"Updating electronically in real-time would be great," says Steve Dethlefs, distribution manager with Pendleton, "but it's hard to cost justify."
Those vendors phone, fax, or e-mail shipment status, including container number and vessel, allowing Dethlefs
to track ship movement.
"With the small volume we do, manual tracking is sufficient," he
However, Pendleton ramps up the use of technology for outbound information flow.The company scans bar codes on individual garments as they are packed into cases, gathering the data necessary for advance ship notices to customers who require information via EDI.
"We average two dozen garments per case," notes Dethlefs
, "and the customer wants purchase order number, vendor and the SKUs of each item in the case."In this application, he
suggests, RFID could be a significant benefit to apparel supply chains.
expects customers to demand RFID tags.He
believes department stores are waiting for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s
push to RFID to play out and for the price of an RFID tag to drop to five cents.
sees uses for both bar codes and RFID long into the future.
...While scanning bar codes doesn't eliminate human error such as grabbing too many garments, RFID readers gather data from every item in a carton, suggests Steve Dethlefs, distribution manager with Pendleton Woolen Mills.