This just in...Macy's and Bloomingdale's rolls out RFID item level tagging of clothing in ten categories beginning in February for all 810 stores plus DCs in 45 U.S. states, DC, Guam and Puerto Rico. In an effort to track inventory more easily on an automated basis, suppliers are being required to apply UHF (ultra high frequency) EPC Gen(eration) 2 RFID tags containing manufacturer, product code and a serial number in a serialized GTIN format (SGTIN-96).
An edeavor two years in the making, regularly stocked "replenishment item" clothing categories for this item level tagging kickoff of the Macy's RFID initiative include: intimate apparel, men's apparel including bottoms, underwear, belts, denim, dress slacks, dress shirts, suits and suit separates, sport coats and young men's denim. Eleven different RFID tag models from three different manufacturers have been tested and pre-approved by Macy's for immediate use. Twenty samples must be submitted for validation and approval, and RFID tags not on the approved list must be submitted for quality evaluation and potential approval.
The good news for us in the EDI world is that the RFID tagging with encoding information does not have to be transmitted as part of the Macy's EDI ASN (Advanced Ship Notice). Also, with the addition of an RFID enabled bar code printer/encoder, the EDI software presently used by Macy's suppliers to exchange purchase orders, invoices, ship notices and other documents can be used to drive the RFID encoding and printing process. What does this all mean? It means that the supply chain just got more automated and complicated. BUT, most EDI providers should be able to walk the affected suppliers through the process of implementing RFID tagging fairly painlessly.
The Aurora EDI Alliance is equipped to answer your questions and to assist with any B2B EDI, Bar Code or Macy's RFID requirements by providing a one stop solution.
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Congratulations to Sarah Herbst of Texas...the winner of our EDI book giveaway!