Barcoding for Fashion Supply Chains

Barcoding in the Fashion Supply Chain World

From GS1 Australia

In an effort to advance speed-to-market capabilities and efficiencies, many members in the fashion supply chain world are looking to tighten their inventory management and procurement processes.

Common identification of products is crucial in an environment where marketplaces are global, consumers expect high standards of customer service, and distribution centres hold stock waiting to be shipped.

Barcodes remain a foundational element to millions of businesses globally. They are a mature automatic identification technology, consistent, reliable and widely used in the supply chain. They are also cheap to implement with the purchase of supporting technology.

GS1 identification standards such as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) and Global Location Numbers (GLNs), in combination with GS1 electronic communication standards, can be used throughout order, fulfilment and invoice processes to accurately communicate information about merchandise and supply chain locations. In essence, the use of GS1 standards provides a global language of business for the common identification of products throughout a global supply chain.

In addition to barcodes, utilising RFID allows for much quicker counting of goods and a significant improvement in inventory visibility. It can improve inventory accuracy from an industry average of 70% to above 95%, plus speed up stock receiving exponentially.

To support RFID implementation, GS1 Australia recently launched the new Apparel RFID Implementation Guidelines to provide retailers and suppliers in the Australian apparel, fashion and footwear industry with best practice guidance on successful and cost effective implementation of EPC-based RFID Item Level Tagging (ILT) based on global learnings. 

Sean Sloan, Manager – RFID & Omni-Channel from GS1 Australia says, “The adoption of EPC RFID using GS1 standards will give the industry an opportunity to improve inventory accuracy throughout the supply chain, reduce out-of-stocks on the shop floor, boost sales, track individual items and deliver a faster check out experience for the customer at Point-of-Sale and online.”

By capturing mistakes before merchandise leaves the factory, supply chain costs can be significantly reduced for the supplier because of fewer returns and customer chargebacks. For many companies, this alone can justify investment in RFID.

GS1 Australia is the leading provider of standards and solutions for over 20 industry sectors. We introduced barcoding to Australia in 1979 and today we enable more than 17,000 member companies to become more efficient by implementing the GS1 system. We bring businesses, associations and industries together. This blended community comes to GS1 Australia for advice, networking and solutions to their supply chain challenges.


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