Contribution of RFID technology to better management of fashion supply chains

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Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to explore the deployment of RFID technology in fashion supply chain management (FSCM). It highlights the contribution of RFID to FSCM, supporting faster logistics activities, with greater products quality, cheaper and with more responsiveness, improving customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach– An inductive theory building approach is used to develop a conceptual model for RFID deployment in the FSCM context. Secondary data analysis from a sample of six companies supports the identification and discussion of the real advantages, disadvantages and barriers felt by companies in a fashion supply chain when RFID technology is introduced. Findings– The logistics activities in the fashion supply chain where RFID technology is most widely deployed are: shipping operations, tracking of raw materials, semi-finished components and finished garments, collecting finished goods, handling processes, tracking containers, tracking products from factory to store, receiving operations, monitoring, and sorting of merchandise. In most cases, the tagging operation is performed at some stage in the production process and tag reading occurs at distribution centres or at stores. The main barrier identified to the deployment of RFID is the problem of interoperability. The costs associated with the technology are the main disadvantage pointed out by the companies. Practical implications– A conceptual framework is proposed exploring the RFID advantages and disadvantages across the fashion supply chain, the main barriers to its introduction and the fashion supply chain logistics activities in which RFID could be found. This represents an important contribution to companies in this industry to become more aware of RFID. Also, new companies which are thinking of introducing this technology could overcome its barriers easily, improving its advantages and minimizing its disadvantages. Originality/value– This paper explores the deployment of RFID in the fashion supply chain from the perspective of technology users.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)128-156
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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