GS1 US has released a new guideline called the “Tagged Item Performance Protocol” (TIPP) to help the retail sector consistently define, test and verify the performance level of Electronic Product Code (EPC®)-enabled Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.
Developed by retailers, suppliers and technology solution providers, TIPP offers a standardized system to benchmark the performance of RFID-tagged items in multiple environments. Implementing an RFID program with enhanced tagged-item performance enables retailers to maximize the benefits of RFID, including greater inventory accuracy, improved point-of-sale, decreased out-of-stocks, improved loss detection, enhanced stock conversion reporting, increased full price sales, and expedited returns.
TIPP comprises three components that provide an industry-scalable solution for defining tagged-item performance: tagged-item grade definitions, testing procedures and a product catalogue that defines the RFID tag orientation and layout of common retail items. “The performance of an RFID tag depends on many environmental variables such as the store environment, product packaging and orientation to the reader,” said Melanie Nuce, vice president of apparel and general merchandise, GS1 US. “Historically, retailers have conducted their own RFID performance testing and set their own individual expectations for tag inlay solutions that may be used to tag products destined for their stores. This required suppliers to provide different solutions for different retailers. TIPP now allows retailers to set performance levels for a specific use case, and it also allows suppliers flexibility in how they meet grade levels from multiple retailers.”
Nuce added, “Several major retailers have reported tangible results from RFID pilot programs including reduced labor costs and enhanced inventory accuracy. They consider RFID key to their omni-channel strategies in 2015 and beyond. TIPP will facilitate tremendous innovation and flexibility in future RFID expansions since tagged-item performance is now clearly defined and can now be verified independently by retailers, suppliers or any third party.”
The TIPP guideline was developed by members of the GS1 US Item Level RFID Workgroup, a focused collaboration within the GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Initiative. The Workgroup supports best practices for optimizing inventory visibility through item level RFID technology.