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Retail and apparel companies have been among the early adopters of RFID technologies, both internally and within their shared supply chains. Many businesses are already seeing benefits, and are prepared to share their insights about those benefits, as well as the implementation issues they needed to address before achieving them.

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May 1, 2013

1:30 PM—Track Session
How American Apparel Leverages RFID at Stores and in Its Supply Chain
American Apparel, a vertically integrated clothing manufacturer and retailer, is close to achieving its goal of employing radio frequency identification at all of its stores to improve operations. Hear how the system enables the company to benefit from 99.8 percent inventory accuracy, reduced shrinkage, high employee morale and more. Additionally, learn how and why American Apparel has begun deploying the technology within its own supply chain, setting the standard that other retailers will follow.
Stacey Shulman, VP of Technology, American Apparel
• How to utilize item-level RFID to improve store operations
• Where the technology delivers supply chain benefits for vertically integrated retailers
2:20 PM—Track Session
Getting Maximum Value From a Disruptive Technology
Since its introduction to retail more than a decade ago, RFID has been used in a variety of ways, from pallets and cases in the fast-moving consumer goods supply chain to individual apparel items. In all uses to date, the technology has been misunderstood and underutilized as simply "a super bar code." Only when companies begin recognizing and using RFID for what it truly is—a disruptive technology—will its full value be realized. In this session, Dr. Bill Hardgrave will discuss the emergence and misapplication of RFID, and explore how it should be properly viewed and deployed.
Dr. Bill Hardgrave, Dean and Wells Fargo Professor, College of Business, Auburn University
3:10 PM—Track Session
RFID Eliminates Shrinkage at Borsheims' Jewelry Store
To track inventory levels, most jewelry stores conduct a daily count of goods moving into and out of vaults during off-hours, with larger cycle counts of an entire store performed less frequently. Borsheims, a century-old jewelry store owned by Berkshire Hathaway, maintains a 62,000-square-foot facility that stocks 88,000 pieces of fine jewelry and other goods ranging up to $1 million in value. As such, tracking expensive items is critical. Since last year, the retailer has employed RFID technology to accurately capture daily inventory counts and sales data for watches and high-value jewelry. Hear how the store, while initially using the technology to track watches, found that staff members could read the more than 400 watch tags daily in less than 15 minutes. That same process, sans RFID, previously took more than 30 minutes to complete. Learn how the firm is reducing the amount of time required for inventory counts, as well as eliminating shrinkage and providing better control over store inventory.
Erin Limas, Chief Financial Officer, Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts
• Why the retailer chose to use a small label tag (measuring 18 millimeters by 14 millimeters) to be discreetly fixed to an item, and then be discarded once that merchandise is sold
• Future plans, including the ability to automatically extract sales data, thereby updating inventory status as each tagged item is sold
4:00 PM—Track Session
Mexican Department Store Chain Uses RFID to Improve Order Management and Inventory Accuracy
Liverpool, a Mexican department store chain with 76 locations, has expanded its RFID-tagging program, which it rolled out in late 2007 after two years of testing. Since that time, more than 2,300 of the retailer's suppliers have begun shipping their products in tagged plastic totes to the company's main distribution center, where the EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags are read and used to confirm incoming shipments, as well as ready them for distribution to retail stores. Hear how 200 suppliers that receive goods in single-use cardboard cartons are also tagging their shipments, thus enabling the firm to leverage its RFID infrastructure for all incoming products at the DC. The retailer estimates that the suppliers will apply 3 million tags to single-use cartons annually.
Felipe Ivan Campos, Process Engineer, Liverpool
• How the DC is now able to process the receipt of 230 cases or totes per minute—up from 60 per minute using a bar-code scanner to identify each one
• How the use of RFID to count inventory takes 89 percent less time than doing so manually

May 2, 2013

9:00 AM—Track Session
Universal Studios Orlando Engages Customers with RFID
In 2012, Universal introduced The Horror Unearthed, adding a new twist to its Halloween Horror Nights mystery-based promotions. The program required participants to use an RFID-enabled card while making sequential visits to seven unique haunted-house mazes and locations throughout the park. It was used to identify, track and reward those who participated in both online and "in-park" activities. Learn how the system enabled game designers to provide an instantaneous response to guests, via e-mail or text messages delivered to their cell phones, to immediately update their individual scores displayed at a dedicated Horror Unearthed Web site, and to modify the guest experience in real time based on the RFID results. Hear how RFID helped to create a unique, interactive entertainment experience.
TJ Mannarino, Director of Art and Design Entertainment, Universal Orlando Resort
9:45 AM—Track Session
Comprehensive Analysis of RFID Performance Within Retail Stores: What Can a Retailer Expect?
The University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center has completed a detailed analysis of the EPC read environments of various retailers' stores. The study, comprising thousands of hours of exhaustive data capture and analysis of tagged items within actual retail store implementations, contains information regarding data-capture rates and the performance of the current generation of RFID technology. Hear the study's results, and learn about the process issues that retailers might need to address in order to achieve better EPC performance, including supplier source tagging, label attachment, returns, in-store tagging, store environment, tag performance, reader performance, scanning, associating RFID information and more.
Justin Patton, RFID Research Center Managing Director, University of Arkansas

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RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 is produced by RFID Journal, the World's RFID Authority.

All conference sessions are subject to change, and RFID Journal reserves the right to alter dates, programs and speakers at any time, as circumstances dictate. Sessions without assigned speakers indicate a target topic; every effort will be made to ensure that a program of equivalent standard and value is available.

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