Over the past six years, small appliance manufacturer Conair (Cuisinart, Waring, Rusk, Scunci) has reported tremendous success using RFID in its factories and supply chains. With RFID Conair has reportedly reduced labor costs, increased cash flow and improved inventory management and on-shelf availability.
As one of Wal-Mart’s top 100 suppliers, in 2003 Conair was faced with the challenge of tagging all Wal-Mart bound pallets and shipping containers with RFID. Conair went above and beyond Wal-Mart’s request, creating an entirely separate entity called United Security Applications ID to focus on developing an optimal supply chain process.
USA ID selected EPCglobal’s Gen 2 UHF tags equipped with both long-range and short-range antennae for tagging their products on an item level scale–one step beyond the pallet-level tagging Walmart requested.
Peter Arguin, Conair’s Director of Technology and Engineering, reports that the item-level tagging showed immediate benefits on Conair’s end, resulting in improved visibility of their products along the entire supply chain, automated order fulfillment, improved inventory management, reduced shrinkage and faster reconciliation of shipped versus received product.
Then Homeland Security came calling, asking for Conair’s expertise on secure shipping containers. UDA ID developed a passive RFID Gen2 bolt container seal, which records information on the contents within the container as well as record the shipping bill as the container passes through customs. The bolt seal is currently undergoing pilot runs with Customs, who are “very excited about it,” says Agruin.
Since adopting RFID technology, Conair has reported increases in sales with Sam’s Club, a direct result of its revamped, automated operations.