Annin, a midsize enterprise that manufactures more than 10,000 different flags and flag accessories, implemented the pilot project within three months, which will allow the company to achieve Wal-Mart compliance by January 2006. Annin also anticipates that its investment in RFID technology from SAP will bring significant cost savings. The announcement was made at the EPCglobal U.S. Conference 2005, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, September 13 – 15. “We analyzed the cost of the project and the RFID tags,” said Carter Beard, vice president of manufacturing and business systems, Annin. “The RFID capabilities provided by SAP NetWeaver will enable us to ship more accurately. As a result, we expect to reduce retailer charge backs for shortages by 50 percent when fully deployed. That alone will pay for our project. SAP RFID technology will enable us to reap these benefits.”
After a comprehensive evaluation, Annin chose SAP RFID technology to help the company meet retailer compliance timeline. A significant factor figuring in Annin’s decision to implement SAP was the ability to seamlessly integrate RFID with other SAP solutions already running at the company. “The flexibility of the RFID technology allowed us to model our RFID processes while automating business processes with EPC information into our existing SAP platform,” said Beard. “We were also able to leverage existing investments and skill sets in SAP within our organization. It was a no-brainer.” SAP NetWeaver provides companies with a powerful platform to manage, integrate and leverage RFID data within their SAP and non-SAP business applications. By integrating a combination of SAP NetWeaver components with core business applications, such as enterprise resource planning or supply chain management, customers can RFID-enable their business processes. The implementation of SAP RFID technology was facilitated by Annin’s implementation partner CIBER Novasoft.
The integration of SAP RFID technology and the pre-existing SAP IT infrastructure means information captured from the RFID tags for the more than 500,000 master cartons shipped annually can be accessed directly in the enterprise SAP system. Retailers can track and report on the movement of Annin’s inventory tagged with RFID through warehouses and stores. By creating this real-world aware network, Annin has laid the groundwork for shipping items using RFID and developing an integrated and scalable approach to the technology, providing benefits beyond merely meeting the Wal-Mart requirement. “This is great example of how a manufacturer can create a real-world aware network with the help of SAP RFID technology,” said Amar Singh, senior vice president, RFID, SAP. “While fulfilling a key retail industry requirement, Annin & Co. gains real business value and demonstrates the broad possibilities of this technology for the consumer goods and retail industries.”
Source: SAP AG