Japanese apparel and textile consortium cuts costs with RFID technology

(UPM Raflatac, Tampere, March 22, 2010) ­ I.T.'S International Co., a consortium of Japanese apparel and textile companies including Flandre, Teijin Group and Sumikin Bussan Corp., have implemented RFID technology in store operations. The solution, providing cost savings throughout supply chain and resulting in positive effects on consumer prices, utilises UPM Raflatac ShortDipole RFID tags. This is the first large scale item-level RFID implementation for the Japanese textile and apparel industries.

The solution, named SPA (Speciality Store Retailer of Private Label Apparel), is compliant with the guidelines for RFID in apparel supply chain management provided by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry coupled with the Japan Apparel Industry Association. Moreover, it is the first-ever RFID operation commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan.

The SPA solution has been implemented in all phases of the supply chain, including production, distribution and stores, for all parties of the consortium. On store level, the RFID implementation saves time as information processing for incoming goods can be done immediately instead of doing it manually, item by item. Stocktaking and inventory data transfer between stores are also substantially faster, as they can be done in real-time by utilising RFID.

Information on stock situation for products by colour and size, as well as related goods and their location are instantly available. The item-level solution streamlines also check-out process as clerks can scan all products for payment simultaneously. This leaves more time for store personnel to focus on customer service.

For strategic planning in the apparel industry, RFID technology has a lot to offer. As in this case, the technology can be harnessed to provide data of customer profiles, trends and goods movement, which create an excellent basis for brand strategy planning and product development.

For further information, please contact:
Mr Edward Lu, Sales and Marketing Director, Asia, RFID, UPM Raflatac, tel.
+65 9173 0884

About UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac, part of UPM¹s Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world¹s leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials and the world¹s number one producer of HF and UHF radio frequency identification
(RFID) tags and inlays. UPM Raflatac has a global service network consisting of 13 factories on five continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals worldwide. UPM Raflatac employs 2,600 people and made sales of approximately EUR 0.95 billion (USD
1.3 billion) in 2009. Further information is available at www.upmrfid.com.

About Flandre
Flandre is one of the leading Japanese companies manufacturing and selling ladies' and children's clothing. Flandre has about 600 shops in Japan.
Flandre employs 3,000 people and made sales of approximately USD 600 million in 2009. Further information is available at http://www.flandre.ne.jp/

About Sumikin Bussan Corp.
Sumikin Bussan is a Japanese trading company concentrating on marketing and import/export of steel, machinery and metals, textiles, foodstuffs, among others. Sumikin Bussan employs around 1,000 people and made sales of approximately USD 12 billion in 2009. They are one of the leading companies in developing RFID solutions for businesses and started distribution for Impinj, Inc. RFID products in Japan. Further information is available at http://www.sumikinbussan.co.jp/index.html and http://www.sbrfid.com/front/bin/home.phtml

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