|Patrizia Pepe Case Study|
Patrizia Pepe Fashion
Customer: Patrizia Pepe, a fashion brand of Tessilform Spa that was established in 1998, has a presence throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. With collections for women, men, and young girls, Patrizia Pepe offers a complete fashion look including a wide range of accessories, from shoes to bags and jewelry. The company sells its clothing lines through a network of retailers, as well as in its own stores.
Tessilform runs the Patrizia Pepe brand with a business concept that provides both traditionally scheduled collections, as well as smaller, weekly collections that provide retailers with constantly fresh stock. They support this business approach with a flexible design, production and distribution system run from their Florence headquarters.
Challenge: Patrizia Pepe wished to improve the logistics of their warehouse: accepting incoming goods from their production sites, movement of items throughout the warehouse, and packaging of goods for distribution to the retail locations. They initially tried to use bar codes for this function. Because bar codes must be individually scanned within a line-of-sight, the acceptance of goods coming into the warehouse was too time-consuming.
Working with the University of Florence, Patrizia Pepe instituted a five-month pilot project beginning in August of 2009 to test the validity of an RFID solution. The pilot involved tagging of about 60,000 items for the second seasonal collection, and convinced the company to move forward with tagging all items.
Benefits: The primary benefit to Patrizia Pepe to date has been efficiency in the logistics process. For goods entering the warehouse, an operator used to handle 180-200 goods per hour using a bar code reader. With the new RFID system, they have increased their operation rate to 380-400 goods per hour. For distribution of goods to the retail locations (exiting the warehouse), each operator used to be able to process 140 goods per hour. Now, using the RFID system, it’s 330 goods per hour.
In addition to the increased efficiency, greater accuracy has also been a benefit of RFID-enabled logistics, as evidenced during the last season, when Patrizia Pepe did not receive a single error notification from any of their clients. The entire warehouse relies solely on RFID. Now that all of their products—about 2.2 million items—have RFID tags, Patrizia Pepe is investigating how to take further advantage of the technology. The first effort has been to include a product information "totem” area at retail locations in Florence and Rome. As customers walk by, the totem provides information about the garments they are carrying. Large monitors linked to the company’s website display information such as garment construction details, show short videos of a model wearing the clothes, and give advice on possible coordinating items or accessories—all enhancements to the customer experience while potentially providing additional sales opportunity.
Patrizia Pepe has future goals of monitoring the movement of goods throughout their retail locations by taking advantage of the RFID tags and the information they hold.