products manufactured in Asia and passing through several distribution centers before arriving at one of those stores—the company sought greater visibility of its products.

The system went live in 2008 following two years of development and piloting, Beckmann told a packed auditorium at the event. By using RFID, the company was able to achieve a 50 percent reduction in inventory-related labor, as well as gain visibility into weak points in the supply chain, from eight factories in Shanghai to four stores in Slovenia.

Listen to Thomas Beckmann explain why the company deployed the technology, how the data captured is being used and the benefits the retailer is achieving, while viewing his slide presentation.

Click on the arrow to watch the presentation

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