Understanding the Gen 2 Smart Label Supply Chain: What Retail Supply Chain Professionals Need to Know

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Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology promises to usher in major efficiencies and enable a truly demand-driven retail supply chain based on Electronic Product Code (EPC). Not only can inventory be managed in an automated fashion without line of sight using wireless RFID readers, but "just in case" inventory is possible with individual items being managed at the carton, case, or pallet level.

The EPC supply chain that delivers consumer goods to retailers is similar in many ways to the supply chain that delivers Gen 2 smart labels for application to their cases and pallets. Demand-driven supply chains such as these can only be efficiently managed through cooperation among all parties in the process. While the age of the bar code required close partnerships among retailers, consumer product goods (CPG) manufacturers and their label suppliers, the age of EPC Gen 2 requires an even greater level of collaboration and coordination with Gen 2 technology suppliers to reap the rewards from EPC deployments. It is becoming increasingly important for CPGs and retailers to understand the amount of lead time required to fulfill their Gen 2 smart label orders and how changes in forecasts that occur in the production phase can impact label delivery.

This white paper details the Gen 2 smart label manufacturing processes to make retail supply chain professionals aware of the lead time requirements and how important their initial input is in keeping the supply chain demand-driven. By leveraging the insight and experience of major RFID players, CPGs and retailers can achieve greater efficiencies in their own supply-chain management.

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