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Monday, July 7, 2014

Apparel Industry Guidelines Item-Level Tag Adoption

Apparel companies continue the move toward Electronic Product Code item-level tag adoption.
Major American retailers, brands and technology providers had agreed on a set of guidelines for assigning serialized identification numbers to individual items, making it possible to trace individual products as they move through the global apparel supply chain.  The information standards organization GS1 US released the guidelines back in June 2012 at its annual GS1 Connect Conference.

The technical guidelines, provided best practices as well as various methodologies for assigning globally unique identification to individual trade items, using a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) plus a unique serial number. This combination is known as a Serialized Global Trade Item Number, or SGTIN.

Their goal was to offer consistent and practical guidance to any business embarking on EPC-enabled RFID technology at the item level.  The use of this method is a good example of how the apparel industry is driving the responsible use of RFID technology in order to achieve interoperability and inventory visibility like never before, all the way from the manufacturing source to the store shelf.

Assigning a SGTIN to individual items means that two otherwise identical units of the same product are uniquely identifiable, making it possible to fully use the power of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for simultaneous inventory counts and ensure that the right product is in the right place, at the right time.

Several of America’s leading retailers and brands were part of the working group responsible for the original document, including: Jockey International, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Maidenform, PVH Corp., along with several technology providers.

The guidelines are intended to supplement GS1 standards that are already part of the GS1 System, the world’s most widely used supply chain standards framework.

Serialization is a critical component of any EPC-enabled RFID implementation and a necessary early step for companies to prepare for the future retail supply chain.

For more information on the how GS1 US is serving the needs of the apparel industry or the GS1 US EPC Item Level Readiness Program you can visit http://www.gs1us.org/industries/apparel-general-merchandise .

About GS1 US

GS1 US, a member of GS1, is an information standards organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply-chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes. They achieve these benefits through solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, bar codes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC).

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