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Case Studies

Trasluz Achieves Control of All Processes and Activities Through RFID Technology

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Trasluz Achieves Control of All Processes and Activities Through RFID TechnologyTrasluz Casual Wear launched its business operations in 1999 with the objective of becoming an established brand in the children's fashion industry. Based in Burgos (Spain), the company designs and sells clothing for children aged between 2 and 16.

The company sells its products in its home country Spain as well as to Portugal, the UK, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany and the US, and is expanding its market presence using franchises, multi-brand channels and online sales.

With these ambitious expansion plans, Trasluz decided to introduce state-of-the-art technology in order to automate the maximum number of logistics and distribution processes possible, and set up an effective track-and-trace facility to trace every item of clothing ordered – from production through to delivery to the end client and all reverse logistics stages.

The chosen solution was an identification system based on passive RFID technology, which is fully integrated into the management software of the company.

Intermec and TAG Ingenieros were responsible for analysing, designing, planning and executing this project, as well as for developing middleware that manages RFID infrastructure, and designing innovative products such as reading portals and antitheft devices.

Source Tagging

The use of RFID technology in Trasluz's logistics processes starts with the printing and encoding of source tags as part of the production process for every item of clothing; a passive UHF tag which includes information on each garment is attached to every clothing item manufactured.

Source tagging is performed at Trasluz's own external production units, although the company has a centralised tagging system which provides a very simple way of controlling and configuring the printed serial numbers.

Trasluz sends the clothing designs to the production centres, as well as the plan for tag production. This gives great flexibility when printing tags based on their order and reference, and allows tags to be printed as and when necessary according to the orders placed.

The Central Warehouse

Once the items of clothing have been tagged, identified and boxed, they are taken to the central warehouse. There, the receiving system uses RFID readers which validate the receipt of incoming goods. The readers have significantly optimised the goods receipt process as the RFID technology enables hundreds of tags to be read at one time without having to open the boxes.

Picking and Stock List

The central warehouse is responsible for supplying the shops with merchandise. When shops place an order, the warehouse workers – who are in charge of supplying the correct goods – have Intermec rugged handheld computers with IP4 and IP30 RFID handles, which they use to identify the items of clothing and complete the order.

Dispatch

Once the franchise orders have been completed, the warehouse uses another RFID portal which incorporates an IF61 RFID reader for the identification of items to be dispatched. The system ensures that the packages correspond to the orders placed and enables errors to be detected during order preparation, helping to speed up resolution and avoid costly refunds or claims to the shop network. When loading the packages, the system is responsible for sending automatic messages to the respective franchises, allowing shops to prepare for receiving the incoming goods.

Shop Delivery

Once the orders have been delivered to the shop, a reading is taken (without having to open the boxes) using rugged handheld computers with IP4 and IP30 RFID handles. The information obtained is uploaded to the shop system which checks that the order placed matches the delivery. If everything is correct, a notification is sent to the central warehouse.

Thanks to RFID technology, staff at each of the shops can check stock levels much more quickly and frequently, as clothing tags can be read simultaneously and at a much faster rate.

The Benefits

Trasluz has identified numerous benefits of using RFID technology for its operating processes:
  • Fewer employees required for managing the warehouse: Trasluz has estimated that time required for receiving goods has now been cut by half.
  • Dispatch processes are 100% reliable: Trasluz has also been able to fully automate their reverse logistics.
  • Reduced number of thefts in transit: Rugged handheld computers carry out immediate checks on goods entering the shop and compare numbers with the order data.
  • Time savings are another great benefit enjoyed by Trasluz: Stock levels can be checked in less than an hour; warehouse stock checks can be carried out in just one working day.

In short, Trasluz has successfully achieved total control of all its processes and activities in real time – from the start of the chain (production) until the item of clothing reaches the end client, including returns using RFID technology.

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